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07 June 2009

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Really thoughtful post. I do think that letting the people 'formerly known' as the audience participate and get involved in your filmmaking process is going to be a big part of film's future -- a way to harness the power and energy of the Internet community, without necessarily compromising your creative vision.

Very interesting. Oddly, no mention of websites in the marketing timeline - even no-budget indies seem to have a website at fundraising stage, and many appear to be blogging by production.

When I was drafting the diagram I decided that the independent film value chain model did not have space to introduce and differentiate the alternative methods of marketing and PR. This was partly because of space on the diagram, and partly because value chain diagrams tend to show company departments or job roles rather than particular techniques for production or marketing or distribution. The overall aim of the chain is to show where value is added by different organisations or internal departments, so in those terms the techniques used become immaterial. Furthermore marketing campaigns vary substantially from film to film and genre to genre. Of course each technique has its own value chain attached to it (so a billboard campaign will often utilise various different companies in its development, design, manufacture and distribution).

However it is perfectly true that websites and other internet-based techniques have become an increasingly important part of the film marketing process, and more importantly that future developments may see producers becoming more involved in influencing or controlling that process, rather than distributors. This would cause a shift of the function from one company location in the chain to another. Perhaps a further development of the chain could show more marketing techniques, especially when there is a distinction between those performed in-house (as part of the company’s sunk costs) and those out-sourced (earning an income for a different player in the value chain). It could also be possible to draft a different version of the value chain which places less emphasis on production / distribution, and only analyses marketing functions at each of the stages. This would then be the “Independent Film Marketing Value Chain”.

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