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Friday, 23 November 2012

Can the Canadian Film Industry go commercial?


No matter how you look at it, the visual art of film is a business. Whether you call it show business, the film industry or anything else one of the biggest pieces of making it work is understanding the money behind it. Where it comes from, how to get it, how to spend it and most importantly who has it. Some people don't think of it as business. They think of it as support for art or creativity. But if you really look at the way it works, I'm not sure anyone could really call it anything other than business. You spend a lot of time looking and acting like a business person and working like an entrepeneur, even when you make it to Hollywood studio level there's a certain amount of schmoozing and business. So what part of that is art exactly?

Don't get me wrong, the film industry is incredibly artistic, even in Hollywood (you can read my thoughts on that here and here). With all the creativity and thought that goes into just producing something worth selling there has to be art involved. Otherwise it wouldn't be interesting or beautiful or funny or whatever it is that the art is supposed to be. But people don't always pay money for something that's beautiful or funny or interesting. Often times the best, most beautiful things in the world are the things you don't pay money for. At least not in any direct sense. But an industry that's built upon the idea of getting people to sit down in a dark room and watch something has to be built on the incentive to do so. That incentive is usually that it's worth paying money for.

So why is it that the Canadian film industry is so concerned with the art of it all? Trying to be the opposite of Hollywood's big business model by focusing on our culture and identity that we insist is so different from our neighbors to the south. Yet despite that we live with the contradiction that we can't compete with Hollywood and the big business model. We all want the money and the fame that comes with a big Hollywood business model but have a problem with doing what we need to in order to make that happen.

Last night, I went to see Cinecoup present a pitch to the Canadian film industry in Toronto about how to change all that. Putting forward a business plan that in a sense sounds like a Hollywood idea but has its own unique Canadian twist to it. And it's a great idea. Canada needs to think more like Hollywood in its approach to film and this will definitely move the yard stick forward to thinking in those terms. The problem I see is that I don't think it will move the yard stick far enough forward to really make a difference. For many in the Canadian film industry it will be a shock to their system. It's a plan designed to get people to think about the bigger picture. To think about where your film will ultimately end up before you even put a pen to paper, metaphorically speaking, and to care about whether it might actually make money.

I love the idea, I want to be involved, and I may even apply with my own project if I can put it together. But I worry that there won't be a round two for the business model. Canadians for all their talk about a difference in culture and the pride of their heritage have a much bigger culture with a lot more pride in their culture beaming content into their laps at an alarming speed. The kind of culture and pride that at least on the surface appears to appeal universally enjoyed.

Can the Canadian Film Industry go commercial? I think it can, and recent changes suggests that it is moving in that direction. But I don't know that the speed of the industry is fast enough to really warrant this kind of program.


29 comments:

  1. Great blog. Cinecoup is a call to action for Canadian filmmakers who want to actually admit they want audiences for their films. Are they willing to do what it takes? Keep the conversation going. Thanks Andrew

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    1. Thanks, I am one such Canadian filmmaker looking to build an audience for it and I don't like that more people aren't interested in it. Hopefully my post will help others think in those terms.

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    2. Thank-you both for your support and helping to get the word out about our brave new model!

      We've already had great response and hundreds of questions from filmmakers in Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto as part of our xCanada outreach to meet filmmakers, tell them what we are up to and listen to their feedback/concerns so we can continually improve and tune our model before we launch December 1st in Whistler. Amy and I are currently on train to Ottawa and will be throwing event for filmmakers to night at 8pm at the Whisky Bar in the market. Onto Montreal tomorrow for afternoon drunken brunch, then Halifax Saskatoon and Winnipeg after that. http://cinecoup.ca/index/events

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  2. I went last night and thought the same as yourself, its a good idea but im not sure itll be around for a round two. I busted the producers balls a little for not allowing enough prep time for filmmakers. How you gonna put together a two minute trailer worth watching by the end of December? You'd have to have something already put together or submit something sub par. I thought about submitting the trailer for the feature im cutting currently but then i'd be locked in to reshooting a movie i've spent the last year and a half on, sure it would be a much larger budget but i have no interest in that. My movies called Hayter Street, check out the trailer on youtube and let me know what you think. itll be done in another month or so. thanks and keep on supporting cdn films!

