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Allison Anders

Director

On the state of things: The independent film scene is probably on its deathbed right now. I think it just needs a new revolution of ideas. … But that’s OK. I feel that any creative movement, from Dada to punk rock, has about five years before it’s usurped by the general public. So I feel like we’ve had a great run, from the late ’80s up until about four or five years ago. The biggest problem I see is distribution. You can always get money to do a film, but you can’t be sure people are going to see it.

Recipes for change: If I could wave a magic wand, I’d fix the idea that all movies have to make a lot of money to be a legitimate risk. I’d ensure that movies could stay in theaters longer and build word of mouth. And I’d fix how movies are marketed to a female audience. Hollywood does it great: They put Susan Sarandon or Meg Ryan in the movie and plaster them everywhere, on the cover of Redbook and on the talkshows. Women check that out. But $2 million independents don’t have those stars. Why, I have no idea, but we just don’t.

Same with pop culture audiences. You have to spend those marketing dollars, of which there are very few, in brighter ways, not just do the routine stuff. I would rather not have TV ads, because that’s not going to get people to see my movie. I’d have shows at Amoeba Records, showcasing my soundtrack. Do a cool record store tour of the United States. In every town there’s usually one cool record store. Because the traditional ways don’t really work with these films.

I frankly don’t think that independent film people have very good marketing ideas. I see them trotting out the same ideas over and over again. Consequently, they don’t get me to the theaters, either. I don’t go to most of these films myself.

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