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Showing posts from February, 2009

Distribution Crews

This was a comment I typed up at this post at Truly Free Film (computer I am on is making it tough for me to leave the comment there), so here it is for more people to read - I think this could be a useful idea for many indie filmmakers who self-distribute:

" A possible thing to try out when you self-distribute or co-distribute (w/ a small co or DVD label) your next indie/DIY/off-Hollywood movie:

Distribution Crews

We raise money & budget for & or talk people into being in the Production Crews for our movies - but when self-distribution time comes it's just the filmmaker & if he/she is lucky, a couple of volunteers that may or may not have the skills & the experience needed for the job.
A better way to go would be to prepare for distribution the way we prepare for production. Including raising a distribution budget & or recruiting the best possible people who can help us with publicity, booking, DVD creation, mail order, etc. that needs to get done for dis…

See ya in April

Moving Pictures Move Out of New York article link

Check out Moving Pictures Move Out of New York article for an easy-to-follow overview of the incredibly successful NY film production credit program (resulted in "$92.2 million given in tax credits, $546.1 million were received in tax collections—a net profit of $453.9 million" for the State) and it's current status - out of money, & film jobs leaving the state in large numbers.

The article also talks about people who are working to improve the situation:

"Aside from letters to the governor and public statements made by Assemblyman Gianaris, Senator Lanza, and State Senator George Onorato, none of our politicians seems to be doing much of anything. “The issue has fallen on deaf ears,” says Alex Zablocki. “I’m disappointed that more elected officials haven’t jumped on this.” Fortunately Mr. Zablocki, who is running for public advocate in November, created a Facebook group and teamed up with Derek Yip who started the online petition. This one-man awareness campaig…

The Graduates free & on the web this weekend

Go to The Graduates site to check out the debut feature by Ryan Gielen. A little bit about The Graduates, from the site: "a comedy about four friends who head to the beach without a care in the world. Through surprising and hilarious events, the guys find themselves learning that there's a little more to life than having a good time."

Check out The Graduates here.

Movieline gets VanAirsdale

According to this post by Anne Thompson, S. T. VanAirsdale is now working for Movieline. Congrats Stu!

Even the negative reviews of my doc Indie Film Blogger Road Trip praised Stu's appearance in that film, so, looks like he will have even more fans - new ones - now through his work at Movieline.

From Thompson's post, which features a press release:

"MOVIELINE, the acclaimed arts and entertainment magazine, announced today that it will be relaunching its prestigious brand as a web portal covering all things Hollywood. In addition, Mail.com Media Corporation (MMC), Movieline LLC’s parent company, announced that it is hiring three full-time staff members from the entertainment industry website Defamer: Seth Abramovitch, S.T. VanAirsdale, and Kyle Buchanan."

Read Thompson's post here.

- Sujewa

Is it possible for The Puffy Chair to have generated over $1 million in sales so far?

This post is related to my previous post about the possibility of ultra low budget/no star/dv films to generate over $1 million in sales.

I wonder if The Puffy Chair - which had its first contact with the paying public back in 2005 at film festivals, has gone past the point of generating $1 million through sales. From a 2007 NYT article:

"Last year Netflix and the distributor Roadside Attractions combined forces on a tiny film called “The Puffy Chair” (Class of Sundance 2005). Netflix sent E-mail alerts to its subscribers when “The Puffy Chair” was in theaters, where it earned $200,000 after two months. And when the film hit DVD, 100,000 subscribers put it in their Netflix queue. “If those people were buying tickets, it would have made a million dollars,” said Howard Cohen, a co-president of Roadside Attractions."

Read the rest of the article here.

So, what's the dollar value of 100,000 Netflix subscribers putting your film on their queues? And how many DVDs of TPC has been …

So, how many 2000's no budget/real indie movies have grosses over 1 million $s so far?

