I’m headed to Madrid for a very short trip. Landing 10 am tomorrow and leaving 11:30 am the following day. Ridiculously short. I’m in the thick of preparing for a shoot this upcoming weekend so I’m really forced to ping over there then ping back. Normally I’d want to stay a while. I’ve never been to Madrid but I hear it’s amazing. So I’ll get small tease sit in a lot of planes which is always introspective. I’m bringing some writing to work on.

Here is the info cut and pasted for you that they sent me about the panel I’m doing at this conference in madrid called FICOD 09.

Tuesday, 12:15-13:45 (after Kevin Spacey speech)
Does a Viable Business Model Exist?
The large increase in the number of social network users will be the basis of a still unknown business model (around 70% of net users are social network users). The information included in the profiles could be a great asset for highly-effective campaigns, but it could be perceived as an attack on user privacy. On the other hand, there may be paid or subscription value added services. What other strategies will make it possible to get a profit out of the efforts invested in these projects?
Koro Castellano – Managing Director – Tuenti
Daniel Pérez – Country Manager – Xing
Mariano Klein – Partner/Director – MyEgoo.com
Gonzalo Gómez-Acebo – Founder and CMO – Bookioo.com
Rodrigo Miguel Pineda – Director of Internet Media – Telefónica Spain
Antonio Miguel Fumero – Independent Researcher – ETSIT – UPM

Any research on any of the above people that anyone would like to do and inform me about or any suggestions on what I should bring up on the panel are gladly welcomed in the comments below or tweet them to @arincrumley. I’ll tweet a link to the video of the panel if these guys happen to publish it later.

You are not the only one struggling. Everyone is. And we can do something about it. But first you’ve got to get mad.

Post a video or tweet saying, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.” Put @openindie and we’ll find it and make a mash up of screen grabs and video clips. Actually do it. It will feel good. You’ll feel better about what a panel of indie film experts at the Moma recently declared an indie film crisis.

Once you’ve gotten mad, donate to OpenIndie here

Then blog about it.

Here is the video that explains what OpenIndie is.

Below is the text from the end of the above video incase you want to quote it for a blog post, re-read or fact check (links included):

Ted Hope, producer of Thumbsucker & many other films donated $100 to help build OpenIndie.

3,666 feature films were submitted to Sundance last year and only 178 got in. Source.

Lance Weiler, founder of the Workbook Project, self distributed his two films,The Last Broadcast & Head Trauma & has donated $100
towards building OpenIndie.

Only 10 films found distribution at Sundance 2009. Article

Ondi Timoner, filmmaker of Digg & Join Us donated $100 to sign up her new film
We Live in Public on OpenIndie.

In 2008 Mark Gill declared the sky is falling on independent film. Article

Ira Deutchman manages a network of 65 digital theaters & donated $100 to help build OpenIndie.

The Independent Film Channel licensed Four Eyed Monsters but then failed to release it &
didn’t pay until the filmmakers settled out of court for a third of the original deal.

Arin Crumley, co-director of Four Eyed Monsters has now co-founded OpenIndie & will use it to distribute his upcoming feature film at the same time as it’s festival premiere.

Learn more at: http://openindie.com
Subscribe for future videos: http://arincrumley.com/subscribe
Follow: http://twitter.com/arincrumley

During my talk at the Filmmakers Forum I presented OpenIndie.com to a room full of filmmakers and got very positive response including someone cutting me a check for 100 dollars to join the list of pioneering filmmakers that will launch the site.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him it’s actually better to make the donation through the site so it counts towards our goal of raising 10,000 dollars to build the site.

The session I was a part of was moderated by Peter Broderick who also had invited Lizzie Gillett from Age of Stupid to discuss their recent synchronized world premiere in 63 countries featuring green carpets, celebrities arriving on elephants and satellite connections creating a “not stupid” dialog after the film that let people know the actions they can take to prevent premature human extinction.

After our talk someone asked me how I felt about major studios coopting the campaign that was used to distribute Four Eyed Monsters.  He was referring to Paranormal Activity released by Paramount Pictures who used a campaign very similar to the Four Eyed Monsters theatrical self-distribution where we asked online fans to request our film and then booked screenings in their area.

Here is a video recorded in september of 07 explaining what we done in 2006 releasing Four Eyed Monsters.  You can also watch a full case study video of the entire distribution process.

