We live in a world where, like music, people all of a sudden feel entitled to films for free, why should you have to pay for music and films when everyone who makes them is a millionaire right! It's also easier to put a film out now than ever, more people are doing it than ever which is great but does that mean there are loads of great films out there now? No, there are still the same amount of great films, there's just more really, really bad ones making it harder for the good ones to get seen.
I was chastised by a scientist a while back for suggesting that the worlds of art and science should work closer together to make use of each others expertise, science is about analysis, statistics, solid facts, years of research, art is about expression, emotion and story telling but this particular individual felt that no, the scientific community should be responsible for its own film-making and media output, presumably on the assumption that, because they know the results of their research on the subject matter, they also know the best way to present that in an engaging and thought provoking way to the lay man which is, of course, complete nonsense. That is why I suggested the two worlds should work closer in the first place.
Introducing Vimeo Tip Jar and more Creator Services from Vimeo Staff on Vimeo.
If every person who had viewed A Ray of Light had made a voluntary donation of £1 then the film would have raised an extra £13,000 which would go towards recouping my costs, marketing and promoting "Of Shark and Man" and making more films to highlight important environmental issues. It would also show that people accept and appreciate that there is value in work like this and it deserves to be rewarded by helping the film-maker have the luxury of perhaps a few less sleepless nights worrying about the next bill to come through the letterbox, food, stuff like that...
People have complained for years, myself included, at the quality, or rather the complete lack of it, in media representation of sharks and the ocean environment, through expensive, yet completely soulless, cynical and contrived shows and series like "Shark Men," "Whale Wars" and most of the stuff we see on Shark Week and the simple way to get better, is to support the people who make better quality media. Shows like the aforementioned ones are merely pretty wrapping around the commercials, they're not there to save the world, they're there to make you watch the adverts and buy shit you don't need, that's all.
How do you do support the film-makers who want to make the stuff you want to see? Financially, that's how, if the money isn't there to make proper shark related films, then they won't get made, simple, so if you watch the video above, I have decided to add Tip Jar to A Ray of Light, Love Sharks Love Fiji and The Sanctuary so if you like it, you think it's well made, you like the message or the way it's filmed, please make an affordable donation which will help me keep making these types of films and giving a voice to all of us who want a better world for our marine creatures.
To go back to Behind Blue Glass as well, in 2013 Vimeo are launching a Pay to View service meaning that finally, regardless of where you are in the world, for a very fair one off payment, you can stream the film whenever you like for the rest of your life. As soon as Vimeo implement it, I will be adding BBG to it and will of course be announcing it here, the mailing list and on the Facebook Page.
I make these films for the message and I make these films for you, I appreciate your support, it is one of the main things that keeps me going and I hope you also see the value in financially supporting independent film. Nobody is owed a living, but I do believe that effort, hard work, get up and go and artistic creativity do deserve to be rewarded.
I would love to read comments from you all about this, particularly from other film-makers and also all the people who make an effort to watch low budget productions as well.
Over to you...