If you've followed MFM long, you know that we've been on the edge of a number of new distribution strategies that have emerged. Of course, none has become so prevalent as the ubiquitous podcast. While it was named after the iPod, podcasts were often more commonly downloaded on computers, than on the actual iPods from which they took their name. That is, until the release of the iPhone and, more recently, the iPad.
While there are cetainly a plethora of smart phones on the market, the sheer bulk of marketshare is repreented by Apple's two flagship products. This is meaning that filmmakers can focus on these platforms, as opposed to trying to desseminate content across every portable platform under the sun. While this simplifies things in some ways, this presents its own set of challenges.
As most people know, the iPhone screen is far tinier than a normal screen so that, filmmakers who wish to release films on this have to make a number of decisions before such a release. While you could release your film directly to these platforms (especially to the iPad) simply with downscaling and reconverting, the most effective way is actually to sub-crop shots in your editor until all shots are placed in a close up or MCU perspective. While more time consuming, shots on a small screen are much more dynamic when this is done.
Of course, as companies like Adobe explore new ways to create elements for smartphones like the iPhone and iPad, it may become even easier for low-budget filmmakers to create not only optimized films for these devices, but even to create multimedia Apps that could revolve around their products, much as home-brew epub documente are able to be more reliably created and traded these days.
While hurdles still exist in getting films into iTunes and apps into the AppStore, things are slowly democratizing there. In fact, this past year, we had our first micro-budget short film, Red Princess Blues, being distributed as an app in the App store, so that the film's director, Alex Ferrari, could add DVD style content to the piece.
Each time a distribution technology begins to fully develop, it is an exciting time for us as filmmakers as we learn what things can and cannot be accessed for our projects. Hopefully this editorial reminds you to think about the most mobile consumer generation and how you may wish to reach out with yyour content for these iFans on the go!