In this guest blog, US based filmmaker Ron Newcomb explores how viewers can ensure the future of independent production and reveals how The Fantasy Network was created.

So how can we have more content like Ren: The Girl with a Mark?   

There is one way – support it!

Many people complain about the lack of originality from the studio systems, but statistics show that we the viewers don’t go for original content much. What sells are big ideas with big names, sure things, so we’ll always have an endless supply of superhero films into the foreseeable future.

However, what about all of the epic tales that are being told out there, albeit on a smaller/indie scale perhaps, but trying to find a voice among the maddening volume of content?

Before I found Ren, I was a fan of what Kate and her team were doing across the pond. We ended up at a film festival at the same time and I got to share some time with her and we both dreamed of what it might be like to work on a project, the likes of Sir Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings”.

Well, we could either dream, or we could do, and Kate (and team) is a doer.

When a filmmaker steps out in visionary faith with a story that they believe is worthy of a tale, a seasoned team knows that it takes years of really hard work, and for us indies, that means minimum to no pay. Not to mention that every film will turn into a resistant child, that you must pull into existence. It will fight you every step of the way.

With so many hurdles to overcome, how does worthy content like Ren get made?

It is not just the filmmakers but the FANS that make a project like Ren happen.

For the last five years or so there was a group of us fantasy filmmakers, around 15 of us from around the world, who would meet roughly on a quarterly basis, with no real agenda in mind, to chat about what we’d been up to, our struggles and how we could work together and help each other to serve the same eager fan base. Kate was a part of this “think tank”. We all dreamed of what we could do if we could just overcome a few consistent hurdles.

We all had talents and knew that together we were stronger.  Instead of thinking we were competing with each other we wanted to find a way to combine our talents so that all could benefit.  After all – “A rising tide lifts all boats”.  Arrowstorm Entertainment (makers of the Mythica film series along with the TV show The Outpost) have spent a number of years making successful fantasy films that have been distributed around the world and Zombie Orpheus Entertainment (ZOE – makers of Journey Quest, and The Gamers) have created an amazing fan community who gets behind every project they work on, and so with my own company The Forge Studios we joined forces to form www.TheFantasy.Network.

A place where all these amazing producers and filmmakers can come together to showcase their work, where the fans can gather in one place and discover new shows and films, where all the profits go back to the filmmakers and provide production pots that they can apply for, where the fans themselves have the power to keep the shows they love alive and even have an opportunity to co-create their own canon stories within some of the established worlds via our unique Shared Cinematic Universe license agreement.

So, we now sit on the dawning of a new day. A day where fan-supported projects get “greenlit” not by some executive high on the ladder of some Hollywood Studio, but by the fans themselves.

So, how do we get more Ren? Well, just being a “fan” is not good enough. We must put our voice with theirs and help the Mythica team bring this gem to life once more. WE the people, can now be the ones to bring life to a project like Ren and to allow this team to continue the story and give us the full measure of what they intended when they first breathed life into this tale.

Our goal would be to keep the cameras rolling, and not just for our sake, but so all may create. Can you imagine what a community like this could look like? Well, I do hope you decide to join us and let’s all find out together!

Ron Newcomb is the CEO of independent US production company The Forge Studios, makers of The Rangers series, The Fellows Hip: Rise of the Gamers and Outlawed Faith. He is also one of the founding members of The Fantasy Network, a platform where fans of indie genre content can support and watch original films and series.

Thank you so much to Ron for this guest post.  If you’d like to guest on our blog please get in touch with an idea of what you would like to write about.

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