So to see Paranormal Activity take a somewhat similar approach was extremely flattering. Here is a quote from a recent LA times article by Ben Fritz:

Whatever savvy went into distribution and marketing — and there was certainly plenty of it — Paramount indeed has a miracle on its hands with “Paranormal Activity,” a movie produced for $15,000 and acquired for $300,000 that vanquished four new pictures with combined production budgets of more than $155 million to finish No. 1 at the box office this weekend.

When asked if  I was upset the studios had co-opted our technique, I explained that it’s not my technique, although we may have been the first film to show a list of cities allowing people to request the film, the basic concept of finding out what your community wants and giving it to them is community organizing 101.  The concept is simple.  Give the people what they want.  So it’s really just the way it should work.  And now apparently studios agree.  It’s the people that should get to decide what shows in their local cinema, not the marketers or even theater owners.  When people curate a series with special attention and care, that is obviously really cool, but when executives sitting in offices try to guess what people want to see, well they clearly can only guess. So thanks to social networking it is possible for everyone to know what people want to watch in various geographic areas.

But we can’t applaud ourselves yet because what we need to remember about Paranormal Activity is that they had a multi-million dollar ad campaign promoting the idea of demanding the film in your area.  The real question is how can films with a studio marketing budget successfully track and then act upon demand for their film.  This is much trickier.  Right now there is no easy answer.  There is what we did with Four Eyed Monsters, but that was a lot of work to manage and we needed a full time computer programmer who had to also know the film world and have a good sense of marketing savviness.

>Enter OpenIndie.com.  A simple way to give this function to a filmmaker.  They enter the details of their film and then get a button they can spread around the web.  When ever anyone clicks that, they can track that there is a new person that wants to see their film.  But more importantly then that, it’s also a helpful tool for audiences.  A way to keep a list of films that the person wants to eventually see when they get a chance.  And even a way to automatically be notified of screenings taking place near where they live or near where they have traveled too.  So like many web tools, it’s an organizational tool combined with a community and a full range of ways participants can get involved.  They can simple flag films they want to watch, or they can put on a screening causing invitations to automatically deploy to near by fans of that film or they can even make their own films and put them on the network providing a license and file to anyone who’d like to organize a screening.  There is even a revenue model attached to help filmmakers sustain themselves by accepting donations from audience members and hosts of screenings either at the venue or online afterwards with reminder emails encouraging those who RSVP’d to a screening to provide a one sentence review and optional donation to the creators of the film or causes the film is promoting.

So anyway, it’s a very neat project that I’m proud to be a co-founder of and hopefully you, the reader of this post, can be a part of.  All you have to do to get into this community now is make a small donation to help us fund the creation of the site.  1 dollar or more gets you early membership.  15 or more gets you a bonus CD from Four Eyed Monsters in the mail.  And 100 dollars or more gets you one film that will be one of the first 100 films that will launch the site as well as 1 hour of my time as a free online social media consultant for your film, organization or business.  And each 100 dollars gives you an extra slot for a film and an extra hour of consulting.

3 Days remain to get the above listed perks, so please, act now and come on over and donate.

And special thanks to the Filmmaker Forum for being the platform for announcing OpenIndie.com and allowing us to show the above video.  Thanks also to all the other Filmmaker Forum speakers I’ve listed below partly to get a google alert going to them so they are sure to understand the scope of what we have planned.  We need help getting the word out as this site is being built buy the film community, for the film community and the only way we’ve raised 75 percent of our goal has been through people referring the site to others as well as blogs and articles that have come out about the project.  So please, blog away, embed away, twitter away in these last 72 hours.

Looking forward to comments to this post people might have and to keep up with everything on my blog, add your email address to the side bar and you’ll be kept in the loop.

Thanks again!

