The bfi genuinely wanna get it

So I was invited to an exclusive little mumble organised by one of my favourite people Thayer Prime. I have to admit I’d spent the day with Clock up in Kings Langley which involved large amounts of white wine so… well take that info as you will.

In the pre-boozed up morning I’d spent a while thinking about the the issues / challenges that the BFI were  facing. Given that the event itself didn’t have a clear objective it seemed like the rational thing to do and frankly, that’s what I spend most of my time thinking about anyway – what is the freaking problem we are trying to solve. .

Without any other input the challenge was clear, the BFI as it stands has

1) limited cultural relevance in 2012
2) limited effectiveness in the propogation of British film
3) Iimlted ability to fund the future of British film

They have a load of stuff which can’t be leveraged due to draconian copyright laws and as a result don’t have revenue stream to facilitate the future

Chicken and egg…..

But then… what a fabulous night, Thayer put together a bunch of folk who would never have access to folk lie Richard and Paula from the BFI – superb

Alas the thing that was never fully addressed was actually where the BFI can own a new relevance in our post YouTube world .

Those there totally got it, yet were still limited by the legacy and stolid determination that is the film equivalent of the House of Lords.

The BFI has so much opportunity to remake the British film industry as – well – the British film industry as opposed to being simply a feed for US fodder – as even their own year book shows.

The gag is they have hired people who genuinely care, they are smart and they are fighting, Mulder and Scully style for the future.

Utterly impressed.

In an ideal world, there are a couple of things which they can do which will genuinely affect that future of the industry – easy to say – hard to do.

1) help indie filmmakers get online distribution and substantiate their marketing efforts

2) Enable indie film makers access to all those rich folk, y’know those who are funding the BFI in the first place.

3) Donate a percentage of screen time for films not made by the typical white middle class BFI wannabe folk.

4) Open a conversation about introducing fair-use to their archival material – they are sitting on a seam of gold when it comes to culture, the public should be able to mine it.

Crazy talk, but a start.

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