Indie Movies and the Importance of Sharing

May 7th, 2010 by Janos Honkonen

One of the things that makes Iron Sky special is our direct contact with our fans and our activity all around the net. Especially so since all this is on a full swing even now, over a year before the film will come out! Our community has helped us in several ways, from giving us concrete ideas and materials via Wreckamovie to helping us finance the movie by buying merchandise or investing directly in the movie. This help is not cosmetic or a gimmick, it’s very important for us in a very concrete way, and we are grateful for everybody who has participated like this! The ideas are very valuable and the more financing we get from our fans instead of the business side of the things, the more we can keep our artistic vision in our own hands.

There is a third thing people can do that really helps us, but it’s something they don’t necessarily think of as being useful or important. Moreover this is something that’s very easy to do and also free. This something is SHARING.

When we publish something interesting on our blog, the website, Facebook, YouTube or other place we frequent, go ahead and share it to your pals in social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, forums you frequent and in your blog; Digg the article and submit it to Reddit, and so on. Also, drop in the link with the stuff you share, because those red dots on the map are very important for us.

Sharing is Caring

Why is this important? How is the fact that some guy or gal shares our teaser or blog entry to his pals in Facebook actually hugely useful for Iron Sky?

The thing is, publicity is enormously important for indie projects that are not backed by big money. When people think about movie publicity, they think about just getting people to the theaters when the movie is done – and that’s how it might be for the big studio backed movies. Those filmmakers can announce the movie, start producing it and then have the studio throw a few million euros for the marketing when the film is almost done. That’s really not how small or even multi million euro budget indie movies work, especially if it’s aimed for a wide theater distribution.

Indie movie makers need good publicity and buzz right from the moment they start making the film and trying to pitch it to production companies, distributors and people who finance the project. They must convince all those people that the idea is viable, it has potential and that there are people who are interested in it – and keep convincing them until the movie is done. For every Paranormal Activity there’s a dozen films that couldn’t get the buzz going. This is part of why indie projects seem to take an age to be completed: you don’t hear about big studio movies until they are almost done, but indie movies make noise right from the pre-production phase.

(Well, sometimes indie movies do take ages to make… )

Support Iron Sky

So, for projects like Iron Sky publicity not just about the amount of potential viewers: at the production stage it’s almost literal currency with which we can get resources and freedom to make the movie we want to. A project on the scale of Iron Sky can’t get by on crowd funding and the personal finances of the creators alone, although both of those are often extremely important sources of finance. Projects of this size must deal and co-operate with the traditional side of movie business to function – and man, those guys are all about “how much, with whom and how many times”.

Distributors, investors and other such parties are very interested in how much buzz and potential a project has, and these people love numbers and figures. When negotiating with them, website visitor statistics, teaser viewership amounts, numbers of Facebook fans and amount of demands turn out to be cold hard cash and at times the most effective bargaining tool. Remember those red dots on the Demand map? That’s like catnip to the business people. “Here’s our movie idea, and here’s our ready made audience that can’t wait to see the movie – so give us resources and free hands to do our stuff!” It’s also the matter of artistic integrity: the more there is buzz about the film, the less chance there is that they panic and start demanding changes that would make the movie more “commercially viable”.

Why Demand Iron Sky?

Don’t forget that Iron Sky is not the only indie project like this – check out for example Snowblind, The Cosmonaut, Project London and I’m Not Harry Jenson and give them a shout out too!

So, when it comes to indie movies, sharing is caring. Act now and join the fight for a new way of making movies: from fans to fans – with fans!


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