With the benefit of the internet, distribution of new media has become a simple process. If an unsigned band wants to get samples of their work to a wide audience, they can post it on YouTube and social networks, attracting a huge level of interest and coverage in a short space of time.
If an aspiring film maker wants to get noticed then YouTube can be a credible spring board. Look at Fede Alvarez. He posts a short film on YouTube and then next thing he knows he’s in LA having dinner with Sam Raimi being offered the director’s gig for the remake of Evil Dead. Cha-ching!
But beyond the normal studio system in Hollywood there is now a real sea change happening in the way projects get the green light. Instead of relying on the normal route of someone hawking a script around until they can find a production deal, technology is taking the place of the major studio.
The recent US remake of the great BBC mini-series House of Cards from 1990 was bankrolled by Netflix to be broadcast via their platform. This is like Amazon going from selling books to publishing their own product. And Netflix have other projects in the pipeline.
But what about people who want to create a project but don’t have the funds? Zach Braff, who rose to fame in the hit comedy Scrubs, is one of the latest to use crowd funding to raise a budget. As the name suggests, this relies on many thousands of small investors rather than a studio stumping up the full budget themselves. Concepts like Kickstarter and Crowd Funder are making projects possible that might not otherwise have been made. Even David Fincher has recently used Kickstarter.
So here we have feature film projects being funded by the public, potentially broadcast as streamed product on a platform like Netflix, not getting a cinema distribution deal and then perhaps not even being released on DVD / Blu-Ray (though watch them get snapped up if a distribution company sees the finished product and realises it’s good).