As long as there have been film schools, there have been eager young filmmakers, wannabe directors, producers, actors, young talent of all types, producing work for class projects or school film festivals. Most always working on shoestring budgets, they create films or TV concepts that never end up being seen by more than a handful of people before it gets carefully tucked away on a shelf at someone’s parents’ house. The problem, inevitably, has never been a lack of ideas or quality work, but rather a viable way to distribute that work in a method which would enable it to be received by a wide audience, while also sustaining the people responsible for creating it.
Christopher Murphy, Film and TV Development Executive at MyTV New England, is leading a new and inventive program that seems to finally provide a solution. This new program helps guide local TV and film producers by teaching them monetizing the content before it broadcasts, creating a sort of “self distribution.” They then have the full support of MyTV New England, through which the content will air to an audience of around 2.5 million homes in the area.
In a world where the internet has made stars out of bloggers and Youtube personalities, Murphy sees an important distinction between the MyTV program and the endless possibilities of cyberspace.
“What’s the difference between broadcast TV and the internet? Broadcast TV is broadcast and received. On the internet, people have to find you. Anyone can put something on the internet but you can’t do that with broadcast TV. TVs have been around a lot longer than the internet, and most people who have TVs turn it on every day. Furthermore, this is not public access, this is broadcast television, if what you are delivering is not good, the audience is not going to want to see it.”
Some of the projects currently being worked on include a Green Show, a show about filmmakers, a scripted TV series that will take place in Manchester, NH, a music show starring a band or solo artist, an “American Idol” type show, and a short film TV show.
Throughout the process, which involves an intensive informational training program that is also being launched in area colleges and soon high schools, Murphy preaches good business sense, efficiency, and dedication. For the filmmakers, he’s also adamant they make a profit.
“There is no reason to get involved with a producer that doesn’t know how to budget, and keep that spreadsheet in the black, even if it’s a minimal amount, so that later on, he or she can say ‘and before I even shot a frame it was in the black, and when it was finished, its still in the black.’ We want those people with a great business sense and who are aggressive. Advertisers and sponsors want to connect themselves with content that is of great quality.”
The impetus for this program came from a desire to provide filmmakers with the resources and guidance needed in order to be able to turn their passion into a successful enterprise.
“I spoke with a film school student who spent $4,000 of her own money, to create a film, and it’s going to sit in a drawer,” says Murphy “We emphasize a quick turn around in the program because content should be flowing through constantly. That makes it very efficient, because there is a constant flow of ideas, and it enables us to keep things on the fast track for development. The more aggressive and the more excited they are, the better, as there is no reason now why they can’t do it. Our program provides real practical and profitable distribution, where students and other struggling film and TV makers can have a platform to present their work and get it distributed.”