Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Primitive Film: Why Should I Care?

The final installment of my Primitive Film series.

In one word: Marketing. Unless you’re a professor of film criticism, the existence of a new genre of film is about as important to you as the weather at the North Pole. But, the weather there will eventually find its way to your part of the world, so it does have some relevance.

Marketing films is changing by the minute. The technology changes on that end of the business faster than anywhere else. In their case, the idea of being able to package and sell low budget films under one heading, "Primitive Films," means they could carve out a new niche in the Netflix of the world.

By giving this style a name over-and-above "horror" or "comedy," and separate from the Miramax/Focus/Searchlight films, Primitive Filmmakers might enjoy the kind of sales that their indie-brethren had in the 1970’s with the advent of the midnight movie. Through primitive films we might find the next David Lynch, John Waters, or Will Scheffer.

Imagine the New York, Chicago, LA, Atlanta socialites going on about how they discovered this new little film, "It’s cinema primitive, don’t you know?" Or their teenaged kids, "Dude, it’s primitive… Totally!" When one’s Netflix choices have all been seen, and new products aren’t out yet, "honey, let’s see what this primitive thing is all about." Bingo. A market. A complete market, with comedies, horror, romance, and things studios and film school grads haven’t even thought of yet. If small distributors unite to brand this type of film under the heading of primitive, they can carve out a niche where the studios dare not go.

So spread the word!


Anonymous said...

Good idea, but the fear, of course, is the negative connotation that the word "primitive" brings, especially here in the U.S.

RSMellette said...

It's a well-established and respected term in the art world, as been for a hundred years or so, I think (art history has never been my best subject).

But hey, if you've got a better term, go for it. I use uber-independent sometimes.

Joe said...

Speaking of David Lynch.... And Marketing.... Here is a review for HOW TO MAKE A DAVID LYNCH FILM ... It's as "primative" as it gets...