By lance weiler, March 14th, 2007

I’ve just returned from SXSW where I spoke on two panels. One was about building an online fan base and the other dealt with blogging about film. In both cases the issue of discovery was discussed. Many people wondered how they could expand their audiences and readership.

Everyone talks about the democratization of the internet but with so many sites, blogs and movies being made how does someone find you in a sea of media? One important step is to develop an audience for your work. If you have a direct relationship with your audience you can become less dependent on the current system for distribution. The difficult part is that building an audience for one’s work can be a labor intensive process, and there is no one way to do it. It in itself is a process of discovery. As the traditional distribution system continues to consolidate it will offer less and less opportunities to content creators.

I came across the following article in the New York Times and thought that it gave a nice overview of the current state of physical distribution. What struck me most is that independent films are in fact obscure movies. The vast majority of which play a number of film festivals and if they’re lucky might see a small DVD release.

For Obscure DVDs, a Precarious Future
By BRYAN REESMAN

“AMONG the glories of the rising tide of DVD sales was the wave of discs that revived lost or overlooked works by filmmakers like David Lynch, Werner Herzog, Dario Argento, Jess Franco and Takashi Miike. Now some of the companies that brought those movies into homes are getting pulled under and may take future releases down with them.

The Digital Entertainment Group, a nonprofit trade consortium, reported for the first time in 2006 that overall DVD shipments were stuck at about 1.65 billion units, roughly the same as 2005, after years of rapid growth. According to the weekly DVD Release Report, combined DVD releases dropped to 12,887 in 2006 from 13,712 in 2005.

In effect the video market is glutted. For big studios that means more jousting over future formats that may restart sales. But for specialty companies that have traded otherwise unavailable horror, action, art-house and exploitation titles, the glut has meant a struggle to survive.”

READ MORE (you might need to register) OR here’s a link to a bulletin board that has the full article. Click here to read.

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Posted in News audience community distro diy online

lance weiler is the founder of the WorkBook Project and also a story architect of film, tv and games. He's written and directed two feature films THE LAST BROADCAST and HEAD TRAUMA. He's currently developing a number of transmedia projects

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