I have the sneaking suspicion that even though most real indie/DV/ultra-low budget filmmakers from this decade are not rich that their work may have, over the course of a few years, earned or brought in - for various entities & individuals, over $1 million - in some cases.

What's $1 million anyway? That's 100,000 people spending $10 each on a movie. This could have happened through film festival screenings, DVD purchases, streaming/web VOD purchases, cable on-demand purchases, and other revenue generating distribution methods.

Do you think your real indie film that was made & released in this decade has been seen by one or few hundred thousand paying customers (paying through any sales environment - festivals, DVD purchase, etc.) so far? If so, let us know in comments.

If it hasn't happened yet, I don't think the day is far off when a under $5K - $20K or so no star DV or HD feature ends up generating over $1 million in revenue through all of the many avenues avail…

12 Steps to Self-Dsitribution by Angelo Bell

Check out Angelo Bell's 12 Steps to Self-Distribution.

From Step 5 - Film Festivals:

"Before you begin, first eliminate tier 1 festivals from your list by conveniently forgetting to submit to Sundance, Slamdance, SXSW, Toronto, Cannes, etc. Focus on filmmaker friendly local film festivals in the regions you've selected. There are hundreds of them. This way you can invite local press to attend and get reviewed in the local paper. Add the reviews to your website."

Rest of the list at Angelo Bell's site.

Thanks One Way Community blog for the link.

- Sujewa

Dog Me: Potluck

Check out info. on an indie film called Dog Me: Potluck here. From the flick's page:
" "Another local feature of note is M. David Lee III's Dog Me: Potluck, a naturalistic ensemble comedy... it's as smoothly directed and acted as any local feature in recent years, having some of the same character and dialogue driven charms as the recent indie hit The Anniversary Party." - Chris Herrington, Memphis Flyer "
For more on Dog Me: Potluck, go here.
Dog Me: Potluck is now available through Netflix.
- Sujewa

Forum des Images

This might be a cool thing to do in NYC, from The Paris Blog:

"The initial mission of this archive was the “preservation of the audiovisual memory of the city of Paris,” whereby any film that made any reference to the capital was stored in its ample database. This translates into 5,500 films, documentaries, shorts, and even newsreels and advertisements. Gone With the Wind made it in because at one point Rhett brings Scarlett a hat from Paris."

More at The Paris Blog.

Did indieLOOP pass away quietly?

My links to indieLOOP haven't worked for a while, & there is no link to iL from the main indieWIRE page, so I am assuming that indieLOOP is no more. When it was around I thought it was interesting & I did make some new contacts through it - but I guess everyone is on Facebook now so maybe iL was no longer necessary.

What's your strategy for ending poverty on Earth? Next conversational doc project

I liked doing Indie Film Blogger Road Trip between the more demanding fiction features (DNO in '04 -'06/'08 & untitled Brooklyn movie in spring '09). Met some interesting people, learned a few things by making IFBRT. So, I have an idea for another conversational doc (there is no narrative - or at least not a classical narrative in these docs, it will just be me talking to people about a subject for 90 mins. or so) - will shoot it after Brooklyn movie is edited, starting this summer, before I shoot the next fiction feature in the fall (this "global anti-poverty plan" doc need not be finished in the summer, maybe by the end of the year).

Since we have some very old, large, concerned-with-well-being-of-people institutions on this planet, also large & capable organizations such as non-profits & militaries, I'd like to know if they have a plan for ending poverty on Earth - mainly because:

- poverty can be evil - or, desperate people will do despera…

"...movies could be simultaneously like jazz and like philosophy..."

Miriam Bale talks with the New Yorker's film editor Richard Brody, mostly about Godard, at The House Next Door. From the interview:

MB: I’d like to bring up three myths of Godard, that I neither quite agree nor disagree with (or that I don’t think are necessarily quite positive or negative: 1) His adolescent obsession, 2) His sexism. And the third, which I don’t agree with at all, is that he’s pretentious. But that’s complicated. So let’s focus on the first two.

