Scott Kirsner, creator of the Cinematech blog, answers questions about the (much-speculated-upon) forthcoming revolution in DIY film distribution. It's inspirational stuff if you're disheartened by the lack of opportunity in traditional distribution right now.
Look, I do think that if you can do what Joss and Radiohead do, which is leverage the power of established media companies and their distribution channels while also doing some DIY experimentation, that’s not a bad thing. But I also believe there is incredible opportunity for total unknowns right now. You have access to the tools to make what you want, inexpensively. And you have access to all these distribution channels – DVD production, CD production, book production, digital downloads – that were really locked up just five or ten years ago. What can you do to overcome the power imbalance? You start by making really remarkable stuff that no one else is making, focus on a niche audience, and then experiment with different ways to grow that small initial audience.
Kirsner just published a book called Fans, Friends, and Followers -- check out a sample on Scott's web site.