Yesterday I had breakfast with a studio executive from one of the Majors here in Los Angeles. Much of what we talked about revolved around changes in the movie industry and how many of the studio folks are slow to implement new ideas.
With an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 independent movies flooding the market each year, the movie industry is experiencing what happens to any industry when cheap labor, inexpensive production technology and efficient distribution enters the equation. Your once high priced product is now competing with cheaply produced, comparable goods.
In the past, studios controlled distribution which provided immunity from outside competition. So even if you made a movie – odds were good it would never get into the mainstream market. But the internet has forever changed this. These days, any filmmaker can get their title into digital markets like iTunes, Hulu and Amazon.
To put it into perspective, let’s say you have the biggest and best Frozen Yogurt shop on your street. Then one day, over 10,000 small Frozen Yogurt shop competitors open shop next to you. What would happen? Would you spend more to market? Would you create flavors nobody else could emulate? How would you keep the business?
This is the dilemma with the studios. And this is also your dilemma as an indie filmmaker. With all the competition, how will you make your movies profitable?