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    1. Andrew C - Thanks for coming to Toronto.
      Wanted to clear up the timelines. You actually have between December 1st and January 10th to put your team together and upload your trailer. I realize this seems challenging, but this is part of the tough-love nature of an accelerator model.

      We believe 6-ish weeks is plenty of time to create a great looking trailer. Having just attended several 48hr filmmaker challenges/festivals, I am increasingly blown away by quality, ingenuity and execution that the participating filmmakers deliver. My challenge and my team is trying to get the word out fast enough so we let every filmmaker in Canada know about this opportunity... please spread the word amongst your friends and peers :)

      Finally, below is a mini case-study I put together that you may enjoy about a team of Canadian Filmmakers whom I admire for their entrepreneurial spirit in terms of building audiences, marketing themselves and ultimately getting their feature film produced and released in theatres... and it's a fun entertaining movie to boot!

      Best,
      J. Joly

      In 2007, Robert Rodriguez and SXSW announced a co-sponsored “Grindhouse” Trailer Contest inspired by the faux trailers within the double-feature of the same name (“Machete” was later turned into a feature by Rodriguez himself in 2010).

      Hearing the announcement, Jason Eisner called his friends John Davies (writer) and Rob Cotterill (producer), and in 3 weeks the team wrote, shot and edited the original “Hobo with a Shotgun” trailer in time for the deadline. The Halifax-shot trailer made it to the finals, and in the end was chosen as the winning entry.

      “Hobo With A Shotgun” appeared in the Canadian run of “Grindhouse” and garnered massive support online (750K+ views) to become YouTube’s Weekly Top Ten. Eisner would later state, “We live in such an awesome time right now. When we put that trailer online, it was such a great way for people to see our work. If you can make something that can gather people’s attention, then it can skyrocket and go viral quickly.”

      Produced by Rhombus Media and Whizbang Films, principal photography on the feature-length Hobo began in Halifax during April of 2010. Eisner would state, “Because of it’s YouTube roots, we designed the movie almost to be like a YouTube movie in that every scene had its own viral idea that if any scene were to get uploaded, it would be its own viral hit.”

      Hobo had its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was released in Canada in March 2011 followed by the US in May. In between, it was released on Xbox Live, PS3 Network and iTunes in April and later on DVD and BluRay in July of that year.

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    2. Hi Andrew: Real world, real entrepreneurship, real time-line. That's the way it is. It's astounding how a creative constraint like a really really short deadline ( or zero dollars) can focus the brain, get people on board and inspire the making of a short/trailer/feature. Most filmmakers I know would be happy to be on set, in production and shooting their brains out - cuz that's what they live for. Our members at Raindance do this - for the joy of making stuff. Maybe it's not the best, but the energy is there and I think it comes out in the verve, spirit and freshness of the movie - even when the resources and production values might nit be there.

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    3. It's true that a lot of filmmakers need that time constraint to produce something. My concern is that people are not going to create watchable content. I know a group of filmmakers that I get together with who have moved to a Raindance type of mentality of production over thinking about it but don't have a clue how to tell a halfway decent story.

      I'm not asking for perfection, just content that is watchable. One example from the group is a 10 page script that was turned into a 40+ minute film with virtually no dialogue (voice over or otherwise) and one character alone for 30 of those minutes. The film was utterly unwatchable and yet the filmmakers expected to and have submitted it to film festivals with the intention of selling the film.

      There's a difference between entrepreneurship and bad business logic when it comes to filmmaking. That's my concern.

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    5. Couldn't agree more. It is always a question of balance between creative, business and marketing.

      That is the challenge for CineCoup film accelerator model - especially during this pilot.

      Part of the reason of the constraints is to reduce variables in order to better understand, measure and optimize our model for second year, and foreign territories we want to expand into.

      Success has always been based on compelling content that connects with audiences to achieve the goals of all stakeholders from the creatives to financiers and distributors. These goals could lie anywhere between achieving revenue to affecting cultural change.

