What follows is a brief summary of what I saw happening in 2007. (for reference my cable provider today in 2017 offers me the capability to download ~37,500K a second at up to 300Mbps - and video streaming services proliferate - heck I've even got myself a couple of distribution deals across platforms and manage a very small YouTube multi channel network).
Will What's Happened to Music Happen To Movies?
First, you must believe the postulation that picture follows audio. What do I mean by that? I mean that audio workflows digitised long before movies, just as the audio CD predates the DVD, audio tape predates video tape, etc
In 1997 I was downloading about 3K a second. Today in 2007 I'm doing up to 500K a second. So in ten years, that's 166 times faster. But still not fast enough to watch "digital 35mm" in realtime, nor particularly practical to download. But it will happen. When it does, what incentive will there be to watch movies at the cinema, or buy a physical disk of the movie? Like music today, will people be satisfied with high quality device-readable files?
So the movies future is probably in your front room, what today is called home cinema. The cinemas themselves will no doubt continue to exist, just as theatre, radio and books do today. Is the AppleTV perhaps a precursor to that day, albeit in laughably low-resolution to keep file download sizes sane for today's broadband connections.
How does an indie moviemaker survive in that climate, yet alone see success coming anywhere near to an eighties blockbuster?
But workflows of the future will be all digital, including delivery. That is an advantage to the indie on the longtail - the price of admission is lower, although you'll still need great craftsmen to get close to your original vision for the movie, just as any moviemaker knows today.
Apple may become a movie distributor. Typically today big movies are not made without an assured distribution deal or completion bond. Self publishing will remain an option, but will remain niche, hobbyist and vanity as it does today. Distributors understand marketing. Apple understand marketing.
So content creation is available to all. So what.
Distribution is available to all. So what.
Marketing is available to all. Is it?
What I take away from this decade old short brain-dump, what I still see all around me, is that indie filmmakers still do not understand the importance of intelligent marketing - if you want to be an indie filmmaker today and haven't got lucky yet I'd recommend delving into psychology which segues nicely with marketing. Or partner with someone who does understand marketing and the absolute slog behind it.