Richard Abramowitz, President, Abramorama
Claire Aguilar, President, ITVS
Mark Ankner, WME
Ami Armstrong, producer, Mr. Nice
John August, writer/director, The Nines
Sara Bernstein, Vice President, HBO Documentary Films
Peter Broderick, President, Paradigm Consulting
Seth Caplan, producer, In Search of a Midnight Kiss
Nicolas Chartier, President, Voltage Pictures
Michael Cieply, contributor, The New York Times
Dave Cole, Dave Cole, colorist, Pride and Glory, Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Arin Crumley, director, Four Eyed Monsters
Morgan Dews, director/producer, Must Read after My Death
Joe Drake, Co-COO/President, Lionsgate
Michael Farah, producer, Funny or Die
Laura Gabbert, director, No Impact Man
Lizzie Gillett, producer, Age of Stupid
Liane Halfon, producer, Mr. Mudd Pictures
David Hays, producer, EFILM® Hollywood
Alex Holdridge, director, In Search of a Midnight Kiss
Steak House, producer, Weather Girl
Jay Van Hoy, producer, Treeless Mountain
Kevin Iwashina, Partner, IP Advisors/Hunting Lane Films
Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, CAA
Scott Kennedy, director, The Garden
Laura Kim, Publicity, Inside Job
David Klein, cinematographer, Clerks 1and 2, Zak and Miri Make a Porno
Richard Klubeck, UTA
Ted Kroeber, producer, American Gun
Gina Kwon, producer, Me You and Everyone We Know
Sydney Levine, blogger, “Sydney’s Buzz”
Linda Lichter, attorney, Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman, Inc.
John Lightfoot, Programs Manager, California
Council for the Humanities
Michael London, CEO, Groundswell Productions
Julie Lynn, producer, Mother and Child
Luis Ortiz, Managing Director, Latino Public
Tina Mabry, writer/director, Mississippi Damned
Brian O’Shea, Executive V.P of Worldwide
Distribution, Odd Lot Entertainment
Heather Rae, producer Frozen River
Jon Reiss, director/producer, Bomb It
Danielle Renfrew, producer, Waitress
Rena Ronson, previously of WMI
Elisabeth Costa de Beauregard Rose, SVP of International Sales, Lakeshore Ent.
Chris J. Russo, Independent Features Rep, Kodak
Scott Sanders, director, Black Dynamite
Steven Schardt, producer, Humpday
AJ Schnack, director/producer,Convention
Cathy Schulman, producer, Darfur Now
Jon Stern, producer, Centrifugal Films
Morgan Stiff, producer/editor,Mississippi Damned
Mary Sweeney, producer, Mulholland Drive
Johnny Symons, director/producer,Daddy & Papa, Ask Not
Ondi Timoner, director, We Live in Public
Matt Tyrnauer, director, Valentino: The
Last Emperor

Sharon Waxman, journalist/author, The Wrap
Blayne Weaver, director, Weather Girl
Jason Weiss, producer, Humboldt County
Steve Williams, Director of Sound Operation, NBC Universal
Laurie Woodrow, President, Trans-Pacific Media
David Worthen, SVP, Fox Digital
Ron Yerxa, Partner, Bona Fide Productions

As a tribute to the brave video journalists that risk imprisoned to bring us news from the front lines I have teamed up with DogWoof & The Co-Operative to produce a series of videos that teach people how to Be A VJ. The more video journalists there are the less effective it is to silence them by arrest. You can make a difference in the world by being part of the mirror that allows humanity to look at it’s self. You probably already have technology in your pocket that can empower you to start to participate in citizen video journalism today. Each episode of the Be A VJ series will give you tips on how to use to better use the technology you already have to Be A VJ. To make sure you see each of the Episode you can follow along on my website, my twitter or grab the RSS feed that has only Be A VJ episodes from BeAVJ.com

There is also something very important you should do right now which is sign the petition to help free the VJs that are currently in prison in Burma. The footage shot by these five VJ’s has aired internationally on CNN, BBC and many other networks and was the material the film Burma VJ was built around.

In order for us to maintain the strengths of our collective voice we must not allow the silencing of individuals.

Every signature counts so please take a minute to visit this site and contribute your name.

Free The VJs

Exactly a year ago a room full of filmmaker and technologists got together to discuss what was wrong with the film industry and how we might go about fixing it. Parts of the discussion turned into almost a screaming debate as we all struggled to get our ideas heard by the rest of the table. In the end, I’m not sure what productive outcome the talk had, but we had a good time. And at least we got the entire thing on video. Haha!

Lately I’ve been taking a much less critical approach to the question. My thought now, a year later, is that there is nothing wrong. The changes that are happening are good. I’m now just looking for more ways to ride the wave of change that is washing over all of the creative industries.

How would you ride this wave?

I first saw this Ghandi quote on my friend Eugina’s myspace profile several years back and vaguely remembered it from elementary but mostly it felt fresh to me and really thought it resonated. At the time I had been trying to talk about new film industry models which my friend Andrew A Peterson referred to as trying to “solve the words problems”. That basically was us talking for hours and hours on the phone about how social media should work, how internet neutrality will be maintained, how the film industry should evolve, the new expression that is possible with new media and the collective evolution that should can occur with these tools.

