Max Porter of the husband-and-wife animation team Tiny Inventions wrote a fascinating blog post about the pros and cons of immediately distributing their short Something Left, Something Taken on-line last year instead of waiting for the film to complete its festival run:
I read a comment on a popular film blog a while back that asked how filmmakers could afford to give their work away for free. Ru and I always felt the exact opposite. How could we afford not to put our work online? For us it was simple. We reasoned that the sale of our animation could not possibly generate enough money to sustain our life in New York. By putting our work in a place that people could see it, we actually ended up making far more money from opportunities created from the online presence than we had in previous years.
PS: As further proof that times have changed, Something Left, Something Taken is one of two American shorts competing in the shorts category at Annecy next month.