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Cinema Zero - What's Next?



Cinema Zero is still fresh and new, but already, in the short time it's been up and running, things have really taken off, and I'm so inspired to see how into the idea people really are.

So, well, now it's time to talk about what Cinema Zero can still be. And seeing as this is a platform for all of you - filmmakers and audiences - I've got some proposals I wanted to share. Take a look and vote for what you want next from Cinema Zero.

1. Digital premieres

What if you could catch a brand new, literally never-before-seen film, streamed live? The movie would be played at a specific time, with a follow-up Q&A with the director immediately after, and then a filmmaker tip jar for you to donate a buck or two to the filmmaker, in order to help them cover festival submission fees.

In addition to this, the film, Q&A and tip jar would be live for 24 hours after the event, before it'll all expire.

There'd be no payment to Cinema Zero - this would purely be about finding ways to help filmmakers trying to pay their way with festival submissions, whilst you get to check out a first-look of a film.

2. Expanded talks and roundtables

The podcasts are fresh and new, but things are looking really good on that side. I'm enjoying meeting all the filmmakers, finding out how they do what they do, and just what matters to them in getting their films put together. But what if things could go further?

I'm toying with opening up the Cinema Zero conversations to more than just the filmmakers featured, and I'm interested in whether this is something you might all be interested in?

Imagine I can get some Hollywood luminaries to talk about what they do, or filmmakers who've been doing it a while, sharing what they know about the real grit and gristle of the business, is this something you might want to hear more about?

3. A full digital distribution model

Easily the most ambitious idea I'm thinking about here is to build in a broader distribution arm to Cinema Zero. By this I mean actually getting films out into the wild on a more permanent basis, onto platforms such as iTunes and Amazon Video On Demand and possible theatrical.

Except with a twist.

What would be different? Well, the ideas are still being formulated, but fundamentally, it would be an open model. From submission process, to the percentages being made by the filmmakers, it'd be a transparent process from start to finish.

In addition, imagine we went through the process of getting a film from submission to market, talking about the ups, downs and struggles associated - from designing posters, and getting the right codecs, through to getting write-ups and building noise. We'd talk about sales numbers, and just what works (or doesn't) when it comes to a film landing in the modern world of distribution. Basically, I wonder if we can't blow away some of the myths, whilst seeing if it really is possible to get more great indies to market.

Now, before you cast your vote, please bear in mind that we might do none of it, or possibly all of it. But whatever happens, it all takes time and a lot of planning, and so that's why I'm reaching out to hear what you think now, so that I can plot a course as the site moves forward.

Making Cinema Zero constantly better is as much about trying to improve the landscape of indie film as it is about seeing cool movies. So I really hope you can take five seconds to tell me what you want this to become. Your voice matters.

So think about your choices - you only get one vote - and I'll keep the poll open for a month (till June 15th), when I'll publish the results. I have no certain idea what's next for Cinema Zero, but I know we've got a ton of potential, and it'd be awesome to get your thoughts.

Again, cinema really is magic.