Eric Kohn at Spout posted a report from SXSW's thorough panels, summing it down to five interesting things he overheard. He has a long, good missive from SPC's Michael Barker:
For independent filmmakers, it’s no different from what it’s been for the last fifty years. One is getting your film financed, two is getting your film distributed. It’s really the variables of toughness that changed with the times. I’m only saying that because I don’t think, from the filmmaker’s perspective, it is a worse time than ever before. I think, in some ways, it’s a better time, especially if you are involved with lower budget films. A lot has to do with the money, which no one seems to be talking about here. If you have a lower budget film, you see the number of opportunities for your film to be distributed. There has been no more exciting time for distribution today. Twenty-five years ago, fifteen years ago, there were literally only two models for which you released a film. One was to release it platform — it’s an independent film, an art film. Another was to release it for television in a very mainstream sort of way, which is the customary studio way. Now with the new technologies, you have many opportunities to get your film seen. There is a perfect opportunity for your film, but where the danger is — is if you choose the wrong model for your film.