For our annual focus on alternative content in cinemas, Film Journal International sought the expertise of people on the front lines of vanguard programming: the exhibitors themselves. Our “roundtable” participants are Gary Green, Director of Alternative Content, Carmike Cinemas; Pat Marshall, VP of Communications and Investor Relations, Cineplex Entertainment; Bud Mayo, CEO of Digiplex Destinations; Bob Goodrich, President, Goodrich Quality Theaters; Karen Scott, Director of Sales and Marketing, Malco Theatres; Carlo Petrick, Marketing and Communications Manager, Marcus Theatres; and Shelly Maxwell, Executive VP, NCM Fathom Events (co-owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and Regal Entertainment Group). We thank them for their time and insights. How much alternative-content programming do you do?Goodrich: We do traditional “alternative”: nine weeks of kids’ shows spring and fall with free admission, and nine weeks in summer with $1 admission, totaling … [Read more...] about Alternative opinions: Leading exhibitors reflect on new forms of programming
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Wizard World Comic Con Cleveland was held February 26-28, 2016 at the Cleveland Convention Center, and provided opportunities for fans to hear the creators, actors, and industry professionals who make their fandom possible speak about their experiences. Getting to see the actors interact with their co-stars, directors, and writers as themselves instead of in character was a huge highlight of the convention for me, particularly when Chloe Bennett (Agent Skye/Daisy Johnson) and Elizabeth Henstridge (Agent Jemma Simmons) shared the stage and answered fan questions about their work on Agents of Shield, and when Frank Grillo (Crossbones) and Joseph and Anthony Russo (the directors of Captain America: Winter Soldier and the upcoming Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War films) paneled together.This was my first Wizard World event. I found out about it through a friend who’s a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was excited to attend. She asked if I was interested in … [Read more...] about Wizard World Comic Con Cleveland Marvel Panel Highlights and More
This month has been terrible in every conceiveable sense of the word, in some part due to the rapidly escalating harassment of prominent feminists in gaming. Every time you think it’s at its peak and things might start to cool down, jerks on the Internet ensure that it all ramps right back up again, to the point where we weren’t sure how to cover the story because we didn’t even know where to start. In case you haven’t been following, here’s what’s been going on.[Editor’s Note: We’ve been informed that what we posted about Adam Baldwin may not be correct. We’ve edited the piece to reflect that and are further looking into the issue.][Editor’s Note #2: We’ve made additional updates below.]Sadly the two women stuck in the eye of the storm, Zoë Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian, are not strangers to online harassment. When Quinn’s choose-you-own-adventure-style game Depression Quest was greenlit … [Read more...] about [UPDATED] A Disheartening Account Of The Harassment Going On In Gaming Right Now (And How Adam Baldwin Is Involved)
Welcome to Pull It Together, where the goal is to narrow the massive field of comic book titles to the ones you shouldn’t overlook. It isn’t about what’s on my pull list, it’s about what could be on yours!Exciting things this week! Okay, I’m excited about comics every week, but STILL. Comixology is having a sale on one of my favorite comics series ever, Gotham Central. If you’ve always wondered why people care deeply about Renee Montoya, that story starts here, along with the stories of a whole cast of men and women struggling to be good, effective cops in a corrupt force within a city that condones and embraces vigilantism. But there’s also plenty of new comics to take a look at this week, like Edge of Spider-verse #2, featuring a universe where Gwen Stacy became the web-slinger; Leaving Megalopolis, available for the first time to folks who didn’t back its Kickstarter; and Jim Henson’s Storyteller: … [Read more...] about Pull It Together:
