Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Agricultural Theory of Film Distribution

At one time, I hear, indie & foreign films used to play in some theaters for months, even years.

I know that a Jon Moritsugu film played at a theater in Paris for over a year. Jon told me so, I believe him.

If I recall anything close to correctly, back in the early days of the humans, there were two kinds of tribes/civilizations: the nomads & the farmers.

Having your film play in one movie theater/screening venue for a loooong time sounds similar to farming to me.

Taking your film from theater to theater, from city to city, sounds like a nomadic hunter type thing.

But a wide Hollywood type release that stays on screens for months is a combination of the two, perhaps.

It is fairly easy for me to get an audience in DC, even with minimal publicity.

So, I am going to try the agricultural approach next, try to get Date Number One to play at a DC venue for a long time. Maybe a month to start with. Definitely more than a week.

In March perhaps.

The Warehouse Screening Room screening of Date Number One last night went well, raised some cash for We Are Family, inducted a few more members into the Date Number One Audience Club. With a few minor changes/upgrades (a bigger screen for one) the WSR could be a very cool indie film venue for DC. I am going to see what I can do to help.

Screening venues are the fields, movies are the crop, farming/long engagements, as opposed to nomadic hunting/brief & heavy resource demanding screening tours, could be a very useful approach for DIY distributors. Or, have your film play for a long time at your home base/home town (no additional fee for hotels, cheap(er) publicity perhaps, you are always in town to do press & Q+A) coupled with playing festivals if/when opps arise & doing low-cost up front revenue split bookings w/ select out of town theaters WHILE having the film available on DVD/web advertising+mail-order & perhaps even VOD may be a good way to get the movie out pretty wide low/no budget DIY style.

- Sujewa

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