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On piano-playing cats and the future of film making

Written by Anthony Tattum on 26 Aug 09 at 10:20am

I am no expert on film making. There, I have said it, so my following comments are based on observations and research. Film making is changing. More specifically: how to make a living from it as a small indie.

Nora playing the piano

Nora playing the piano

I was participating in a conference, Hello Digital, a screen and digital media conference and festival which we [Big Cat] helped organise last year. Film makers were asking a guy from Channel 4 how to make money from film making any more when people download them for free?

The internet has forced a lot of traditional industries to rethink their business models. The media, high street retail and insurance to name but a few have seen revenues decimated by online competition.

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Rupert Neate reported in the Telegraph today that the Google owned website YouTube has extended a scheme to share advertising revenues with prolific creators to include one-off video which “goes viral” and proves very popular. The notion of employing global social platforms to distribute content and gain infamy or money is nothing new.

Lauren Luke, a 27-year old from Newcastle-upon-Tyne has dropped out of school and become Britain’s most successful YouTube video creator offering beauty how-to tips.

At present only US-based users will be able to participate, but YouTube has said it intends to extend the scheme internationally. But does this mean that to make a living our highly creative film makers will have to “sell out” and produce piano-playing kitten videos or film their friends doing death defying stunts?

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