The New World feed

Peter Broderick assesses the state of independent film

by Eric Kohn

In just the last few years, consultant Peter Broderick has helped hundreds of filmmakers figure out the right strategies for their films. As a result, his impact on the industry at large is far-reaching: Last year's big Sundance buy, My Kid Could Paint That, came from documentarian Amir Bar-Lev, one of Broderick's discoveries; he also played a key role in helping out a young Christopher Nolan, whose latest accomplishment is a little movie called The Dark Knight. An early pioneer of the role new media can play in the lifespan of a film, Broderick invented the concept of hybrid distribution, in which a filmmaker divides up rights among several outlets, rather than signing a single, exclusive deal. He took a break from working on his upcoming book to speak with Stream about various issues relevant to the independent film community.

In a recent speech, former Miramax executive Mark Gill declared that the sky is falling for the independent film industry. He was mainly addressing distributors. What are your thoughts on how this relates to filmmakers?

I think there's a sense, for a lot of people, that he's right. It's a misperception. Mark is really talking about the old world of distribution, but there's a whole other world where the possibilities and successes are different. I don't really disagree with what he said, but it's important to be clear about what it applies to.

Consultant Peter Broderick

DIGITAL BRIEF: Linguistic Lessons

Cinema Speaks on the Small Screen

Everyone knows that online video has changed the way people process the moving image. But few have picked up on just how great an effect this has had on the medium. Via CinemaTech comes word of filmmaker David Tamés' brilliant slideshow on the impact of online video (embedded after the jump), which breaks down the various trends in online filmmaking and explains the various ways new media have impacted the form. Mixing how-to guidelines with an elaboration on the current state of affairs, it's a brief, sharply assembled rundown of the processes involved in "using cinematic language techniques," as Tamés calls it. No dictionary required.

Pioneers of the New Frontier

by Eric Kohn

A few days ago, YouTube film manager and Wonderland Advisory Board member Sara Pollack took a nice long look at the way digital distribution has been kickstarting filmmaker careers in unique bottom-up strategies that Hollywood can't touch. She mentioned a few examples, each of which showcased a different approach. The key here isn't the setting of precedents so much as the importance of experimentation: Each artist was willing to subject themselves to uncharted terrain in order to reach audiences that would otherwise seem unattainable. Here's a quick overview of the bolder ones whose efforts paid off.

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Chronicle of a Dated Profession
Veteran documentarian Albert Maysles discusses the art of then and now
The Wonders of the Webbys
The "Oscars of the web" take on NYC
Highlights from the YouTube Screening Room
Sifting through the video sharing site's latest showcase
Go Ahead, Make My Movie
A 'Horrible' Hit
'Purple' Venue
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