I definitely think it was a success, an exciting new development in US indie film. 'cause to me it looks like indie filmmakers embraced self-distribution at a greater number than ever before (since the birth of the new wave of US indie with Stranger Than Paradise in '84) AND had a few instances of success (depending on how u define it; but Head Trauma & Mutual Appreciation became well known among & available to their target audiences in '06 through self-distribution, to mention just 2 projects) AND self-distro also spilled over to Lynchland with INLAND EMPIRE. But I want to know what others who care about this topic think; let the discussion begin. I already sent an e-mail to one David Lowery, filmmaker, gentleman & Texas mischief maker, inviting him to weigh in on the '06 self-distro events, perhaps he will (a few of us had a long conversation about self-distribution at David's blog in early '06). So filmmakers & fans, let me know what you think about the subject: was self-distribution a successful move made by indie filmmakers in '06? What is the future of self-distribution? Share.
Several hundred D.I.Y. screenings happened last year, serving several thousand audience members throughout the US. In the coming days I will point to several links where we can figure out where many of the screenings happened & which indie films were self-distributed in '06.
Here are some easy figures & a link (since the info. is in my head): Date Number One was screened in 5 cities (Washington, DC, New York City, Seattle, Kensington, MD, Takoma Park, MD), 12 times all together, and about 500 audience members in total checked out the movie at those screenings.
Links & whatever info. I can gather from the web re: several other '06 self-distributed films coming soon.
Here's a good place to follow up, a dozen or so important links there:
2006: The Year Independent Film Embraced Self-Distribution
Another good doc, w/poster art images for several '06 self-distributed films:
Select self-distributed indie films of 2006
Four long articles at Filmmaker Magazine re: '06 self-distributed indie projects:
Jumping Off Bridges
A long interview DV Guru (R.I.P.) did with me last year re: Date Number One & self-distribution:
DIY filmmaking: an interview with director Sujewa Ekanayake
MUTUAL APPRECIATION: An '06 Self-Distribution Success Story? I think so. The film is certainly getting played in many places. Check out the list of screenings below, from this web page:
Jan. 25 - 28 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM
Jan. 25 Sara Lawrence Film Society Bronxville, NY
Feb. 2 - Metro Cinema Edmonton, Alberta
Feb. 4 OFFScreen Charlottesville, VA
Feb. 5 Bear Tooth Theatre Anchorage, AK
Feb. 20 School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA
TBA Living Room Theatres Portland, OR
Aug. 22 Cinema Village New York City
Aug. 22 Theater N Wilmington, Delaware
Aug. 22 Loft Cinema Tucson, AZ
Aug. 22 Island Theater Martha's Vineyard, MA
Aug. 23 Circle Cinema Tulsa, Oklahoma
Aug. 23 Smith Rafael Film Center San Rafael, CA
Aug. 23 Cinema Paradiso Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Aug. 23 Stage West at the Duncan Theater Lake Worth, FL
Aug. 23 Avalon Washington, DC
Aug. 23-27 Emerging Cinemas at the Market Arcade Buffalo, NY
Aug. 25 Mountains Theater Scranton, Pennsylvania
Aug. 29 Imperial Theater Augusta, GA
Aug. 29 Memphis Brooks Museum of Art Memphis, TN
Aug. 30, Sept. 2 Galaxy Cinema Cary, NC
Aug. 31 Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center (at The University of Nebraska) Lincoln, Nebraska
Sept. 1 - Oct. 12 Cinema Village New York, NY
Sept. 8 - 14 Laemmle Theatres Sunset 5 Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 8 - 14 Playhouse 7 Pasadena, CA
Sept. 13 - 21 Brattle Theatre Boston, MA
Sept. 15 - 21 Laemmle's Music Hall Beverly Hills, CA
Sept. 22 - Oct. 19 Coolidge Corner Theatre Brookline, MA
Sept. 29 - Oct. 8 Red Vic Movie House San Francisco, CA
Sept. 29 - Oct. 5 Shattuck Cinemas Berkley, CA
Sept. 29 - Oct. 1 The Lark Larkspur, CA
Oct. 6 - 12 Images Cinema Williamstown, MA
Oct. 13 - 17 Bloor Cinema Toronto, Ontario
Oct. 20 - 26 Belcourt Theatre Nashville, TN
Oct. 20 - 26 Dupont Circle 5 Washington, D.C.
