Guest Post Simon Pulman: Transmedia for Low Budget Filmmakers
Today’s guest post is from Simon Pulman who writes an incredibly interesting and informative blog on transmedia: Transmythology.
To me transmedia is the future for independent film – and perhaps all film. It is already happening all around us – whether we realize it or not. I essentially backed into transmedia on Bomb It. We knew we were generating way more content than would fit in one feature. In 2005 – our thought was that we would ultimately make 6 features from the material! But we ended up producing a webseries for Babelgum which was became a transmedia extension of Bomb It – realized after the fact. This in turn led to Bomb It 2 which was conceived of as a webseries for Babelgum – but still ties into the Bomb It “brand”. There is no way that I would have done another graffiti feature this past year – but a web series was a much more manageable way to keep exploring the concept of Bomb It. Simon addresses these issues in his post that follows. (BTW – this is a two part post. Part 2 will run next Thursday).
Transmedia for Low Budget Filmmakers
Part I: Why Consider Transmedia?
I’m going to assume for the purposes at this article that you have read Think Outside The Box Office, and are familiar with the principles presented within. I don’t think an artist of any kind should proceed with a project without at least reading and considering Jon’s ideas. We’re moving towards an age where personal branding and fan engagement will become increasingly important strategies in differentiating yourself from the crowd.
Due to the difficulties inherent in financing a feature film today, an increasing number of filmmakers are going DIY – foregoing years of fundraising and investor courtship to produce something relatively cheaply using inexpensive cameras and small non-union crews. This concept should be familiar to anybody who has read Robert Rodriguez’s Rebel Without a Crew.
The downside of this trend for filmmakers is that the proliferation of lower budget films makes it very difficult to stand out from the crowd. Unlike in Rodriguez’s day, merely making a film cheaply is no longer an interesting enough story to ensure that people pay attention. The result is that even well scripted and produced low budget films are not guaranteed to find an audience.
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