“Make way, coming through!” Room at the bottom

Kimberley Jones writes the scrappy tale of independent filmmakers who have to keep bootstrapping their films after Harvey Weinstein’s check surprisingly fails to materialize. It’s a fairly clear-headed, if mostly analysis-free, look at how promising films can be well-received, but still not “make it” into the “marketplace.”
Over at GreenCine, David Hudson puts these woes in context, though, pointing out that truly independent filmmakers have a long history of busking, throwing their print in the back of their car and hitting the road to show it wherever they can. More significantly, at least form my perspective, is the unexamined (here, anyway) potential for indie DVD distribution, using off- and online promotion to find a film’s audience. I know from my own experience that the audience SN01 has reached through this weblog far outnumbers the butts in the theaters when it screened. And that’s cool
When Business 2.0 wrote about Netflix’ potential as an independent film distribution channel, I kept doing a mental find-and-replace with GreenCine, which combines an independent sensibility with film-loving community. While Netflix may offer potential reach for an independent filmmaker, GreenCine’s subscribers seem far more likely to actually care about (and watch) non-studio films.
What Jones doesn’t mention until the end is the…endgame for first films in the…first place. If you use them as calling cards, as a base for building your long-term career, as a tool for making better the films you need to make, then it ultimately matters a little less that Harvey’s not yet returning your calls.