The only WINDOW anyone in the film industry needs to focus on is closing the one between when a person discovers a film and when they can watch it. End of story. All these windows do just is provide a place through which the desire to watch a film can escape.
There will always be people who won’t spend any money on anything, but for the most part people just want to see what they want to see how they want to see it. The same with music. I um, had a friend who used to use something Napster-like back in the day. Most of the collection was dedicated to import versions of songs that I, um, she could not get in the States or she would have to pay $40 for what was essentially one song. When it comes to films for me personally, it’s about seeing soon as possible with the least amount of effort.
“Oh that sounds like a cool film”
“Wait, I can’t see it now? Not showing in my area? Guess I’ll check it out later then. I hope I remember.”
Then you have to go through the work of getting my attention again when it comes out on whatever other platform, assuming of course that you support them. That’s so… inefficient.
I was at the North Carolina Black Film Festival last weekend where I saw a documentary called Film Hustle. In it the subject of the documentary talks about his travails to sell his DVDs of Confessions of a Thug, hosting special signings at outlet stores across the country. While a decidedly offline method it apparently works as he’s sold more than half a million units. In it viewers get this little nugget as a man he is trying to sell a DVD to says he’ll come back later. He said all sales people know that when a person says that they’ll come back later or they’ll think it over the sale is as good as gone.
Now if this is a fundamental truth known by all sales people why is the film industry predicated upon setting up the conditions to make this more likely?