RB: By adolescent obsession you mean his relationships with young women? In his later film he’s, of course, very open about it. The relationship between older men and younger women is the subject of most of his later films. Back in the 1960’s it was a different story.

His relationship with Anna Karina is a personal relationship as well as an artistic relationship. He explained subsequently that he thought of the director/actor relationship as a primal trope in the classic cinema: Josef Von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich, Ors…

Terminal USA out on DVD!

From Jon Moritsugu's website:
"TERMINAL USA is finally out! Executive produced by James Schamus (Focus Features, Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger), shot with Panavision gear, and not available on DVD until now! This is Moritsugu's asian freak-out magnum opus that shocked America when it was broadcast on television in the mid-90's!
DVD includes uncensored version of the movie + never-before-seen "director's rough-cut" with 14 extra minutes of footage."
More info. at Moritsugu's site.

Standards, Hollywood influences, critical & audience expectations

This is not an attack on either of the two bloggers who recently wrote negative reviews of IFBRT but a general explanation of what my standards are when it comes to making a movie (one blog reader suggested that I articulate them so that there will perhaps be less confusion in the future - for some).

After thinking about this subject for a day I realized that most modern day film critics (or maybe just most film critics from any time period) and even most audience members & I will not agree on what I think is good or acceptable in a movie so I will probably have to stop reading all film reviews of my movies (also never rely on them for marketing purposes) and also ignore all or most of the audience reactions to my movies or clips, trailers, etc.

So what are my standards when it comes to a movie? What do I consider good or acceptable?

1. There is absolutely no wrong way to make a movie. A movie need not even contain both images & sounds (it might be impossible to make it interesti…

Indie Film Blogger Road Trip @ Atlanta Film Festival in April, & @ New Vision Cinema, NYC in March or April

Both of these items re: IFBRT is slightly old news & I don't have any new details on either screening event yet, but, for those who are just hearing about Indie Film Blogger Road Trip - from press generated by its 2/17 premiere in NYC - there will be at least a couple of chances to see the doc over the next two months - as a part of the New Vision Cinema screening series that takes place in NYC (in March or April), & as a part of the 2009 Atlanta Film Festival, which takes place in April. Should have details about both events w/ in the next two to three weeks, & will post all the info. here.

People who are not in NYC or Atlanta should be able to catch the doc on the web both as a part of Atlanta Film Fest (streaming is a part of the fest's planned presentation of the doc) & then later, starting in May or June, in several parts/episodes at Blip.tv. Of course DVDs of the doc will be available at some point from me/Wild Diner Films between now & the middle of t…

Photos from IFBRT premiere night - before, during, & after the event, Anthology Film Archives, NYC, 2/17/09

Before


During

After (Q & A moderated by Kevin Lee)



After After (dinner at Moonstruck on 2nd)





Photos Copyright 2009 Sujewa Ekanayake *
Will label these this weekend, in the meantime - check 'em out & enjoy - some of you might recognize some people in the pics. Thanks a lot to everyone who came out to the event! * - Sujewa

Let's take a look at Slant's review of Cocaine Angel

Since Mike Tully is wandering around the web declaring what legitimate filmmaking is & what legitimate film writing is (something he has done in defending his work at Hammer to Nail - a site that I actually like - so, for the moment, we'll leave that one alone) - let's take a look at a review of Tully's first & only fiction feature thus far - Cocaine Angel (don't worry Mike, if nothing else, this negative attention might sell a couple of DVDs of CA, since all press is good press right?) - from Slant:

"Piling miscalculation atop intolerable cruelty, this first feature by Michael Tully aims for Half Nelson's salient understanding of the strange, almost seductive allure of drug addiction. It's easy to see where the film goes wrong, beginning with the poetic strain of the title and ending with the main character's idiotic emotional unloading on a girl who looks like she might have been raped on her prom night. Somewhere between the opening title seq…