In the past we all knew where we were. We made films. Simple. Write them, film them, show them. Ahhh. The simple life. What exactly is our role now?
Looking at the film2.0 pioneers its all about making something bigger than just a film. The film is part of a bigger project. This might be Robert Greenwald whose films are part of a bigger social movement. But it could also be the work of ZeFrank whose films are part of a bigger dialogue with the audience. Myself, I'm trying to experiment with characters - so Archie (from Circumference) is bigger than the film. He is a character outside of the film - he has his own blog and communication with the outside world. I'd also like to see him do the commentary on the DVD. A film is usually based on a theme or idea. But now we have more ways to explore that idea than just using film. We can have plugins, facebook apps, blogs, wikis, forums, internet art - and loads of things that you haven't invented for us yet.
What is the name of this 'bigger thing'? I don't know. I don't think its the same as those cliche terms - franchise or brand. Perhaps it doesn't need a name. Maybe its just a project. Or movement. Or art.
Who should lead the charge with these new ideas? I think it should be writers. They need to be involved. They know the characters. They know the central idea and theme and are exploring it already. All the time. It's already part of our process. We are primed. So writers - keep suggesting spin offs and new ideas.
Image of Dorothy Arzner (1900-1979) - pioneering film director. Born in San Francisco, she was the only American woman director to make a successful transition from the silent era to sound.