      I don't personally differente between successful cultural films and successful commercial films.
      Simply stated:
      To impact/affect culture via film - you need a critical mass of individuals to watch it.
      To achieve commercial success via film - you need a critical mass of audience to watch it.
      In both cases failure to engage/build an audience, often means failure to achieve end goals.

      In my opinion produced films that hide behind a culture/art facade to protect against the fact that they didn't connect/affect an audience unfortunately runs the risk of being viewed as a vanity.

      I believe art is something that matches your couch, and culture is something that inspires discourse and change.

      CineCoup is purpose-built to accept everything from avant-garde culture films to uber-commercial genre pictures, since it is about proving there is an audience, even if it is a strong niche.
      In this regard I am completely democratic in terms of the films we intend to support.

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  3. EUROPEAN CINEMA WOULD BE A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR CANADIAN FILMMAKERS

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    1. The European model would definitely be a step in the right direction but I think we need to go further.

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  4. “why is it that the Canadian film industry is so concerned with the art of it all?”

    That blanket statement is too vague to give it any weight. What specific examples do you believe represent that immoderate concern in Canadian filmmaking? What contemporary films, filmmakers, producers, funders are in your view examples of it?

    “focusing on our culture and identity that we insist is so different from our neighbors to the south.”

    Whoever insists on that difference is simply noting an obvious reality.

    Culture implies a set of widespread, shared values. Different histories produce different assumptions about the world, and one’s place in it. They typically manifest in different kinds of social institutions, political and economic policies, ways of relating among ourselves and to people in other countries, and so on. For example, it isn't part of the Canadian psyche to assume dominance, that we can rely on the threat of overwhelming force – economic or military – to get what we want. Rather, by necessity, the Canadian approach has tended to be compromise and diplomacy. This reality, in turn, has nourished empathy and understanding, a sense of solidarity with other people and cultures.

    Another example would be Canadians’ general attitude toward social policy. Canada is a huge, cold place with a small population, and those conditions have likely influenced our tendency to value socialization of costs, reflected in institutions like universal healthcare. Moreover, because of the vast imbalance of economic power between Canada and the U.S., Canadians have tended to value policies that protect and promote our cultural works and institutions, for without such measures they'd be overwhelmed. People will invest in cultural works that are promoted to them, that they find on the dial or on the newsstand or in the cinema.

    Canadian storytellers in any media don’t tend to value emphasizing differences with the U.S. That implies making overt comparisons. Rather, our storytellers tend to value expressing personal perspectives, which implies concentrating on one’s own view, rather than referencing another’s. In other words, Canadians naturally tend to relate to and champion the ethos of the independent creator. This is reflected in the nature of our films, and it’s to that community of independent-minded filmmakers that many of our own relate to the most. When you say “the art of it all,” what you’re really observing is a striving for distinctiveness, originality.

    “Art” is intimate nourishment for the spirit, and the means by which we make ourselves visible, a key process in our effort at self-realization. It speaks to that part in us that is most alive; it aims to stir our senses, imaginations and intellects by revealing truths about the human experience. It can be commercially viable, but not homogenized, since it must express the genuine, cogent perception of an individual. That's the quality that makes it universal, and hopefully unforgettable.

    “We all want the money and the fame that comes with a big Hollywood business model but have a problem with doing what we need to in order to make that happen.”

    A “big Hollywood business model” is impossible here, since we are not big, or Hollywood (no studios, for instance). Naturally then, producers orient toward the smaller yet potentially effective business model of independent film.

    You use the word “we,” but again I would ask who exactly you’re referring to. You take for granted that “all” Canadian filmmakers want “the money and the fame,” but I’m not sure that pronouncement can stand the test of a reality check. I’ve been in the business a while, and I’ve not come across many filmmakers primarily motivated by those values. Of course they want an audience, but the most sensible way to achieve it is to create stories they'd like to experience themselves, not to focus on pursuing "the money and the fame" of Hollywood lore and lure. More often than not, those values motivate nothing but the production of clichés that few care to watch.

