San Francisco, U.S.-based distributor Turbulent Arts has announced a major expansion of their website, www.turbulentarts.com. Launched on April 1, the new site will reveal itself in a succession of daily events until the end of the month. Company president Marc Smolowitz was coy about the details, but admitted that the site will start out ‘simple at first and over the course of the month, it will get more and more complex.’
The goal of the site is to provide a mix of information and opportunities for networking online, as well as to develop a nurturing space for filmmakers. Says Smolowitz, ‘I think a lot of independent filmmakers are shrinking in response to the possibilities before them [in terms of new technology]. For a filmmaker, we’ll provide ways of understanding how the technology is going to relate to their work and how they can translate from being an independent filmmaker to a ‘content provider’ and take advantage of the new, unfolding opportunities on the Web.’
Smolowitz’ approach is partially a response to how he sees independent film being handled on the web today. ‘There’s a mad rush going on right now to occupy the corporate leadership level [of online distribution]. Their approach is: get as much product as you can, get to the top of the ladder, have all the right alliances and you’ll have the most overall influence – and believe me, I’m sure that formula, to some extent, is going to work. But I also have a lot of concern that independent filmmakers are going to lose out. And we will not have had a really clear way of finding our own notion of film exploitation online.’
The site, which was designed by San Francisco’s Burning Hand Graphics, will also be used for home video distribution on the web – a first for Turbulent Arts who has until now, assigned home video distribution to other independent home video companies.