"A mysterious DJ is sent to a city block to mend a series of chain reactions that occur in our everyday lives."
Taglined "Two Turntables and a Time Machine", Spin, from 2005, is a short film by director Jamin Winans. The director's latest film, the full length Modern fairytale Ink, hit stores and Bittorent sites this month. Even though Spin has had millions of views across the internet and the trailers for Ink looked fantastic, distributors passed on the film, no doubt fearing that although independent, the film does not fit into the indie box. At first Jamin and crew where pissed, but then had to face the truth that without the downloads and the word of mouth they will produce people just wouldn't have known about Ink. Word of mouth is now turning the film into a serious cult smash and a genuine one unlike Paranormal Activity's carefully managed marketing campaign. After the film being downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, the people behind the movie have come to a conclusion about the current industry model. Rather than aiding distribution it actually severely limits the audience for many films. (Goodbye Gatekeepers, Hello Audience.)
If you have watched and liked Ink, I figure you should probably pop over to their site and donate a few dollars. After all, without a distributor all the money you give is going to the filmmakers. So you really don't have the "I'm not giving money to the unimaginative Hollywood machine" excuse. If you really love it you can also but the DVD or Blu-ray.
Whether or not Ink makes a great deal of money remains to be seen, as "The Gatekeepers" do still hold the key to lucrative moneymaking avenues and large marketing budgets. But Ink, like The Man From Earth before it, shows audiences have an appetite for films outside the formula when they get a chance to see them.
One would hope we are slowly moving away from region codes, different world wide release dates, overpriced discs, DRM and the myriad of reasons that make people think "fuck all that I'll just download it, it's easier and quicker". If we don't and the industry really believes you can fix things with laws rather than adaptation there's real problems ahead and by then it may not be fixable at all.