Finally… finally I watched the incredible documentary “Invisible Circus – No dress Rehearsal” by Naomi Smyth.
Some weeks ago I went to a Future Artists talk in the Watershed at Bristol. Here I was introduced to the breathtaking film – Invisible Circus, the documentary, as a first experiment within a new model to distribute indy films, using digital communities.
Future Artists are a film production studio, distributor and transmedia consultancy. They promote and are creating a new model to distribute independent films, enabling “the films to find their audiences” and to pay everyone involved in the process, including the artists.
The talk was addressed as “CampFire Theory” – Peer to Peer distribution. The theory relies on one of the basic human needs and/or habits: To tell stories!! Along, the times humanity found new ways of tell and keep stories for prosperity. Many of them started in Campfires, where people would get together and tell stories to each others. The medium have progressed along the time. From, wall paintings, printing press, cartoons, photography, radio, moving image, TV… until one of the most powerful media today.. the Internet! With the Internet and Social Media, all the people have became storytellers. As Mark Ashmore says in the talk, people have became “part of media”, being able to tell stories with no barriers. So Future Artist’s model is based on this campfire theory, which means sharing the stories (films) in digital communities, enhancing the promotion of the film and its distribution trough the community.
They already have a quite big community around the world. They are entitled as a Creative Co-op with a firm believe “without deviation form the norms progress is not possible”. To embrace the community they use the main social networks, twitter and facebook, and they have a “group, forum and open space dedicated to creating a diverse and progressive relationship between artists, between creative thinkers and business…” Future Artists Live – Creative Co-op Meetup This is a tool to communicate and “meet up” in the active future artist’s community.
So in practice, how would this work? The invisible circus film, already conquered some screenings in different locations, trough the community. People in some way connected with Future Artist’s community, would be motivated and would organise screenings in their local communities. Everyone, in the process would be payed, with the ticket sales. “Everyone contributes, everyone earns” is the motto.
I have started this post aiming to write about the film, which impressed me so much, but I got motivated about this new model that seems to be enhancing the power of artists and communities, trough the effective use of the new digital technologies. Traditionally we watch films, depending on mainstream studios/distributors will. Are we reaching a new art democracy?
In the end of the event, a really nice looking package was for sale, including a special edition of the “Carny Times” a dvd, limited edition of the film signed and illustrated by the director Naomi Smyth. Authentic art from the inside to the outside.
The film about the Invisible Circus, definitely deserves another post. An inspiring documentary following for 3 years the struggle, and fight of outstanding creative artists against certain laws of the land. From squatting until a well based active creation centre, known today as Artspace Lifespace project in Bristol. Invisible Circus have provided some of the most spectacular and unique performances, gathering diverse artists from dancers, producers, actors to visual artists. The biggest asset to make it real, was probably their faith, self work effort and passion.
I am desperately waiting to the next show…