Paul Schrader wants to be your friend

Two months ago, my wife and I were leaving a movie theater when I turned on my smart phone and got the following email message from Facebook.

“Paul Schrader wants to be your friend.”

Somehow having just come out of a movie, it was a bit jarring. It also told me that the world is changing quickly beneath our feet. The idea that one of my film heroes wanted to connect with me would have seemed ludicrous just a few years ago. But today it is not so strange.

My connection with Paul then led to the Kickstarter campaign for his new movie, The Canyons. I contributed because it looked promising and I could give just a few bucks and participate in the film-even in its making. (At my low level of giving, I am allowed to give advice on casting.)

But it gets better.

Last night, I attended a gathering put together and hosted by Marc Schiller, of Bond Strategy and Influence. And guess who was there? Yes, Paul Schrader. So now we got to meet in person.

Several people spoke eloquently about what they are doing in the areas of curation, distribution and marketing of films on the Internet (More on this in later posts.)

Paul got up to speak about his crowd funding campaign and his new movie which begins shooting in July.

He conveyed his puzzlement, his wonderment and his excitement about this strange new world that we are in and that we are all discovering anew every day.

Paul compared it to the beginnings of film 100 years ago, a time when no one knew where this new form of entertainment called cinema was headed or what it would yield.

Like that time so long ago, this new world is being forged by artists who are willing to experiment with new tools and technologies, that are both wonderful and hard to understand. And in today’s new world, artists are connecting-with those people formerly called the audience.

These are the people we call users, friends, supporters and fans. In other words, us. People who are connected to each other and to artists in ways we could not have imagined 10, even 5 years ago.

And it is those experiments created by artists like Louis CK, Amanda Palmer and now Paul Schrader that will define this new world.

So I would suggest that when Paul Schrader asks to be your friend, you say yes and join him.

About Chris Dorr

I consult with companies on digital media strategy and business development. Clients include Samsung, MTV Networks, Tribeca Film Festival, Shaw Media and Canadian Film Center. I created the Future of Film blog for Tribeca. I have worked in the movie business for Disney Studios, Universal Pictures, Scott Free and in the digital media business for Intertainer, Sony and Nokia. Contact me at [email protected] or follow me at @chrisdorr
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  • Steve Wax

    Hey, Chris, as always as very nice and thoughtful piece. It made me want to go to Kickstarter and contribute to Schrader’s film as well. And hey, I did go there and he’s raised $147k already against a $100k goal. You deserve some of the credit.

    • chrisdorr

       Steve, thanks for your kind comment. Glad you contributed, will be exciting to see how the  film unfolds through Kickstarter and beyond. Check out the casting site, some pretty good auditions.

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