Sunday, April 5, 2009

Making money making movies

"Without money, there is no art."

Actually, it depends on how you look at it. There is lots of art that was made for free, or for very little money actually derived from, or earmarked for, the art itself. This is where our infamous day job comes in. But actually making art full-time? Yeah, that takes money. It takes making money from your art. It requires monetizing your art.

Or at least that's been the traditional thinking. Certainly, if you ask big record labels or movie studios who are in the business of selling little plastic discs, they'll tell you it does.

But Chris Anderson speculated, and I believe he's correct, that anything that is digital will be free. In that case, how does an artist survive? He (or she) survives by monetizing something, but not necessarily their art.

This same debate has been raging in the publishing world for a couple of years, and particularly in the newspaper industry. Now, the numbers are finally in, and they do not point to paid content as the way to right Big Newspapers' sinking ship.

Somewhere in here, there are lessons for filmmakers, since, as we know, our content can and will be free, in some cases, by design.

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