31 Questions for New Filmmakers – Part V

Today I answer Ted Hope’s questions regarding The Changing Film World.


When I got started, if your film got into Sundance, it meantpeople would see it in America, and maybe the world. I used to be confidentthat my partners and I could get two or more major distribution slots a year.Now that control and scarcity don’t define the Entertainment Economy, butsuperabundance & access do, how does that change things for creators? Thereare 45,000 films generated globally annually, and the largest consumptionmarket in the world – the US – currently consumes only 1% of the output.Recognizing that, are you changing the way you work, changing what you create?How? Why? Or why not?

In regard to the stories I’minterested in telling – no.  In the way Itell them, yes, slightly.  With that inmind we have to be more conscious of our budgets.  With more choices and platforms, things aremore easily digested and therefore more disposable.  There are very few ‘classic’ films madenowadays (and if they are, they are coming from oversees).  It is harder and harder to recoup yourbudget, so the way we make films must change. Also, it pays to tell your storyover a few mediums (this stupid word ‘transmedia’ comes to mind).  I just happened to love comics/graphicnovels, so was getting into this field anyway – but I think I could be doing amuch better job branching off and telling more stories within that same world (Harbor Moon comes to mind, as does REM – my second graphic novel and whatwill be my first feature film).  Justtelling the same story in a different medium is boring.  What excites me, and what I wish I caughtonto sooner, is using each medium to tell a different story within that world.
I am a big believer in the importance of social media in manyaspects of the film process.  Are you on social media and do you use it inyour work? Why or why not?
I am on social media.  
  • I keep a blog (you’re probably reading itright now: ryancolucci.blogspot.com)
  • Twitter @spokelane
  • Facebook: Spoke LaneEntertainment
  • Digg: citydoglax
  • LinkedIn: info@spokelane.com

I use my Ryan Colucci facebookaccount for actual friends and family.  Idon’t do business on there. Same goes for my personal twitter account@ryancolucci, where I post more personal updates.
I think social media is a great wayto stay connected to your audience (or if you are the audience – filmmakers yourespect), and more importantly stay current with what they are doing.  I get more of my news from Twitter feeds thananywhere else nowadays.  The key is beingselective with who you follow so your feed doesn’t get overrun withnonsense.  That said, if you follow me at@spokelane – I will follow you back.  I’mgood like that. 
 
When I got started there were two screens: the movie screenand the television screen.  Now there arealso computers, tablets, and phones. And screens are everywhere: the home, thebus stop, the elevator, the taxi cab. As a creator how does this effect thestories you tell and how you tell them?
I find this exciting.  Of course, I think that as a whole – I wouldlove to have been coming up in a time when movies were actually made on filmand appreciated, rather than digested and forgotten.  But I think having all of these ‘screens’opens the world of storytelling up.  I’mnot a big fan of the term transmedia, but I love what it stands for.  I have always been captivated by the world ofStar Wars, how it started as three films and quickly grew to encompass books,comics, toys, video games and animated series – all telling different storieswithin that universe.  There are so manyprojects I think benefit from that – I think the danger is believing that everyproject can benefit from that kind of storytelling. 
I guess my one gripe with all ofthese screens, and ease of access is how easily forgotten digested media is.And with that comes a lack of production value. Because it is cheaper to spit these things out – knowing they have ashort shelf life.  I wish we would caremore about how things looked overall. It’s not just about telling a story sometimes – it’s about providingpeople with a visual experience.
If there is one or more thing you think would make the filmindustry better, what would it be?
Regulate managers like agencies areregulated.  They are, I believe, thecause of a lot of problems within the ‘system’. It would also make agents actually do their job (trying to secure workfor their clients), rather than just being a screening service. 

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