Film & TV

Feb 22, 2013

Filmmakers’ Tropo choice: insecurity or obscurity

Artists' desperate fight for recognition results in blood, sweat and tears going unrewarded -- and unpaid. Just ask filmmakers who enter the Tropfest short film competition every year.

Ben Eltham — <em>Crikey</em> arts commentator

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator


In 2002, web evangelist Tim O’Reilly wrote an article provocatively entitled “Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution“. “Let me start with book publishing,” he began …

“More than 100,000 books are published each year, with several million books in print, yet fewer than 10,000 of those new books have any significant sales, and only a hundred thousand or so of all the books in print are carried in even the largest stores. Most books have a few months on the shelves of the major chains, and then wait in the darkness of warehouses from which they will move only to the recycling bin. Authors think that getting a publisher will be the realization of their dreams, but for so many, it’s just the start of a long disappointment.”

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

5 thoughts on “Filmmakers’ Tropo choice: insecurity or obscurity

  1. wilful

    analogy: a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based

  2. deb verhoeven

    Ben, what you are describing is known as “psychic income” (the non-monetary rewards or benefits associated with a particular activity). It applies to many industries – not just filmmaking or even the arts. But there has been a lot of work done on the importance of psychic income in the film industry:
    What would be useful is if someone were to follow up with Tropfest finalists – to see if their “exposure” actually amounted to something (i.e. offset the deferred income that the filmmakers would have earned if they had worked in a different industry instead).

  3. Ben

    I just spent five minutes googling Lucas Thyer and Cubicle. I can’t find anything to watch. So much for exposure.

  4. Matthew Rowley

    Ben crikey have stuffed up by the looks of it if you would have googled Lucas Thyer and tropfest you would have found this

  5. Andrew McIntosh

    “The vast over-supply of creative labour…”

    Here’s the real issue.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details