Youtube and google provide a new platform for indie film distribution

Slate has an article about a new streaming video on demand service that it is starting, allowing films that haven’t gotten distribution to try to get some buzz out there and some viewers. One of the first films available in their launch is 2009’s excellent Children of Invention, which I reviewed after seeing it at the Independent Film Festival Boston last April.

This is an interesting idea and one that may do for films what Myspace has done for any little band who has recorded a few songs.

What I’m skeptical about is the $3.99 price tag per view. With Netflix and Red-box, among others, providing a greater variety of films at a lower price, how many people out there are going to plunk down this amount to see a film that already has the stigma of not being good enough for distribution. If they reduced to price to $.99 I could see more people taking a shot with this.

An unrelated issue is (cue Jeff being a curmudgeon traditionalist) something my good friend Caitlin pointed out recently: is this just another part of the trend towards making films for the small screen? Something about the experience of a film is lost when it’s not seen in a theater. If this becomes a viable platform for release will small-budget film makers just forego even pursing distribution deals and make their films specifically for this less tradtional, more television-like medium?

Nonetheless, I would again recommend everyone check this out by watching Children of Invention. And, if you do, let me know what you think of the platform as well as the film.

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