But then this quote about “Being the change” was in front of my face. I realized I’d done enough theorizing about what the world should look like and it was time for me to just embody what I believed in and let that be my biggest contribution to the a progression in that direction. I felt I had been doing that intuitively with the creation and distribution of Four Eyed Monsters, but with that mostly behind me I was a bit directionless. It was especially hard because I had defined myself by that project so much. Defined myself even by that relationship with Susan. I needed to build up a new identity that wouldn’t just come and then go as fast as a film project does. I realized I need to just be myself.

So I started my own blog. Began my series of virtual film school posts. Decided to try to teaching others by simply explaining how and why I’m doing what I’m doing as I’m doing it via my blog.

This got me slowly really amped up for starting From Here to Awesome and again I went to town discussing all of the ways the new film industry could function, newer cameras making truly cinematic experiences now within reach, new ways to monetize films digitally and royalty splits amongst collaborators to add incentive to work on lower budget productions to everyone on the crew.

But then conversations with my good friend Roger Edward Ingraham who had been studying Eckhart Tolle reminded me again, that your only duty is to attend to your own awareness. This pretty much emphases to me this “be the change” concept again. That you don’t have to live in the future where everybody else gets on board for an idea but instead you can live in the now where you are on board for an idea. By this time I had gotten really exhausted traveling around with the DIY DAYS and realized it would be a huge relief to not put so much effort into changing the world but instead just relax and be the change myself. I was learning to set aside the end goal of what the film world should look like and instead focusing how I can use filmmaking tools and distribution pathways right now.

So I stepped away from From Here to Awesome for a bit and even stopped pushing or promoting Four Eyed Monsters in any way to go back the drawing board and ask myself what filmmaking tools and story telling techniques I was interested in. Essentially begin to work shop from scratch. Rediscover what filmmaking could be for me right now.

In that process I began work on As The Dust Settles which then lead me to another film we just got done shooting that will in the end all be part of a slate of films.

But then, full circle, this re-introduced the question, how shall I come out with these new films?

How shall they be distributed?

How shall the film industry work?

What do you all think?

Filmmaker Asks Questions to Arin Crumley about the GH1

You can friend me on facebook for discussions like this we often have in the comments of status updates, or feel free to message me anytime, everyone helps me out so much that I of course want to do what ever I can to help you guys back.

Facebook Comment about kickstarter fund raising

Thank god for the internet and thank god for all of you. Thank you to everyone who contributed and/or asked others to do so.

Congrats Arin you made it!

We reached our goal of 2,500 dollars and it keeps climbing. (see current status of campaign here) Amazing! This is huge for me and is opening my view into a whole slew of other projects that could happen now that I see a style of gaining support for my ideas, getting the money to make them a reality, then being able to follow through continuing to use the newly formed community to make it a reality.

facebook kickstarter promotion

It’s really very exciting to me to see how this is all possible and to see it all work. Wow. That is all I can say.

You guys inspire me. You keep me going!

SOCIAL NETWORKING TIPS FOR ARTISTS:  The above discussion is happening by me updating my twitter page and then people on my facebook friends list commenting on the automatically imported twitter updates.  Also I used kickstarter.com to create this fund raising campaign and verticalresponse.com to do an email blast to everyone who supported Four Eyed Monsters to let them all know about this new project.

A new video is in the works to post tonight giving us tomorrow to be the big final 24 hour count down to when our kick starter campaign ends at 10 AM on wednesday August 26th. So tonight I’m hoping to quickly resign up with iContact.com (is this the best?) for a bulk email service to reach out to the 25,000 Four Eyed Monsters mailing list people to let them know about our kickstarter campaign. I get the sense a lot of people who liked Four Eyed Monsters are really not in the loop with my blog or twitter, although of course many, many are, but we really haven’t done in email blast in about a year and a half to them, so this will be interesting.

So the video that I just finished editing and will show to josh and susan in a few hours will act as a summary of what we shot last year and tease the ideas and themes driving this years shoots.

The way kickstarter and indiegogo and all of these fund raising sites work is that you set a goal and if you don’t reach a goal then nobodies card gets charged and you get nothing. So we’ll really need support once the video is live.

Subscribe to my RSS feed using reader or any other service that you like so that the moment I post to my blog you’ll get it. Or you can also follow me on Twitter or friend me on facebook to also stay instantly in the loop.