Amazon Video Direct and the Amazon Prime Channel have begun taking down independent movies. And that worldwide.
The justifications are just meaningless phrases. Has been there before. Since Amazon ever bothered a small nipple blitzer or a little too much blood on the artwork. Retouched and re-submitted and you were online. This is no longer possible, because the most important thing is the famous last sentence: “The title may not be submitted again”. Bamm!
This is extremely reminiscent of how YouTube began to prevent the monetization of videos. Even then, under the “cover” that the videos supposedly do not correspond to a certain standard ect… ect.
Now the same seems to happen on Amazon Video Direct.
Amazon and Netflix are currently trumpeting out that they want to focus on their own content and pumping sums beyond the 15 billion (in 2019) in the production of their own series and feature films. The entire streaming landscape seems to be changing, and not for the good of the indie filmmaker.
For decades we were blocked by the structures of the distributors (cinema video DVD), the power was almost limitless. In the ’80s or’ 90s a separate film to “release” was almost impossible. If you were lucky, it was about a few festival profits to attract attention. But getting the movie to a broad audience was simply not possible. Then came the Internet and with him YouTube and Co. The last 10 years have been good. That is, good for us filmmakers, but bad for the big players in the business. I mean, of course, is already fierce, if instead of 23,000,000.00 USD only 22,999,999.99 USD earned – these indie filmmakers screw up a really everything.
In addition, one may not believe how naughty the indie scene is, they are simply turning new stories. Imagine that. NEW STORIES? How stupid is it, where the sheep … I mean moviegoers show that remakes of remakes make billions at the box office. Who needs new stories or new faces?
And now? Cinema & Co. are dying out, the streaming services are getting bigger and bigger, the televisions at home are technically already far above the standard of most cinemas. So what’s left to the big guys is different than marking your territory. It started on YouTube, it got harder and harder for indie commercials to earn at least a penny with commercials, and now it may end up with the biggest VOD service Amazon Prime just plugging its video portal for indie film.
The bad thing about it I do not think that they do that. I’ve been in the film business myself for more than 20 years, that’s normal business behavior. Bad as a filmmaker I find our audience. And now I turn my comment 180 ° with a new evil BILD headline:
Yes, the biggest problem of the independent filmmaker are not filming permits, authorities, too little budget or big film distributors. No, the biggest problem of an independent filmmaker is his AUDIENCE!
First and foremost, everyone assumes that a filmmaker is a millionaire. That’s just as true, as the fact that every indie band flies to their gig with the private jet and bathes in the evening in the hotel room in coke. Independent filmmakers and musicians are 99% of normal working people who do not fly in their spare time with the money saved to Mallorca, but make a movie and record an album. In other words, they are absolute idealists.
This is opposed by the CUSTOMER. The customer of independent films is for the most part also against the mainstream. That’s only natural. Mainstream evil – Independent good. Sounds pretty clear at first. But this is the biggest problem. Because if the filmmaker and / or the band have finally managed to complete their project, then they have no choice but to make the project available on the known platforms and to sell.
Well, and of course you do that on a small independent platform like Vimeo.com. As you have full control, you do not have to assign rights to large companies and can deliver directly to the film fan. Sounds good. Only that does not interest the customer. He is against the mainstream. And to pay MONEY for films and music, that’s something of 1990 and mainstream.
And then you realize as a filmmaker: wait, no pig lends or buys the movie. But you get every day dozens of emails and comments under his now desperate advertising postings on Facebook that read: When will the movie finally on AMAZON or YouTube. Find what you are doing. But Vimeo costs money and I have the 2.99 genuinely not left, in addition one must give there its credit card number, oh no. (Send from my new $ 1200 iPhone).
So what did you do in recent years as a filmmaker: You put the movie on the big platforms as well as Amazon Prime and YouTube. Because what do you want in the first place as an idealist? You want the project to be heard and seen. And now it beats back. Suddenly the film sees thousands of people and downloads the music. But as a maker, you get from the big services only CENT AMOUNTS for hundreds of views. Peanuts. But everyone believes you get huge sums of the tens of billions of sales that always come in the stock market news. No, these billions remain with the provider. And as a coronation one is still outlawed, because you’ve finally joined forces with the big ones, the MAINSTREAM.
Do you know how difficult it is to write something like this and stay calm and calm ?!
On Amazon you get per Streamed HOUR (60min) 0.06 Euro. In other words, the customer gets a 90 min movie for the price of 9 cents. Before tax, mind you. On YouTube even less – depending on activated ad blocking software. But cool? Finally we show the mainstream where the hammer hangs. Internet is free and must remain free. Keep up the good work of your filmmaker and musician. You are the mouthpiece of the new movement.
Of course, not everyone is like this and everyone who reads this now says to himself: I do not, I understand that. I know that even a filmmaker or musician needs money to live, as does a baker or lawyer. But why does not anyone pay?
I’ll tell you why. Because the customers and opponents of the big bad companies and the mainstream just these same companies day after day on the glue. They offer you free access to millions of titles – you can zap between “Game of Thrones” and the “Jungle Camp” without having to enter a credit card number. Everything there and to an unlimited extent. But if you think that’s free, you think the earth is a slice.
YouTube bucks you with ads, Facebook sells your data, Amazon collects via Prime membership and Netflix raises its customer-friendly charged fee year after year. And now they have made us dependent on independent filmmakers and close their portals. In other words, we all together have forged the sword with which we are about to be slain.
All that needs to be done out there to break this system is to deal with a filmmaker and / or musician as you do with your baker. You go, find your bread and pay for it.
Matthias Olof Eich