And now, we have received word that 'The Good Neighbour has been selected to screen in the Krakow Film Market, part of the American Academy Accredited 'Krakow Film Festival' in Poland!
We are so excited and proud to have been selected for these festivals, and overwhelmed by the positive response to our film. The most important thing for us as filmmakers is that our film is seen by, and challenges, as many people as possible. These festival selections will ensure that happens.
Thanks to the Krakow Film Festival for welcoming us to Europe!
Remember, we are also posting information to our Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Good-Neighbour/131722040230896)
This is an EXCELLENT film festival, which is accredited by the Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films (FIAPF) along with many esteemed festivals including Berlin, Cannes and Venice.
I have been invited to come to Shanghai to present the film at the Festival in late June. More updates to come.
Congratulations to everyone who helped us make the film and have contributed to its success!
Apparently, they were chatting via Skype, while he was stationed in Afghanistan, when something horrible happened. The US Army is not releasing the details, save to say his wife witnessed the event over the video call.
Once upon a time, she would have just gotten a letter.
This time, 'iiNet' an Australian Internet Service Provider (ISP), has won a battle in the highest court in Australia (the unimaginatively named High Court of Australia) against the Australian Federation against Copyright Theft (AFACT).
AFACT was attempting to have iiNet held responsible for the copyright breaching behaviour of their customers. AFACT argued that, given iiNet knew that a large volume of the traffic on their service was file sharing (a major source of piracy) via Bit Torrent, they were partially responsible for the illegal activities.
The High Court disagreed.
The court ruled that the ISP cannot be held responsible for the behaviour of a customer, much like a gun maker cannot be held responsible for the activity of a mass murderer.
Interestingly, the court did say that the ISP's power was "limited to terminating contractual relationships with customers engaging in file sharing and piracy."
This would leave the door open to the "three strikes of pirating and your service is terminated" rules we have seen elsewhere in the world. I, and others, have been predicting the global spread of this model for a while:
Could this single sentence in a high court decision be the tipping point that brings the "three strikes" framework here?
Time will tell.
In the mean time, the head of AFACT released a statement saying that their loss in this court case demonstrated that legislative change is needed. AFACT's argument is that they have fought in the courts as far as they can, so Australian copyright laws will have to change for justice to be done.
Once upon a time there were three cynical and industry hardened filmmakers, sitting under a tree.
By the fading light of the afternoon sun, the three were grilling a single kipper over a small fire. As the fish cooked delicately, they passed the time with industry war stories.
"With all these cheap new cameras and filmmaking tools, there are too many people in the market!", said one, sewing up a hole in his dirty sock.
"Yeah! It's too crowded now. No-one can make a living anymore.", said another, padding his tattered winter coat with torn out script pages.
"Definitely," piped up the filmmaker cooking the fish, "There is no future in this game anymore."
Suddenly, a corporate type, in a suit and tie, appears over a nearby hill. He approaches the filmmakers, removing his $600 Armani sunglasses. As he arrives at the filmmaker's makeshift camp, he brandishes a warm smile and says, "Excuse me gentlemen, but I have need of your services for a corporate video."
The filmmakers observe him for a moment.
The suited man's smile drops slightly.
Finally, the cook replies, "Can't you see we are busy?"
"Yeah," said the sock mender, "Go bother someone else."
The corporate man trots away, defeated.
The men sit silently, watching the cooking fish.
Finally, the coat padder says, "They should have a telethon: 'Feed the starving artists'."
"Yeah," they reply.
The above may seem silly, but its only a slightly askew satire of the discussion that is happening in the industry.
While the established practitioners are quick to point out all the ways the new filmmaking environment is worse, there is data that paints a different picture.
Oddly though, as the resources to produce video have become cheaper and therefore led to more filmmakers, so too has the APPETITE for video grown.
The latest research is that video is going from a luxury on a company's website to a necessity:
This is because the norms around what we expect to see have changed, especially for younger generations who have grown up with Youtube. Video used to be a luxury, but it is fast becoming the new minimum.
The money from these corporate videos could do many things. For example, it could keep a filmmaker's bills paid until their developing 'coming of age, sci-fi, horror, romantic comedy' script is ready to go into production.
So, who says there is not enough opportunities out there?
Not from his home. Don't worry, he still has somewhere to sleep.
From his film production studio space.
It wasn't his fault.
The studio was a VERY large space, controlled by one supreme overlord who rented it from a landlord.
Within the space were an eclectic mix of web designers, promo makers, music producers and so on.
Unfortunately, while the group was certainly talented, there was not much happening in the way of cash flow.
But they still wanted a safety blanket in the form of a "studio".
What do I mean by a safety blanket?
For anyone pursuing a career independently, which covers a lot of entertainment professionals, there is a lingering uncertainty in not having the traditional career path.
A 'career path', for you realists out there, is a psychological safety blanket. It doesn't really exist, but it certainly makes a person feel better if they are suffering through an awful job or a career setback.
"It's OK, I'm on the right career path", they say.
The only reason the illusion of a career path exists, is because there are actual employers out there to feed the myth.
In the film, TV or media industries, this is not really the case. The employers exist, but you are cast as one of a million plebians trying to get in, and the walls are allegedly VERY high.
The truth is that there are many ways to get in. But they are not as clear and uniform as most industries.
And, for some people, this uncertainty is too much to bear, so they will latch onto something that makes the whole endeavour feel "real". Something that feels like it is on the "right career path".
Like an indie film studio.
Except that, unless the studio is really producing and selling content, even on a low emerging level, it is not really on any path at all.
So the whole thing folded.
But I don't think this is a bad thing.
There is a reason many businesses start small and build up.
It's called 'overheads'. The cost of running a business.
Running a small business may be a dent to your ego, but it also makes you lean enough to grow at a sustainable rate.
In this case, the studio overlord jumped in too deep, starting a studio when he should have just had a desk.
My friend has no safety blanket any more.
But that fear breeds creativity.
Creativity gives him a better chance at success than the safety blanket ever did.