The Digital Age. We’re in it now. It’s great. We can all do lots of cool stuff (time, inclination and wherewithal permitting). Anyone can be creative. Anyone can be an artist, entertainer, opinion former. No need for an agent, publisher, record company, film distributor or whatnot. That’s what we’re told.
But how can anyone find an audience, make a living and build a creative career in the Digital Age, while remaining free of The Man, philistine executives and/or profit-obsessed multinationals? That’s a question that has garnered more pixel time in the blogosphere than probably any other issue facing the indie film community of late.
Scott Kirsner has contributed more to the debate than most, through his blog, talks and appearances at festivals and other events. He’s also just published Fans, Friends and Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age, which promises to give the most up to date airing of the main themes.
The book, which is available, appropriately enough, in PDF form as a paid download, is based on interviews with people at the coalface: filmmakers, writers, musicians and other performers. The chapter that holds most interest for me is entitled 'Exploring the New Business Models'. In October last year I posted about my experience at the Power to the Pixel event, voicing my disappointment at the lack of any compelling evidence of workable business models that can sustain creative enterprises beyond one-off projects. Scott has since commented on the post, and I look forward to reading what he has to say about the models currently being developed and road-tested by his interviewees.
You can check out a 35 page preview of Scott's book on his web site, and an early review by Chuck Tryon, author of Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence, can be found over at the Chutry Experiment.