Tom sends over the story of an independent filmmaker, Stevie Long, who wrote and acted in the low-budget indie film Strictly Sexual
that has found tremendous success
by being online where people can watch it for free. Apparently, Long had a deal with some sort of online distributor, who got the film on Hulu, and word of mouth made it the most watched film on Hulu, ever:
"I woke up one morning and found a dozen or so messages in my Facebook inbox, saying, 'Hey, I just saw this film, and it really touched me, and I love the way it talks about breakups and relationships,' " Long says. "And I just scratched my head, saying, 'Where'd you see my movie?' I had no idea what Hulu was. God bless the people who had the foresight to put it up there.... We were fortunate in that the timing of the Internet and the ability to watch movies came about at the same time. I didn't have any ego about it as an artist, I just wanted my movie to be seen."
But, of course, it's not hurting him financially either:
"I'll give it to you in these rough terms," he says. "The $100,000 film has made 10 times its money."
But... but... but... we keep having Hollywood insiders tell us in our comments that indie filmmakers who distribute online can't possibly make back enough money to cover their costs. Everything's impossible until someone does it.