D.Y.I. culture is strong amid the independent filmmaker set. There are numerous tools and outlets out there that allow cinematographers and editors to workshop their latest project and get feedback. The next stage on the long and arduous road to getting your film made, and then seen and talked-about, is the web-based showcase. Community-driven sites like Vimeo have led the way, and other internet addresses have appeared recently, offering some viable alternatives.
Michael Fishman, a New York-based film professional and cinephile (he previously managed the graduate program at Columbia University) who co-programs the Hamptons Film Festival and was previously with the Tribeca Film Institute, recently launched Independent Film Now, a launchpad for indie filmmakers to reveal their latest project. Fishman curates content posted by filmmakers, produces interviews and reviews films.
So what to make of yet another web-based moviemaker workshop? Savvy movie-lovers and industry followers would do well to follow Mr. Fishman’s endeavors. Content is programmed assiduously, attention being given to American films (independent mostly but the occasional big-budget fare is also covered) as well as foreign ones. Independent Film Now caters to one’s sense of curiosity: plenty of video materials and shop-talk with filmmakers is there for the taking. We asked Mr. Fishman a few questions:
Screen Comment – Why Independent Film Now?
Michael Fishman – I’d been doing transcribed interviews with independent filmmakers for the past few years and wanted to develop a web site that would feature short video interviews where filmmakers could show a teaser or trailer and discuss the making of their film. I thought it could go hand in hand with creating a space for filmmakers to promote their work and themselves, posting a synopsis of their film(s), still images, and all their web links such as Facebook, websites, crowd-funding sites, etc. in one or two comprehensive paragraphs. Such listings are posted in the Filmmaker Profiles section.
Are you offering something different or better from the few other existing sites that also cater to the indie filmmaker?
I think the comprehensive and flexible nature of the postings in the Filmmaker Profiles section is unique; they can include YouTube videos, links to reviews, information about upcoming screenings, links to purchase films through Amazon or personal websites, and just about anything to help promote a filmmaker who is working on a film or has a finished film to promote. And it’s international in scope; anyone, anywhere can send me information to post and promote their film or films.
Are you alone or will you partner up with other writers?
I plan to focus on the posting of information in the Filmmaker Profiles section. I am looking for people to write reviews, short essays, etc. on film for the Film Reviews section. You and your fellow writers do a fantastic job of that at Screen Comment. I’m hoping there are other writers out there who are looking for a place to start or would be excited about this new venture.
How often will you add new content?
I’ll post information in the Filmmaker Profiles section on a regular on-going basis. The site was launched at the end of January and within two weeks was already promoting four filmmakers. The reaction at this very early stage has been extremely positive and I expect to be posting in “Filmmaker Profiles” several times a week.
I will also feature short video interviews with featured filmmakers on the front page on a regular basis, allowing them to remain posted long enough for the filmmaker to share and promote themselves as fully as possible. Video interviews are more of a challenge, of course, since they have to be scheduled, shot and edited, but as our first Featured Filmmaker Kim Cummings (writer/director of the new feature film In Montauk) would undoubtedly attest to, filmmakers have to do whatever they can to promote their films to build their audience.
This, in a nutshell, is what I hope Independent Film Now will do: help independent filmmakers build their audience. There are a lot of very deserving films out there that don’t find their audience, due to so many factors; my goal and interest is in helping them find that audience (visit INDEPENDENT FILM NOW).