Sundance kicking off, the first festival of the year.
How important is it gekko it is the most important festival for independent filmmakers.
It is the ultimate destination, and every year, the wonderful thing about sundance is you can go in, not even know which film you are seeing, and you will always see something interesting.
More often than not, you will be surprised.
As an attendee -- but who attends?
Who are the most aboard people?
There are entertainment professionals and journalists that attend the festival.
There is a lot of business, even though the return on the dollar is not the same as it used to be.
So it there is a new study that came out that only 2% of what is invested in these films is recouped.
There is this idea that maybe the average person -- the average budget is $750,000, which is too hi, probably.
You're talking about $3 billion -- 2% is recovered gekko yes, so a very tough business.
A couple of films get the great deals that really have a great budget.
Focus features, buying these films.
With numbers like that, why is anybody in this business?
We just saw the numbers.
Only 185,000 films get accepted, and then fewer of those actually get distribution.
It is unbelievable.
High risk investment, but the wonderful thing is that there are always a couple of films that really go to define filmmaking.
Like "blair witch," which changed the game.
And they go on to get recognized.
If you are a filmmaker, does it matter which festival you are at?
I would say that sundance is still the golden standard.
7000 people attending this festival.
I remember at one time sundance was an upstart.
It does not sound like it anymore.
7000 sounds like establishment.
It is establishment, but because it is such a high risk investment and environment, just getting into sundance is a great step of approval.
Tv is doing so well.
There are so many great tv shows on.
How does that change the kind of film being brought to festivals?
You have a wonderful independent filmmaker who makes the first film, like lena dunham , "tiny furniture," and then she went on to do "girls." ibo are seeing that the film model is not really working, so they are working on tv or figuring out ways to connect with their audiences more directly.
Are the films getting better because of tv?
I think they need to and some are, but there is a lot of films that are made that honestly are not great, but you never know.
What about the fact that we are seeing cable networks to sundance?
Cnn has made it clear they are in the market to buy films.
Are they the only ones?
Is this new?
There are amazing documentaries out there.
Sundance always has a fantastic selection on the documentary competition, and those films are not that expensive to make.
It is actually for the filmmaker, it they sell it to cnn, they can still hold onto some of the rights.
If you are a documentary filmmaker, is this the time to be one?
Two years ago they were not buying films.
Absolutely, and hbo is still buying a lot of documentaries.
They sound like they are in a better negotiating position, too, because they can hold onto more rights.
How has same-day release changed the game in the movie business?
We did our first same-they film release -- same-day film release.
It is still changing.
Not all the big films, hollywood films follow the model, but the fact is everyone is consuming in different ways.
Some people -- you're better off at least having the chance of getting the person sitting at home, even though that will generate much more revenue having them go to the theater.
When you create the awareness, if you wait six months to then be able to be able to show your film on dvd or on demand, then people forgot about it.
7000 people show up to sundance.
I cannot imagine how many festivals there are right now.
How much of a threat is this to big-time studios?
Now upstarts, if they get into a festival like sundance, they can do it all on their own.
They can, but to really have access to the big audiences, you need to spend $20 million, $40 million on marketing, and that is where the independent film gets sidetracked and boxed in.
What is your prediction for 2014? there is a big award show coming up, the academy awards.
Which film is in the best position to win.
-- two win?
I am hoping some of the more independent-minded creative films like "her," "american hustle" -- what is your favorite?
I love all of the american
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