This recent article by filmmaker magazine highlights some of the innovation happening in independent film distribution. Rarely do you see such crystal clear willingness to examine with economic rationality the options facing filmmakers outside of the traditional distribution paradigm.
I am also impressed by the call to action made by filmmaker magazine here to encourage filmmakers to speak out about the realities of their financial success or failure in applying different distribution and marketing methods.
Price and profit signals are essential for calculating the success or failure of innovation.
Unfortunately there is so much potential career baggage surrounding the expectations for directors to demonstrate huge returns on their films that many directors are intimidated to make public the financial realities of the experimentation process.
Without that information, we are left in total ignorance as to the viability or non-viability of alternative distribution structures.
If we had a clear picture of what films were grossing what amounts of money under particular distribution structures, we would be that much more prepared to anticipate what amounts to a realistic budget for small independent films outside of conventional distribution space.
All of this amounts to attempting to mitigate the extreme uncertainty that has always been inherent in this industry.
Information is the necessary component, and that information is contained in price and profit signals that are currently kept secret, perhaps because of a fear of career repercussions when numbers amount to being less than impressive by Hollywood box office standards, or if only because of a perceived lack of interest in the importance of this crucial information of the relative commercial success and failure of obscure cinema.