How Tech Is Changing Film Distribution
A female founder explains how technology is shaking up the film industry and how women are participating in the distribution revolution.
By Celeste North (Founder, NuFlick)
Film has always been related to technology. Since the invention of the Zoetrope to the 4DX, the film industry relies on technological development to continually sell a more interesting film-watching experience.
Unfortunately, in distribution these changes have moved more slowly and many filmmakers still see traditional distribution as the only way to monetize their work and be seen by a vast audience. They choose to have a traditional run in festivals followed by theatrical release and then VOD/DVD. But the public has changed and, in most cases, they are unwilling to wait six months to watch what they want to see now.
On the other hand, bolder filmmakers are starting to see the opportunity of using new media to connect with audiences in a more intimate and rich experience. The Cosmonaut is the best example of this, a project led by Julia Blatun, Nicolas Alcala and Arturo Antolin in Spain, this is the first Spanish movie to be conceived as an interactive project from start to finish.
The Cosmonaut was produced thanks to over 5,000 people through crowdfunding on their site and selling merchandise when the movie was still a script. Throughout the production, teasers were made to share how the movie was coming along and now, a few days from its premiere, the team has made a complete experience with the characters’ profiles live on Facebook, so that supporters can follow their everyday lives in preparation for the film. The producers have a full plan that includes different screens, active participation from their fans and even educational material for film schools. It’s an incredible experience for creators and fans alike.
Bigger companies like Netflix are also starting to see the value of changing strategies to a more catered experience. House of Cards, their first original series, has had a very positive reception from the public, raising the bar for its competitors.
As a film distributor, NuFlick has also tried to create an interesting experience in Mexico. A couple of months ago we released Chalan, a political film about a corrupt congressman. The movie premiered online for free on NuFlick three days before its theatrical premiere and stayed free for a week until the day the new president took office. More than 30,000 people watched the film in the first day, creating an active conversation in social media. The timing of this release was also very important.
With technology in the palm of our hands, opportunities to create an experience through different screens and conversation channels are expanding. It’s time to create new paradigms in distribution for audiences and creators alike.
Women 2.0 readers: How would you like your film viewing experience to change?
About the guest blogger: Celeste North is the founder of NuFlick, a video on demand platform for independent and art-house films with a special focus on Latin America. If you want to know more about her project and support her effort, check out her crowdfunding campaign. Follow her on twitter at @celestenorth
Photo credit: Coyau.