Video on demand: The patron saint of Tribeca Film Festival?

Is video on demand the key to making your spiffy indie movie the next Huge Success? Depends on who you ask. The Tribeca Film Festival will experiment with VOD this year, having signed deals with cable providers like Comcast, Verizon FIOS, and Cablevision (a New York-area provider, for those of you who’ve never heard of it before) to create a Tribeca VOD channel. The thing is, even though putting a film on VOD is a guaranteed way to increase its exposure, there seems to be a bit of a stigma attached there.

So the deal is that several of the movies that make their debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs from April 21 to May 2, will be available on the festival’s VOD channel. You might think, “Hey, that’s cool! I can’t make it out there to see the films, so I’ll just hop on the VOD channel, sit back, and enjoy!” But not everyone thinks that way. The idea is, what do you think of movies that come out straight to DVD, or VHS back in the day? You think, “Well, this movie must stink.” Some people associated with Tribeca are afraid that, instead of being a necessarily “good thing,” putting these movies on VOD may tarnish their appeal. “Oh, that’s the movie from VOD? Yuck.”

That’s ludicrous, of course. If I were a filmmaker, and I’m certainly not, I’d only want one thing: for as many people as possible to see my creation, whether it’s on VOD, DVD, YouTube, or whatever. I make movies so people can see them.

The point is, no, there’s no reason to be afraid of VOD. The more people who see your movie, however that may be, the better.