Why The Future of “The Independent” Film is Lost

I really meant to say “fucked” but opted for a milder word in the title.

I’m not going to say it’s all lost because it’s not. But the following two things have solidified that the traditional route for independent film and a certain independent magazine are not long for this world.

1) Here is an email exchange. Read as if I’m forwarding an email to you. Names have been changed blah blah blah….


from: An Independent Film Magazine
to: Eric Harnden
date: Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Hi Eric,

Thanks for reaching out. We have a pending grant request to get enough money to overhaul our site. We are very aware that it needs to be done. Until we raise the money, we don’t have resources to hire anyone. So unless you want to volunteer…

I don’t think returning to print is a viable solution for us. We are working on a book right now, and may publish more books in the future. But not the magazine.

All best,
Miss So and So
Editor, An Independent Film Magazine

from: Eric Harnden
to: An Independent Film Magazine
date: Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Dear Sirs,

I’ve been involved in independent film for five years and this is the first I’ve heard of your magazine.

I think that’s a problem that I want to help solve.

One of the reasons this is concerning to me is that there is still a big “missing ingredient” to indie film and your publication can fill it.

I have recently been looking into becoming an independent film “aggregator”, if you will, and came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be able to do the job. I sure would like you guys to perhaps fill that need, then.

With your fine history, I think it’s quite doable. With just enough social media push it could be overwhelmingly so.

What are your plans for future print publications? Would this be covered in your “Phase Four” agenda? I think a continued print version is vital.

To get more of an idea of where I’m coming from about the missing ingredient/the aggregator/the cool DJ concept for indie filmmaking, please see my post here: http://www.meetup.com/Independent-Filmmakers-of-the-Inland-Empire-Meetup-Group/messages/boards/thread/38512032 and listen to that referenced podcast.

Let me know what you think. I am very interested in what your future plans are and how I can help.



I mean WTF! They have completely missed the boat. Did they read my email. Am I completely off the island? I don’t think I asked for a job?! Holy Toledo! I don’t think they understand finance, marketing or business 101. “We need a grant to continue”? I just don’t get it. I wrote my email as a reply to a mass email asking for advertisers. Someone help me understand. Should I have worded things differently? Of course I want to “volunteer”. All I do is volunteer to help indie filmmakers. That should have been apparent in my signature text (which I have not included in this post). But how about a mission statement at least? I think they’re all over the map. This is an online film magazine that used to be in print.

2) I said there were two things that brought me to this conclusion. The second? Three views on my original blog post and I think those were all me.

Please comment below.

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