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    1. Actually, the Hollywood model is not impossible here. When I talk about the big Hollywood model I am not talking about the size of the audience or the budget of the film. I'm talking about making films that are bigger in concept and ideas about the world. If you look at the films that come out of Hollywood they connect to audiences worldwide because they deal with issues that anyone can relate to regardless of cultural differences.

      Canadian films tend to focus on Canadian culture and ideas that it would be hard for anyone outside of Canada to really relate to. I take a lot of this from various Canadian films that I have seen and Canadian filmmakers I have met. I know a large number of filmmakers who want that big break that will make them an international name or at least a big Hollywood name.

      As to your point about art, yes that is a reasonable definition of the term but the problem is that too many filmmakers care about the art and not about the commercial viability of the art. Hollywood films tend to be both artistic AND commercially viable, whereas Canadian films try to be one or the other.

      You want examples of filmmakers, producers and funders who think that way? Take a look at any funding agency in Canada, whether it's Telefilm or the CMF or the OMDC and others. They all come with the caviat that funding is dependent on having Canadians in key positions. Rather than focusing on whoever is best for the project and who will make it do the best at the box office, it's all about Canadians. There are also some requirements to have it filmed here in Canada, which I can understand as it is Canadian tax payer money but again it's not asking you to find the best location, it's asking you to find the best location in Canada. Some even have Canadian culture requirements.

      Funding agencies in Canada are focused on boosting Canadian culture, not on fostering the best talent. There are a number of Canadian filmmakers who are trying and in some cases succeeding at making films without funding agencies as a result.

      It's not about pursuing the money and fame of Hollywod lore and lure, it's about thinking about the audience first. Creating stories that they themselves would like to experience only makes a film narrow minded and narrowly focused when it comes to the audience. We need to think in dual terms. Mainly, what connects for me and what will the audience connect to. One doesn't necessarily create the other. Thinking about both is the only way to make a movie that will get a larger audience will see.

      Hollywood does this very well. Canadian stories might not intentionally emphasize the differences between Canada and the U.S., but concentrating on ones own views is part of the problem, as I have mentioned above.

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    2. “I'm talking about making films that are bigger in concept and ideas about the world. If you look at the films that come out of Hollywood they connect to audiences worldwide because they deal with issues that anyone can relate to regardless of cultural differences."

      I honestly don’t know what you mean. What concepts and ideas about the world are you thinking of? What issues do you think Canadian films address that people in other cultures can’t relate to?

      “Canadian films tend to focus on Canadian culture and ideas that it would be hard for anyone outside of Canada to really relate to.”

      Can you give any examples? I don’t understand the basis of this view.

      “Funding agencies in Canada are focused on boosting Canadian culture, not on fostering the best talent.”

      That talent is an essential part of the culture. Talent and culture aren’t independent qualities. If you don’t foster talent – say by not setting minimum levels of Canadian involvement in key positions, and allowing unrestricted use of American writers and stars – then you don’t foster Canadian culture. You foster American talent and culture.

      “the caviat that funding is dependent on having Canadians in key positions.”

      The idea is linking funds with the requirement to employ Canadians in key jobs helps Canadians gain experience and develop talents that make them competitive.

      “Rather than focusing on whoever is best for the project and who will make it do the best at the box office, it's all about Canadians.”

      Maybe there’s some merit to that. But we can’t expect public funding requirements in any country to be exclusive of broader cultural aims. Funds try to balance the needs of individual filmmakers with a social mandate. Anyway, restriction is the lifeblood of creativity. A film like “Let The Right One In” was wholly funded by Sweden’s version of Telefilm, made by Swedes only. It’s execution that really matters, not funding requirements.

      “too many filmmakers care about the art and not about the commercial viability of the art.”

      I’d say too many filmmakers go to camera with second-rate scripts. This problem is underestimated. Script quality affects commerical viability more than other factors.

      One of the best ways to be commercially viable but actually communicate something meaningful is to take genre conventions and do something fresh. American, UK and Asian writers do this well. We could learn to do it more consistently.

      “Creating stories that they themselves would like to experience only makes a film narrow minded and narrowly focused when it comes to the audience.”

