Ever since Nina Paley released her critically-acclaimed film Sita Sings the Blues under a free license, people have been asking her “But how does it make money?” That was never the most important question to Paley — most of all she wanted people to see her film — but it wasn’t an unimportant question either, and the interesting thing is she’s made more this way than traditional film distributors predicted she would make using the usual monopoly-based method. Sita Sings the Blues is lucky to have some highly non-traditional distributors, though, and what they did was made possible by today’s disintermediation technologies, including blogs.
This Saturday at 10:30 I’ll be talking about what motivated Nina Paley to release her first feature film under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license, what the audience reaction has been, how this economic model works, and what she’s up to now as Artist-in-Residence at the non-profit organization QuestionCopyright.org. (Sadly this talk conflicts with Scott Rosenberg’s talk, which I wanted to see. Ah well.)
I can’t resist a blatant plug for Nina’s film: Sita Sings the Blues was recently (and may currently still be) the highest rated film on Rotten Tomatos. You can find out why for yourself, as I’ll be bringing some DVDs with me.