The fate of documentaries on the Internet ⋆ MovieStart | Easy Online Work

The realization of documentaries, like everyone else, can happen in several ways. The most classic one is movie rentals. Also films are presented at festivals. Online platforms are now next on the list.

Cinemas ivi and tvzavr.ru appeared in 2010, Megogo and Okko – in 2011. In just 10 years, these sites have become competitors of cinemas. This was influenced by digitalization in the country as a whole, the transition of viewers from offline to online, a change in the way of life of people – now everyone saves their time very much and tries to minimize its waste.

At the All-Worldn conference “Renting of documentary films in World: the present and the future” of the Flahertiana festival, experts discussed the distribution of documentary films on the Internet. The editor-in-chief of the Okko online cinema told about the situation at the dock on the territory of online platforms. Christina Shirshova… The head of the booking department at CoolConnections also spoke on the topic. Anna Zimina, President of the Guild of Non-Fiction Film and Television Alexey Khanyutin… The results of the discussion were summed up by the producer, CEO of Movie Reviews LLC Dmitry Yakunin.

Kristina Shirshova shared that the situation on the platform she represents has changed during the quarantine. The online cinema was heavily dependent on film distribution, which last year, for obvious reasons, simply stopped. All the releases were shown in a short period of time, and people needed to watch something, because the online cinema is the place where films are released every day. As a result, the need arose to show alternative content – documentary films. The time to market for such a product is several times shorter than that of a feature film or TV series. However, the platform immediately faced a new problem.

“Documentary is something incomprehensible to the average viewer. He believes that after watching such a film, he will not be able to rest or relax. Many will choose some action movie or comedy, instead of cool non-fiction work “, – noted Shirshova.

According to her, it is important for the audience to say that a documentary is not necessarily something complicated. At the same time, directors need to learn how to make “light films”, because they are easier to promote.

In general, the promotion of paintings should be given special attention. It is important to position the film as a big novelty: the project should have a poster, a trailer, a marketing seeding, a promotion strategy, publications in the media, content from bloggers. An online platform will not take up the promotion of a project that no one knows. And if there have already been some mentions of the film, this is a completely different conversation.

You also need to understand for which audience the film is being shot and what the director wants to tell her. It’s not worth making a movie just because it’s an interesting topic.

When an author submits his film to the platform, the existing audience will (or will not) watch it. The online cinema has no goal of attracting new users. It is important for him to make sure that current subscribers are interested in watching this.

«If you want documentaries to become popular, you must give up the fact that people will not accept you.».

In the near future, the number of alternative content on online sites will increase. The growth will be about 20 percent of today’s indicators, added the chief editor of Okko.

Anna Zimina expressed the opinion that alternative content requires co-viewing. In this regard, the number of offline viewers of documentary films is still greater than online.

Alexey Khanyutin emphasized that for the preservation of documentary cinema as an art form, theatrical distribution is of fundamental importance. Otherwise, “it will all wither away.”

Ideally, documentary films should be shown at festivals, movie theaters, online platforms and social cinemas, concluded Dmitry Yakunin. He stressed that non-fiction films are currently gaining ground on online platforms. However, with good marketing, you need to remember and maintain the depth and meaning of documentaries.

Sofia Iosko

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