      What potential audiences want to experience is mainly an abstraction. The most effective way to sense what would be compelling to others is to feel it for ourselves. If I feel excited to visualize a story coming alive, likely enough others will enjoy the result to make it commercially viable. Again, the sticking point is the script.

      With regard to “commercial viability,” filmmakers measure it differently. Especially now, when audiences are fragmented, production costs have lowered, and distribution/exhibition options have multiplied.

      Cinema attendance has long been in decline. Studios stay in business primarily with mass-releases, and the target demo they deliver to exhibitors is primarily tweens and teens. Naturally wide release films are now dominated by remakes, sequels, and TV or game adaptations. Formula. Thus TV, once film’s dumb cousin, now competes with at least as many options for stimulating drama as the Hollywood model. Content made for the internet is exploding, ad money is starting to flow in that direction. The Hollywood model will continue, but offer an increasingly narrow range.

      “It's not about pursuing the money and fame of Hollywod lore and lure, it's about thinking about the audience first.”

      You cited those as motivating values: “We all want the money and the fame that comes with a big Hollywood business model.” It is to see the audience as a means of self-aggrandizement, rather than hearts waiting to be moved.

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    3. It's not an abstraction to think about what potential audiences will want. It's a logical business decision in the real world. The growing field of internet distribution is the perfect example. The consistent content (web series, films, not internet memes/viral videos) that do well are geared towards geek and genre culture in a way that you don't really see in the larger audience.

      People who create content that speaks to that audience tend to be successful. That's a case of knowing who your audience is. But you don't see it as widespread in the traditional market. Also, geek culture is international in scale so the correlation that doing the same for Canadian content doesn't work. The amount of Canadians out there internationally pales in comparison to geek culture internationally.

      Let The Right One In was successful internationally because the primary focus is vampires. Look at any culture in the world and some version of the vampire exists. It was also about childhood and bullying, another internationally wide spread reality. It didn't succeed because it was Swedish people doing a film about Swedish ideas of the world.

      Bon Cop/Bad Cop is one example of a Canadian made film that just wasn't up to par with the international community. It just barely made back the budget for the film.

      Yes, second rate scripts are a big part of why they fail but not the only reason.

      As I said, I do understand wanting Canadian tax payer money to go to Canadian talent. But when you hire a teacher you try not to hire a second rate teacher to foster young minds. You try to hire an enthusiastic well versed teacher. Trying to keep out the American talent or international talent is like handicapping the good international teachers in favor of a second rate Canadian teacher. It's why we are losing so much of our best talent to Hollywood. Canadians filmmakers have to go there in order to get better after a certain point.

      We want Americans to come to Canada to make American films and TV but we don't want them to teach us how to make better Canadian films and TV. That's what we're saying when we require funding agencies to have Canadians in key roles.

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    4. Thinking of audience is good. Yet experience tells me the best way to sense what others would like is to ask oneself. As film history abundantly shows, it’s not necessarily true that this “only makes a film narrow minded and narrowly focused.” Take Billy Wilder, a commercial filmmaker who always asked if there was an audience, and answered by clarifying what he’d like to see.

      By “abstraction” I mean orienting outside the imagination. Filmmakers can now act as distribs; the role tempts them to let marketing mentality heavily influence creation. Social media is helpful, but it’s a fancy focus group, with the old pitfalls. Its very responsiveness can lead to a mentality that won’t deliver inspired, personal stories. One can’t compensate for weak writing by thinking as a marketer. It only adds to the glut of junk – whether genre or art film.

      Del Toro: “I think of the audience every second during writing. I think of them as me. I question how I would understand something, or what would make me feel a certain way. Avoid reading the trades or the business stuff. I make it a habit not to read about the business side because that is not filmmaking. I hate the language that has permeated most of the blogs and the fan sites. When I was a fan, you were enraptured discussing Fellini or a long tracking shot or the humanity of Renoir. That was being a cinephile. Nobody that I remember in the 70s or 80s was talking about target audiences, tracking which studio was weaker, or four-quadrant appeal. It’s entering the building the wrong way.”

