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August 3, 2018

Eighteen thousand four hundred forty two. 18,442

That number above is the number of films on shooting people, last time I checked. Who has time to watch all of them?

We can search by keyword. But, we might not know the right keyword.

Then, add those on Vimeo, DailyMotion, Youtube, Netflix, and German, Hungarian, Japanese, Indian, Nigerian, Chinese and other video sites whose names I forget. Oh yeah, there was also a Swedish streaming service I’ve been meaning to try.

Even if you limit yourself to films in the cinema, there are between 700-900 features that made it to the British cinemas last year. (it depends how wide a release you count as a theatrical release of a feature.) Even if you limit yourself to English language features with a wide release, very few of us have time to watch them all. I’m not even sure full time critics do that. (And we’ll never catch up on all the films made before we were born.)

Some podcasts are more boring than cctv footage. But, it’s there, adding to the number of numbingly boring audio-visual “content.”

Now, most of my films are not on my profile. I took some off because I’m no longer interested in the genre, others for other reasons, and some aren’t available online anyway. I know I’m not alone there. So, there are more like 100s of thousands of shooters films.

I just thought I’d mention that before the next person starts a discussion of, “why aren’t you making films.”

There are enough films in the universe.

I guess we could limit ourselves to festival winners, right? Well, there’s over 6000 festivals on FilmFreeway alone, last I checked, many of which give multiple prizes. Most of the local festivals I hear about don’t advertise on there, too much additional digital paperwork. So, probably there are over 18,000 festival award winners a year.

Even though my website is worse than it used to be, and I stopped advertising, filmmakers still send me links saying “watch my film.” and they often give no description whatsoever. Okay, maybe they say it’s a documentary, or an animation. I imagine if my company was well known, I’d probably receive more than 18,000 links a year.

Short horrors? A google search for videos about horror brings out over half a billion results. That’s free videos to watch online. (Many horror films don’t have “horror” in the title.) Do we need more horror films?  No.

There are even 21 million videos labelled “Vasco.” Look up your name. Probably a lot more, right?

There are about 10 films to every inhabitant of the medium size towns I know. Look up your town’s population, and then see how many films. You don’t have time to get to know all the names and faces of real people, how are you going to have ten times as much time to know all the films?

Now I see why people email me their films. With over ten films per person (most don’t label the location) they are desperate for an audience.

Okay, now, if you have that many films to sift through, you’ll never watch them all. How do you choose?

Steve Martin has a good answer to this.  He says, “there is room for you in the world.”

I think we need to limit the quantity of content we put online, and focus more on quality.

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