Oct. 21 Cinemarts Frederick, MD
Oct. 27 - Nov. 2 Regal Arbor Cinema Austin, TX
Nov. 3 - 9 Times Cinema Milwaukee, WI
Nov. 10 - 16 Music Box Chicago, IL
Nov. 15 - 18 Cinestudio Hartford, CT
Nov. 18 Crandell Theatre Chatham, NY
Nov. 20 Crossroads Film Society Jackson, MS
Nov. 17 - 23 The Loft Tuscon, AZ
Nov. 22 - 30 Starz Cinemas Denver, CO
Nov. 24 - 30 Ritz Theatres Phildelphia, PA
Nov 30 - 6 Salina Art Center Salina, KS
Dec. 1 - 7 Broadway Centre Cinemas Salt Lake City, UT
Dec. 8 - 9 Wexner Center Columbus, OH
Dec. 8 - 14 Regal Fox Portland, OR
Dec. 8 - 14 Northwest Film Forum Seattle, WA
Dec. 8 - 14 Capitol Theatre Olympia, WA
Dec. 8 - 14 Winnipeg Film Group Winnipeg, Canada
Dec. 13 - 15 Paramount Centre for the Arts Peekskill, NY
Dec. 14 - 21 Palace Chauvel Cinema Sydney, Australia
Dec. 15 - 16 Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque Cleveland, OH
Dec. 27 & 29 Munson Cinema Utica, NY
Dec. 27 & 29 State Theatre State College, PA
Dec. 29 - Jan. 4 Nickelodeon Theatre Columbia, SC
Jan. 5 - 11 International Film Centre & Vancity Vancouver, BC
Jan. 5 - 11 Amherst Cinema Arts Center Amherst, MA
Jan. 11 Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego La Jolla, CA
2006 Was a Good Self-Distribution Year for Lance Weiler & Head Trauma
Here is Lance, telling the tale in his own words:
" Overall 2006 was an amazing year for me. HEAD TRAUMA had theatrical runs in 17 cities and multiple festival screenings.
Going from a world premiere at the LA Film Festival to a theatrical run 5 weeks later turned out to be a great strategy. I called it a compressed release and it helped me to leverage a ton of press for the movie. Over 100 reviews, lots of interviews and 8 national publications carried feature stories about HT.
It was a blur - being the booker, publicist, traveling to each city was fun and exhausting all at the same time.
The DVD hit stores and rental outlets in late September and the sales have been awesome!
I'm in the process of finalizing some world sales and the movie is being considered for a number of TV and VOD ops in the US.
The year ended on a high note as HT was listed on 8 top 10 lists for 2006 and was named the "best indie feature" of 2006 by Rue Morgue Magazine's staff and readership.
The self distro and the making of HT has opened a ton of doors for me. I'm currently working on two new scripts and have a tv show in development.
In the process of releasing HT, I decided to share some of the experience. I created a social open source project called the Workbook Project workbookproject.com to help bridge the gap between tech and filmmaking. One of the projects main goals is to show filmmakers how they can build their own audiences, which in turns helps them to promote and distribute their work. One of the main features of the workbook project is a podcast called "this conference is being recorded." I do a new edition every week and this past week featured episode 11. It was interesting story that sums up the current state of independent film in the US. M dot Strange and his DIY HD animated feature "We Are The Strange" had a world premiere at Sundance and well you gotta listen to believe what happened.
2007 is off to a great start. This weekend I fly to the Berlin International Film Festival, where I'll be speaking about the DIY experience and also staging a special screening of HT. Then I'm off to SXSW and a slew of special screenings where musicians score the movie live in a remix version the movie.
I think 2007 is going to be an amazing year for DIY filmmaking and distro and I can't wait to see what happens.
Here's to DIY07 may it be another amazing year!"
- Lance Weiler
writer / director
more diy distribution '06 goodies coming soon...