Some years ago, I recall a conversation I had with some fellow producers, mainly indie producers, about this new business model Netflix was creating.
The question eventually we asked each other was, “Would you forgo a theatrical release for a Netflix release?”
All of us answered, “I don’t know.”
As the years, and I mean very few, have developed in Netflix’s new business model of creating content with some indie purchases, I would say our answer (singular) has changed.
The qualifier now is, “I (our collective producers) would take a Netflix release for a wider audience.”
I think the issue today most filmmakers have is the age-old-adage of big screen vs. small screen. Silver screen vs. glow tube. Did you know movies screens used to be silver-coated?
One of the early-adopters for Netflix’s model was Dana Brunetti, producer of House of Cards. He saw the path.
The bottom line for my indie filmmaker friends ended up being we would like a theatrical release – the big screen – over a glow tube release. But, the defining criteria would eventually become we want the widest audience possible, and Netflix (or, Amazon, etc.) could provide that.
Then, I asked my filmmaker buddies, “If we made a movie in the woods, would anyone come to see it?”
So, I’m drinking by myself now. Hit me up for cocktails and film talk.