Much of the discourse on Innovation centers on issues that relate to recognizing opportunity, in the first place. What seems missing is some discussion regarding a necessary zeal. Prahalad and Hamel argued decades ago that strategic intent is something that deserves personal attention – every day. This NYT story on openfilm gets to the heart of James Caan’s derision for the machinery of Holloywood itself.
…Mr. Caan’s primary motivation at this point, however, appears to be his unhappiness with the path that Hollywood has taken over the last 20 years. He would like to open the eyes of young filmmakers to the virtues of an earlier, more humanistic approach, and a time when “there wasn’t this abundance of these guys — and God bless ’em, some of them are great — who all of a sudden because they shot some music video, they’re shooting some $80 million” film, he said. “Or these other guys who can do stuff with C.G.I. and have no respect for actors. I don’t get it.”
Mr. Kozko and Mr. Caan have aspirations to upgrade the movie business not just through the use of mentors but by producing films, expanding the best of the shorts selected for Openfilm into features. (According to Mr. Kozko the site currently hosts about 7,000 videos, with its staff of screeners accepting about 9 percent of the videos that come in. Openfilm is also distributing some of its videos through services like Tivo and Boxee. Advertising revenue from viewing on the Openfilm site and outside distribution is split equally with the filmmakers, Mr. Kozko said.)
As an interim step the site is sponsoring a series of contests. Filmmakers submit videos specifically for the contest (and pay a $45 entry fee), with finalists determined by public voting and the winner chosen by the advisory panel. The first winner, Val Lauren for his 40-minute drama “Help,” received a package valued at $250,000, consisting mostly of a promise of financing for a feature; Mr. Kozko said that production would begin this spring. The deadline for submissions for the next contest is Friday, and the value of the prize has increased to $500,000 ($50,000 in cash the winner can use for any purpose, the rest in the form a financing package for the feature film), though the frequency of the contests has been reduced to two a year from four.