Independent film exec Mark Gill went all Old Testament prophet at the LA Film Festival, predicting a funding famine for small and mid-sized films. A famine we haven't noticed yet because of the wealth of successful big budget films in theaters this summer. More fire, brimstone and Robert Downey Jr. after the jump.
The party responsible for the death of the small and mid-budget film, according to Gill, is democracy. The digital revolution has put the power to make films into the hands of every helot, resulting in a ten-fold increase in the number of submissions to Sundance every year. There has not been an corollary increase in quality.
Most of the films are flat-out awful," said Mr. Gill, the head of the independent company The Film Department. "Trust me, I have had to sit through tons of them over the years. Let me put it another way: the digital revolution is here," he said, and boy, is it underwhelming.
Similarly skeptical was one Robert Downey Jr.
What is creepy and obvious is that the market was suddenly flooded with morons who thought, ‘If I've got $500,000, I can make a baseball cap that has a company name on it and say I'm a filmmaker.
His bitterness is understandable.
So apparently this means seven years of famine for insightful dramedies about families reuniting for thanksgiving and any movie about lesbians.
While Gill's predictions may not be a complete revelation after the collapse of indie video ventures like Super Deluxe, he does manage to get the burning bush tone down pretty well.
The strongest of the strong will survive and in fact prosper. But it will feel like we just survived a medieval plague. The carnage and the stench will be overwhelming.
I think we all know what that'll smell like.