Technology is the Great Equalizer: A Conversation About Money, Movies and Marketing
by Ernesto Leotta
- CANNES NEXT: The NEXT adventure at this year's Cannes Film Festival has started with flying colours
As we all know, one of the goals of the Marché du Film is to anticipate the needs of the industry and explore new potential and possibilities for a sustainable future. In this sense, NEXT aims to offer a privileged lab to kick-start ideas, engage professionals and examine new challenges through round-tables, pitching sessions and workshops. A very inspirational one was that held yesterday by Scilla Andreen at NEXT's stand at the Cannes Film Market.
Andreen is the CEO and founder of Indieflix, a subscription-based streaming service that helps filmmakers to translate their artistic vision into commercial success.
After a brief introduction by NEXT's coordinator, Clara Massot, who reminded the audience about the two “X” keywords at NEXT – “exchange” and “experiment” – Andreen started talking about her own beginnings.
“I see myself as a cowgirl, constantly exploring and learning from this mysterious cross-media world. Not so long ago, I was even scared to buy a plane ticket on the internet. Then I was very sceptical about the whole online crowdfunding process,” she confessed. “But I soon realised that crowdfunding is not about making money; it's about showing your story to people while raising a little budget.”
Ever since she embraced this new “sharing” philosophy, she has become convinced of the importance of conversation: communicating every feeling or idea about your own project with the world by any means possible, in order to get people to talk about it. “Once you get people to watch your film, you monetise. Don't be afraid of social networks,” said the Indieflix CEO to her enthusiastic listeners. “They bring out the authenticity in all of us and play a key role in getting our long-awaited validation from the audience.”
Andreen's inspiring keynote speech was eventually enhanced by the audience's questions and comments. When a young filmmaker asked her how to fundraise her project at Cannes, when all she had was a trailer on a USB key, Andreen replied: “Just believe in it. All you have to do is find ways to connect with people: they will listen. Walk around the festival area with a pen and paper, and collect email addresses. Each of them might click on the link you send in your message and automatically become a new member of your audience.”
Views are, in fact, fundamental on Indieflix, which also has a special feature to make it stand out from the other platforms, called the Royalty Pool Minutes model. “Filmmakers keep their rights, and we take 30% of our gross subscription revenue and put it into the RPM pool,” explained Andreen. “Filmmakers are paid for every minute of their film that is watched, so if 10,000 people watch only one minute of your film... you'll be paid for 10,000 minutes!”