Could Online Video Replace Film Festivals? Creator Of ‘The Thomas Beale Cipher’ Thinks So

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The Thomas Beale CypherThe Thomas Beale Cypher is an amazing and innovative short film which can be seen online for free. Its creator, Andrew Allen, believes online video is the way forward for short filmmakers, even trumping film festivals for generating views and interest.

Online Video Trumps Film Festivals?

Creators of independent or short films often have to spend a year on the road showing, talking about, and promoting their work at the numerous film festivals that take place around the world. It’s often tricky to impress or get noticed at these events, purely because of the amount of other films being shown.

However, there could be an alternative that is becoming more and more viable by the day. Online video. Sure, there is even more competition out there on the Web, but with good timing, great contacts, and the ubiquitous dash of luck, it can work out very well indeed.

As the filmmaker behind The Thomas Beale Cypher recently discovered.

The Thomas Beale Cypher

In a revealing blog post, Allen details his experiences of promoting his latest short film The Thomas Beale Cypher online after having trolled it around film festivals for over eight months.

After choosing Vimeo over YouTube, Allen and his team posted the video online early in the week and promoted the hell out of it. By targeting interested websites and blogs, which then covered the video and the film itself, the views built up nicely.

In the end The Thomas Beale Cypher was watched 170,000 times, compared to the 3,000 people who had seen it at festivals. The interest came from a wider scope of people, and Allen ended up gaining both industry and distributor interest. And all for an outlay of exactly $0.

Here is The Thomas Beale Cypher in all its glory, thanks to Vimeo:


This once again shows the power of online video, with the Web delivering the goods in the space of a fortnight what film festivals couldn’t in eight months.

It does however also show the need to do your homework and make sensible decisions, because otherwise posting your labor of love online for the world to see could backfire. Thankfully for Allen that wasn’t the case.

And more power to him for that.

[Via NewTeeVee]