Growing your audience? Give me a break!

There is all this talk if you work in indie film about “growing your audience”. It’s a crazy, sold-out world we live in, but this one really bothers me. The idea is that you have to come up with all sorts of tricks, including your blog and facebook page and a ton of other stuff that is endlessly discussed and debated, that will spread the word about how great you are, or how great your film is.

It’s completely backwards thinking. There is never any guarantee that people will want to see your film, but isn’t the main goal to make a good film? It’s hard to make a good film. It’s impossible to make it with an eye on whether someone else will like it or not. You can only hope your tastes jibe with an audience.

Learning and talking about new ways to sell your crap, doesn’t make your film any better. Forget about all that shit. It’s not about selling, it’s about making a good film.

Do you think the audience gives a shit about your ideas of growing your audience? Then why are you talking about it? The audience is interested in your ideas about the world and the art your working in. They are hungry for that.

Hollywood, with far more expertise and a virtual monopoly on distribution, still doesn’t fare that well selling their crap by packaging it as polished as they do. Once in a while, they can sell a dog to everyone, but they’re professionals. That’s all they think about. Selling the film. Finding an angle. Saturating the media. But if you ask any of them, they would tell you that it is almost impossible to sell a film that no one wants to see.

Ted Hope thinks if you are making a film and just hoping that an audience comes to see it that you are not living in the real world. It’s not that he’s wrong, but that he’s not right every time. Of course we’re not living in the real world. That’s part of what’s great about film. It’s all a fantasy. It’s a fantasy thinking you’ll get your film made. It’s a fantasy thinking you’ll get an actor, or a star. It’s a fantasy that your film will get distribution. The film itself is a fucking fantasy. And sometimes, not that often, a film makes a lot of money. And then whose world are we living in? It happens. No one said it would be easy.

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