Social media changes funding, distribution for indie filmmakers
January 30, 2011 by Jocelyn Gollner
Social media is changing the way that we do almost everything and that now includes how independent filmmakers are funding and distributing their films.
“Everything is changing so quickly that 10 years from now, we won’t even recognize what it is right now,” said Ryan Catherwood, an independent filmmaker from Vancouver.
Besides the obvious social media forms, such as Facebook and Twitter, there are also specialty sites such as IndieGoGo that filmmakers are using for their films. IndieGoGo defines itself as an international funding platform.
Catherwood has recently starting using IndieGoGo and said that it’s a different way to raise funds for a film.
You “basically just put a pitch up online and then cross your fingers that people want to invest in it and become a part of it,” he said. Anyone can create an account, and attempt to raise funds for almost anything.
This money can make a huge difference to independent filmmakers.
“I work at a rental shop and, like a lot of my friends, we’re all filmmakers and we want to spend our time and our energy and our passion in film, but we have to get supplementary jobs to afford that,” Catherwood said.
Funding a film isn’t the only problem; distributing that film is also sometimes an obstacle.
“Distribution is continually becoming a problem, besides just putting it up for free online,” Catherwood said. “There are not a lot of options for filmmakers these days. It’s kind of like the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about right now, but I keep trying to bring it up and just say like we have to find a way to make money from our films.”
As much as social media can help filmmakers distribute their films, it also poses its own set of problems.
“YouTube came along and it’s kind of the Coca-Cola of Internet broadcasting. It’s hard to get an edge on them,” Catherwood said.
Amid all the changes, Catherwood doesn’t know what the future holds.
“I don’t know where the independents are going to end up,” he said. “Until the independents, like one of our own, creates something to distribute indie films on a larger scale, nothing is going to change. That’s kind of how I see it.”