"Beer Wars," "Content Creation," and Crap Shoots

Three years? Somehow it seemed longer than that (which, heh, is probably due to the way I've spent the past three years). According to Anat Baron (and she should know), it's been three years since her film "Beer Wars" debuted. (*1)  Her comment on the film and the anniversary are worth reading in whole, but I'll quote this part of it here:

I still get asked about a follow up film or a sequel. I don’t think that folks understand what it takes to produce and distribute a feature film. Just because everyone has a digital camera these days doesn’t mean that they’re making a feature-length movie. That millions of people will see. And so, if you haven’t realized from my tone, there will not be another film. It takes too long. Costs too much. And in the end, viewers want content for free. So, for me the economics just don’t add up.

I had a story to tell. I told it in the best way I knew how. It’s a documentary so you can’t just make shit up and manipulate the facts.

Ain't that the truth? Especially the "make shit up" part and the "viewers want content for free" part. Making films, like making books, is absurdly difficult and EXPENSIVE and a total crap shoot. Will anyone want to see the film? Will anyone want to PAY MONEY to see the film? Will anyone read the book? Will anyone plunk down some coin to BUY the book?

We "content creators" never know. Which is why, ya know, it's a crap shoot. Most "content" is built on faith and a prayer and a shitload of hard work.

Anyway: As Anat points out, in the three years since BW debuted, everyone and her mother has cranked out some form of beer-related visual "content." (Sorry. Can't help myself. My favorite shoot-a-hole-in-that-mother phrase is "content creator.") And she hopes that someone else will, as she says, grab the baton and make a new cinematic statement about craft brewing.

Which is another way of saying she hopes the dreamers and doers and suckers (like me. Like her.) keep coming. Here's to us: the craps-shooting content creators!


*1: Full disclosure: I am in the film (BRIEFLY); I participated in the live panel discussion that followed the film debut in Los Angeles. Anat is a dear friend. I also weighed in --- at, cough cough, length --- on the film, its reception, its meaning, etc. in a ridiculously long blog series.