New Indies in old skins: the online audience building for The Hunt for Gollum

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Meissner, N
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2016
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Abstract

The Internet has allowed some cultural entrepreneurs to access worldwide mass audiences. The Hunt for Gollum (2009) was one of the earliest success stories, reaching over twelve million viewers. Examples like this have led to numerous claims that the Internet revolutionizes the creative industries, allowing truly independent cultural entrepreneurship by re-defining financing, production, marketing, distribution and exhibition of creative products. While the Internet impacts the creative industries in a multitude of ways, this article argues that building audiences for independent films continues to follow traditional principles. It presents its argument in two stages: (I) it first identifies key principles of The Hunt for Gollum’s audience building, providing an insight into filmmaking practices of early twenty-first-century independent filmmakers, and (II) highlights the continuities in the audience building of independent films through a historical contextualization.

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Journal of Media Practice

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17

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1

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Screen and digital media

Communication and media studies

Media studies

Independent film

Audience building

Informal distribution

Cultural autonomy

Cultural entrepreneurship

Cultural flow

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