      Eastwood: “I always think about the audience. When you are thinking about telling the story, you are thinking about how you want the story to be as interesting as it can possibly be for the audience. It’s hard to be a judge of that. You can’t start thinking about it too much because a lot of wonderful movies haven’t done any business and a lot of not-so-wonderful movies have done tremendous business. All you can do is use yourself as the audience, ask yourself if you were going to the theater how would you like to see this.”

      “Let The Right One In was successful internationally because the primary focus is vampires.”

      Many vampire pix do no business. Focus is where the personal stakes are (pun alert!). The emotional source was a nuanced love story of alienated misfits with dire, relatable flaws to cope with. Despite the vampire angle, without that focus – done well, which took the skill – the film would have died.

      The problem isn’t locality, for nothing human is alien. Stories rooted in the local are universally embraced all the time. The challenge is the knack to make it dramatically universal.

      “Bon Cop” wasn’t designed for int’l sale, so the relevant stat is domestic, which was substantial. It was successful for the producer, given his intention.

      People think English Cdn films fail according to b.o., but most income comes from windows like VOD. It’s best to look at complete viewership. Indies were 35% of Cdn market of all ‘11 releases. Our own had what CAFDE called “a robust 20% share of [that] market.” CAFDE says 80% of TF commitments in ‘11 were drama, comedy & sci-fi. TF has commissioned a study of Cdn viewing habits viz Cdn film. Signs of more audience focus. Of course a huge reason why US pix dominate attention is P&A scale. Same in EU, where the majors also have distrib arms.

      Script quality: I didn’t say only thing, but that it affects commercial viability more than other factors. I’ve reviewed 100s of Cdn scripts, mostly commercial, genre, audience-centric. Most that made it to camera shouldn’t have. Weak writing, mundane ideas. The problem wasn’t prod. or post, but imagination & writing.

      “Trying to keep out the American talent or international talent is like handicapping the good international teachers...”

      Writers aren’t on set; to learn from the best we've easy access to their scripts. There’s no gain to our writers, and a loss if taxes help pay US writer fees. US directors routinely work here on US prods; our DPs, etc. all learn from working on US prod’s.

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  5. First - never seen so many Andrews on one post ;)

    Second - Andrew H. Thanks for the kind words and support for our CineCoup initiative. I'm glad you had a good time at our Toronto event and you picked up on the core of our model which is about connecting and building an audience for your project (be it a genre film or an art film) and thinking like an entrepreneur.
    Key to our innovation is bringing the lean agile start-up approach to the traditional waterfall process of film.
    This is not only designed to source the best teams and projects to finance, but also to help de-risk the film process and attract private equity back into the industry.

    The best process we identified to achieve this is bringing the accelerator model (CineCoup came out of the Growlab accelerator in Vancouver) to the film world. To that end the accelerator model is a tough love model that encourages filmmakers to embrace the idea of 'failing fast' and by design surface the best and most well-rounded creative entrepreneurs. I will state again - CineCoup not for everyone. We are a privately backed studio model focused on identifying great talent that best connect with audiences as they package their project via our platform.

    Merci BeauCoup!
    J.Joly
    Founder of CineCoup

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    1. I do hope it succeeds, but like with most businesses and business models, you may need to do it two or three times before you really see any result.

      Thanks for the invite to the event. :)

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    2. Agree, and to that point remember we are also an agile start-up and will be continually iterating and improving on the platform as filmmakers and fans connect with it. My goals are always to deliver the best experience possible to achieve our goals and hopefully the goals of the brave filmmakers that participate.

