Sunday, September 30, 2012

Is social networking doing what it should be for indie films?

A few days ago I had a sudden realization. Discovering new independent music online is much easier than finding new independent films. I guess you could argue that my online experience might be different than other people’s, but I’d assume that concerning this issue, I probably fall into that part of the bell curve that holds the majority of people.

Maybe the phrasing of my realization needs to be tweaked a little bit. Maybe it’s not that finding cool, new, independent films is more difficult ( a Google search for “2012 indie films” gives me more results than I could handle), it just seems like while I have to search for new films I might want to check out, new music just sort of comes to me.

I think the main reason for this is because since MySpace, music has sort of just been built into social networking. Remember how you could post a playlist of your favorite songs that would actually play when someone visited your site? At times, MySpace seemed like it was more for finding and sharing bands than it was for sharing anything else. Facebook doesn’t have that feature, but every day my wall is full of music videos and quotes of song lyrics. Bands promote themselves on Facebook similarly to the way they did on MySpace, through event invites and wall shares and such. I just don’t see that happening for films. It doesn’t just appear before me. I have to go looking.

I think I know why. I might be really putting myself out there to get ridiculed, and I’m sure a lot of film enthusiasts will disagree with me, but if I go with my gut, I’d have to say that music is just more personal, more closely linked to a person’s identity. Just look at kids in middle school. They are defined by the music that they listen to. I think this carries on for a lot of us into adulthood as well. A Misfits t-shirt says a lot about a person.

Our social networking sites, our Twitters, our Facebooks, have become more than just “About Me” pages. In a weird way, they’ve become an extension of ourselves.

On one hand, this might make sense, but on the other, the fact that films aren’t coming to us as easy on social networking sites is really weird in a way. Films are a collective experience, music is a much more personal one.

Maybe it is just me, and maybe in a few weeks, a few days, I’ll retract this statement, but right now I feel like there’s a weird disconnect between what social networking should or can be doing for independent films, and what it is actually doing.

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