Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Making it fit - Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

Although I don’t quite live by “Innovate or die”, I’m contemplating the switch from the conventional feature film format to a 4-part series, not just out of necessity but curiosity, eagerness to experiment and the prospect of creating something flexible and versatile. How about an online event? Or both?!

My former professor and DIY guru Jon Reiss has done it in a slightly different way: He produced, directed and shot a film called Bomb It, a feature documentary on the global graffiti movement, which he is pretty much releasing himself. With a lot of footage left, which didn’t make it into Bomb It, and many countries with a promising street art culture unvisited, he embarked on his journey to produce Bomb It “2”.

As the months went by, new distribution methods became viable options for more flexible, independent filmmakers and Reiss decided to release the second installment of Bomb It as a webseries on the website Babelgum, an online host of an eclectic mix of independent media projects.

I’m playing devil’s advocate here but what would happen if I as an artist released my project both as a feature length film as well as a series. Is it possible for them to exist simultaneously without interfering with each other? Depending on how you consume content, in a theater, VOD or through the online film library of your choice, you can choose what format you’d like to watch it in. Like myself, maybe you don’t have enough time and prefer to watch it in shorter parts. The feature would be a stand-alone item just like the series, which will be re-edited from the same material, with additional scenes that didn’t make it into the full-length film. That could be an incentive to be curious about both versions and it would do justice to each medium.

But the artist in me asks: if I’m catering to the demands of the marketplace in that significant way, does that compromise the artistic integrity of the project? Or more so, does it compromise the artistic integrity if two editions are created from the same footage – a feature length film and a series – tailored to each medium. Or does it in fact enhance it? As a purist you might have serious qualms about it. Food for thought.

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