Should audiences get what they like or like what they get?

Today’s technology savvy audiences mean more film producers, like the legendary Ted Hope, need to embrace the internet instead of fearing it says Enzo Tedeschi.

Late August saw US independent producer Ted Hope (21 Grams, In The Bedroom, American Splendour) give a two-day producing seminar in Sydney. 

Hope came up through the old-school system and is still enjoying success after more than 60 feature films so it’s quite encouraging to hear him speak excitedly about the possibilities of the digital age instead of demonising the evils of the internet.

There seems to be a particular type of mind-set necessary to make a career as an indie producer. As an indie producer myself, many of the ideas Hope put forth were familiar to me. Most of the ideas were simple, like finding ways to maximise the productivity of production. Possibly the fastest daily money-burn on any project, it makes sense to use gear and sets on off-days as well as actors and crew contracted for ‘run-of-show’ to produce content for online marketing materials, or ‘world-building’ pieces, that work to increase the value of the main intellectual property.

Distribution was, of course, also in Hope’s sights. Audiences, he says, have gotten used to ‘liking what they get’, as opposed to ‘getting what they like’.

“We become accustomed to appreciate what we’re served and wanting to fit in with those that we’re with – they like it, so we like it too,” Ted told The Sydney Morning Herald – a statement that could apply to filmmakers as well as audiences. Where many distributors are still holding back content, assuming viewers will be happy with the terms, audiences are looking to other avenues, often illegitimate ones, to get what they want on their own terms. Used intelligently, it seems that the internet has already become the tool for filmmakers and audiences to actually get what they like, rather than like what they get.

Enzo Tedeschi is a co-founder of Distracted Media.


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