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Despite how the press portrays Hollywood as all glitz and glamour, there are a lot of hard working have-nots toiling away in the film industry. These have-nots don’t get the notoriety of their more famous brethren, which makes them, all-in-all, a desperate bunch. This makes YouTube’s recent venture up to the Sundance Film Festival a pretty smart move. If you want to get into the film rental business, and the big names aren’t biting, then start trolling for the have-nots. And where better to find them than at Sundance?
Let’s take YouTube’s action as both cynical and strategic, and put it aside. Because, if the have-nots bite, then one of the ultimate beneficiaries of this plan will be us. Each year independent filmmakers show off their wares at Sundance, and a small handful wind up being well worth watching. Problem is, the major studios aren’t so keen on cutting distribution deals, which prevents us from seeing them. YouTube is offering a new approach that eliminates the middleman, gives filmmakers a way of promoting their product (while making a few bucks), and gives us a chance to see some good cinema.
YouTube says it will make available five films from the 2009 and 2010 festivals for rental starting this Friday and running through Sunday, January 31. YouTube says it has also signed up other U.S. partners from which it will offer a small collection of rental videos in the weeks ahead. And lastly, YouTube will promote its rental program among independents at Sundance with a “Filmmakers Wanted” campaign.
YouTube’s advice: get your checkout account ready, pop some corn, and stock up on swedish fish--it’s showtime!
Image Credit: YouTube