At the recent Power to the Pixel event in London, it was stated that the creation and nurturing of direct relationships with audiences is critical to the digital future. Audiences are becoming fragmented as they consume content across different platforms, according to speakers on day one of the summit.
Slava Rubin, co-founder of IndieGoGo proposed that film-makers engage with audiences through multimedia; blogs, email campaigns and websites and in turn film-makers will benefit from their direct involvement in the promotion of the film. This is a very similar approach taken by Screen WM-supported feature, Faintheart – widely touted as “the world’s first UGC movie” in collaboration with MySpace.
The real problem is that the current economics of film do not easily fit into this new era of online distribution. ”The old revenue models are breaking down”, warned Rubin, “No-one wants to pay to consume content.”
Rubin spoke of the business model which sees audiences finance the film, a subject that was touched on by Adam Erlebacher of PlaceVine. Erlebacher also discussed the benefits of building brand relationships via technology platforms and cited the example of the collaboration between Somers Town director Shane Meadows and Eurostar. He said the aim of the newly launched PlaceVine was to link film-makers with brands that could provide support and financing.
The trend towards brand-funded content is one which cuts across sectors, with the TV/online and games industries also working on this model and major brands such as Cadbury’s even going so far as to announce themselves as content producers at Hello Digital under the banner ‘Glass And A Half Productions’.