Re: Tanked

From: Jim Flannery (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Aug 23 2006 - 12:20:41 PDT

If we're going to talk about economics, let's talk about economics. In a
free market, the seller sets a price, the potential buyers either buy or
they don't.

The model where the buyer sets a price and tells the sellers "take it or
leave it"? Walmart. Mill towns.

Am I the only person who remembers why labor unions exist? Because
employers (buyers of labor) set an unreasonably low price and then tell
the sellers of that labor they don't have to work if they don't want to.

How uncivil of those nasty working people not to take into account the
financial needs of the owners.

Let's talk about risk. The Tank's model is to have the seller of the
good pay for the privilege of having the good on the market, and accept
the risk that The Tank will promote the gig adequately, or curate a
sufficiently attractive total program, to draw enough people that a
fraction of a percentage of the door will be the equivalent of the
normal rental, PLUS any shipping costs, PLUS now the "submission fee".
The justification for this? The Tank needs to be sure it can pay its
rent, so it shovels the risk of a low-turnout show onto the filmmakers.
The Tank risks nothing, the filmmakers bet that enough of their friends
turn up to get them paid (I'm sorry to have to repeat this, but this is
*exactly* the dynamic of a pay-to-play club gig; if that bothers you,
substitute "poetry contest" or maybe you need to listen to the
botherment (it's your conscience, after all) instead of blaming the

Why is this a problem? Because the filmmakers have *already* taken on a
substantial risk -- in the form of making the bloody thing to begin
with: hundreds to thousands of dollars in lab costs and film stock, all
the crappy little incidental items, THEIR OWN RENT ON THEIR OWN
WORKSPACE, let alone if they actually shot live footage somewhere they
needed to pay rent or permit fees, or actors, or crew, LET ALONE THE
VALUE OF MONTHS OR YEARS OF THEIR OWN TIME -- which needs to somehow be
covered, over the course of years, HOW? Rental fees and print sales.

Bad investment, you say. There's not that much difference between little
and nothing, so get realistic and take the nothing. Anglo-saxon that.

Jim Flannery
email suppressed
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.