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  6. Some of the comments make it sound like we are pawns in the movie industrial complex. I don’t believe that’s the case. The conversation needs to shift from the tension between art vs. commerce, (and Hollywood vs. Canadian film for that matter), to the reason for being a Canadian Independent Filmmaker. I am a storyteller and I fell in love with and married a filmmaker. The point that is driven home by the CineCoup business model is that as a storyteller, I want and need to tell stories that people want to watch. Why would I create and produce a film in isolation when social media is available to give me instant feedback and reaction to the story I'm weaving together in a visual medium? Think of the expanded reach and information an online competition offers. I agree that we champion the independent creator, but I think Canadians might also want a chance to shape what is created.
    All Canadian Independent Filmmakers should have a social media strategy for each project and at least a clue as to who has or will engage with that unique story. Even if you don't win, you can use the opportunity to help your project find an audience. The CineCoup model is not telling us anything different than what Telefilm has been putting forward in their annual reports for the last few years. We need to be marketers as well as film producers.
    I was at the CineCoup event in Edmonton and we will be pulling together a submission, not because of the financing, but because of the opportunity to vet our idea to a wide audience and let people from all over Canada be part of and shape how our story gets told. Our ideas are good, but to be able to interact with our audience and give them the opportunity to have input into the story makes our film better. This first pilot will help us learn how to successfully engage and harness a co-creative model with our audience on a larger stage than we could afford to reach on our own.
    I know two independent theatre owners and they are asking Canadian filmmakers to do more to engage our audiences through pre-production and production so that they can exhibit more Canadian films. They need our help to put people in their theatre seats. The CineCoup competition offers us a great chance of finding an audience that is willing to see our films in the box office. It will help other parts of the industry as well, even if it does force changes in our distribution sector. Filmmakers will be marketing directly to our audience and not to our distributor, which will in effect reduce their distribution P&A expenses as the demand will already exist by the time our film is ready for distribution. With mobile, the distribution industry and content styles are shifting anyway, so changing now is an advantage. We need to think more like entrepreneurs and embrace this opportunity to be even more relevant as Canadian filmmakers and as an industry in general.
    In regards to the time constraints, if The Asylum, (production company in L.A.), can go from concept to release of feature films in an 8 weeks cycle, (even if it's not great, it's a finished product), we can pull together as a community and get our temp trailers written and produced in 5 weeks, even if it means helping each other out to meet the deadline. That's the beauty and spirit of the Indie community, at least that's how we do business in Edmonton.
    What is best for the industry is strong participation across the country with tough competition for the final 10.
    All that's left to say is, game on my friends, game on!

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    1. You're right, it does need to move away from Canadian indie versus Hollywood. We need to merge the two in order to make our own industry better in my opinion.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

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  7. This is not a new model and has been used in the States unsuccessfully. I wish them well, however. It would be good to see more funding for Canadian films.

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    1. I don't imagine it is a new model, but as most people say Canadians are different then Americans. We think differently and so perhaps where it has failed in the States will work here if done properly. Still, it is an uphill battle.

      Thanks for the thoughts.

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  8. I understand the tough love approach Mr. Joly and I think its necessary and valid, it's just in my case, and I can only speak for myself, I guess I'm just bummed out because I'm cutting my feature like a mad man to have it ready by xmas so I cant take the time off to put together a trailer for cinecoup although I really really want to. Back in May I heard about the CFC's short film competition two weeks before the entry deadline and decided to put editing on hold for 24 hours to see if i could come up with the hook for a story and if I did, I'd write like mad to get it ready in two weeks. I was lucky and at three in the morning the story hook bubbled into my head so I worked like crazy and entered the competition before the deadlineonly to be disqualified because I don't have any legit scteen credits. So believe me, i understand working quickly to make deadlines, and again, i guess i was just venting my personal frustration that because of my obligation to my feature, i wont be able to put something together, not that six weeks is impossible. six weeks is entirely possible, just bad timing for me is all :) thanks for a great night at parts & labour and I'll be following the competition and supporting the winner in theatres. And you can bet your ass you'll be seeing me in round two. All the best guys!

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    1. Totally get it... thanks for your support and look forward to your participation - if not this time - then on our next round. Good luck on your feature. Please share links when you are done via Cinecoup twitter or FB page to let others know.
      Also keep your eye peeled in the next few weeks - there might be a chance we extend our intake due to the sudden and recent interest by filmmakers who just heard about us...
      ...I guess it helps to go out on the road ;)
      Break a leg!

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  9. Canadian made stuff is just boring and uninteresting plain and simple. They need budgets like Hollywood has. You need good writers. Hollywood has the sizzle and the steak. Canada does not even have the stove turned on.

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    Replies
    1. It isn't all crap but it is harder to get the word out there about the good ones.

      Delete
  10. Give it time. I think a lot of people appropriate Canadian movies.

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