Thursday, September 27, 2007

Vancouver Film School partners with Joost

Vancouver Film School has just done a deal with Joost, where "student produced content" will help pay for funding future films. Here's the full article.

It's a great article and all, and it shows how you can use web-based video to promote and monetize independant film... but it does raise a few questions for me. If VFS plans to put it's 30% of the revenue towards an alumni fund for graduate projects... wouldn't that mean that most of the people who produced these films get nothing? Maybe I'm misreading it, but it seems to me that if YOU produced something that was good enough to earn ad dollars, YOU should get some of the revenue. VFS is just using the content that the students produced to raise money for it's own uses and, all the while, it's marketing and promoting itself. It's no different than American Idol saying it owns the rights to every singer who ever makes it to the top 40 (or whatever it is)... then saying that THEY get a cut of everything they make, ever. (at least the artist gets something in that case) I'm simplifying here, of course, but I think the point is still valid. You can't get mad at VFS, though. They're just using what they have... but I do thing that the filmmaker should get something, especially after they paid an arm and a leg to go to the school in the first place.

I was reading another article this morning that talked about the viral effect of online movies and how celebrities were starting to do it. (namely Will Ferrell on his site, Funny or Die) It went on to basically say that the content has to be "good" and even short video's with celebrities flop and get no traffic. The lesson to be learned here is this, if you're making short movies, video's, etc., especially if they're good - the web is a great way to promote your stuff and draw attention to your projects. Further to that, there's no reason that a group of people can't make a site and upload a new clip every couple weeks and start getting a bit of traffic and some interest in their other projects. In fact, every low-budget horror filmmaker should be making short clips, branding the hell out of them with your name, website or production company and drawing attention back to themselves. Who knows who will see it? A lot of careers have started that way... just make sure it's good and YOU'RE getting the credit for it. Any way you cut it, in the end, it's all about having an audience, isn't it? So, put it out there and see what happens...

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