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TFF 2012: Three Things You Should Know About Short-Form Filmmaking

Thompson on Hollywood By Valentina Valentini | Thompson on Hollywood April 25, 2012 at 6:41PM

The Tribeca Talks panel “The Future is Short: Storytelling in the Digital Age” offers simple and telling information about how to get your content out there and maybe make some money back. The landscape is still fairly disjointed, with a few too many special sauces brewing in the pot.
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Tribeca Panel

The Tribeca Talks panel “The Future is Short: Storytelling in the Digital Age” offers simple and telling information about how to get your content out there and maybe make some money back. The landscape is still fairly disjointed, with a few too many special sauces brewing in the pot.

The financial future may not be as bleak as it looks.

For documentary director-producer Morgan Spurlock, the most exciting part of creating online content is the fact that as the filmmaker, he owns half of his intellectual property.

“Having a greater stake in what you’re making is huge as a filmmaker,” he says. “The most valuable thing you have is your IP. Through our deals with Yahoo and Hulu, I own 50 percent. Maybe there’s less budget upfront, but a greater ownership in the long run is a much better investment in yourself.”

At The New York Times' newly launched Op-Docs program – a video Op-Ed of sorts – its series producer and curator Jason Spingarn-Koff says that they either share the copyright with the filmmaker or the filmmaker owns it outright, but either way they can release across multiple platforms and are not beholden to the NYT.

YouTube’s foray into original programming is still trying to find it’s footing, but they don’t claim to be a licenser in the traditional sense.

This article is related to: Tribeca Film Festival, Festivals, Festivals, Filmmaker Toolkit, YouTube, New Media & Technology, Hulu, Morgan Spurlock


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.