Tonight is the 27th Lambda Literary Awards, an annual event that honors LGBTQ literature in categories from transgender fiction, to lesbian poetry to gay erotic, to the very recent category of LGBTQ graphic novel! Hosted by Kate Clinton, attendees this year include Alison Bechdel (Fun Home musical number included!), Gloria Steinhem, Alan Cumming, and more!Last year’s winner (and first winner) for graphic novel was Nicole Georges for Calling Dr.Laura: A Graphic Memoir.Here are this year’s finalists for LGBTQ Graphic Novels!1. 100 Crushes by Elisha Lim100 Crushes is a compilation of the Elisha Lim’s queer comics, zines, and travels over five years along with some new material as well. The Toronto-based artist paints a personal portrait of themself and of LGBTQ people of color. You can see a preview here. 2. Band Vs. Band Comix Volume 1 by Kathleen JacquesBand Vs. Band is a comic about The Candy Hearts, a band that believes in “love and world peace and ice … [Read more...] about LGBTQ Graphic Novel Finalists at Tonight’s Lammy Awards
A year ago, I brought the preview copies of Think Outside the Box Office to sell at Independent Film Week, straight off the press. This week in addition to being a lab leader and mentor of the new IFP Filmmaker Labs, I have the honor of being paired in a Cage Match on Thursday with Michael Tully from Hammer to Nail, and Michelle Satter from the Sundance Labs on the subject: “Am I A Filmmaker or Brand”. I thought I would throw down some thoughts on the subject.I don’t think that “filmmaker” and “brand” are exclusive of one another. I think that all filmmakers, in fact all creative artists, have the opportunity to be both. For many filmmakers, the sooner they realize this potential, the happier they will be.I can understand the knee jerk reaction to the concept of “filmmaker as brand.” For years filmmakers, especially independent filmmakers, have resisted being pigeonholed. “We’re artists with a broad eclectic taste. I … [Read more...] about Am I a Filmmaker or a Brand? Why Not Be Both?
Back in June, Netflix’s VP of Product Innovation Carlos A. Gomez-Uribe and Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt co-published a paper entitled, “The Netflix Recommender System: Algorithms, Business Value, and Innovation.”It’s a fascinating read, and if you care at all about the future of film as an artform, a fairly troubling one.With their 19-page paper, Gomez-Uribe and Hunt provide a rare peek under the hood of Netflix’s inner-workings and technological developments, and go on to discuss the company’s business priorities and philosophy. The basic takeaway? Netflix has built an insanely complex and powerful recommendation system. This sucker has algorithms inside its algorithms.I won’t spend too long overviewing that system, as a lot has already been written about how robust it is (I’d point you to this overview from The Atlantic, which calls the system peerless outside of Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm).Basically, the Netflix … [Read more...] about What Does Netflix’s Algorithm Want?
“Some films go deep,” filmmaker Tiffany Shlain said at the Sundance premiere of her documentary, Connected. “Mine goes wide.” Indeed, Shlain’s film does go wide — it’s like a rubber band stretching in multiple directions while not breaking. Examining the ways in which technology can productively unite our global citizenry, Connected details nothing less than the history of consciousness and its arrival within today’s always-on, hyper-wired mind. Through voiceover narration and breezy montage, Connected explores the right brain/left brain split and its effect on social and economic organization, and it highlights the transformative potential of today’s communication tools. As a modern-day David Hume might argue, the film thoughtfully and entertainingly proposes that the Internet’s power to spread knowledge and experience can create a worldwide community capable of embracing the goals needed to sustain ourselves and our planet. … [Read more...] about Director Tiffany Shlain on
Arriving in theaters this weekend following its SXSW premiere is DamNation, Ben Knight and Travis Rummel’s ecological advocacy documentary supporting the removal of obsolete dams. Funded and distributed by Patagonia — and the winner of SXSW’s Documentary Spotlight Audience Award — DamNation and its release are a study, says Sub-Genre’s Brian Newman, in “how a brand can use film to create impact.” Newman is the film’s marketing and distribution consultant, and along with the company and other partners he’s implementing an innovative campaign employing Patagonia’s customer base, collapsed release windows, partnerships with affinity groups and the old-fashioned hustling of DVDs. Newman explains how the project originated: “Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, and his friend Matt Stoecker, a scientist who does underwater cinematography, were wondering how to get people to care about the issue of dam removal. They … [Read more...] about Distributing the Cause of Dam Removal: Patagonia’s Push for
The Sundance Film Festival's competition lineup for 2010, announced Wednesday, might demand that audiences wear their serious caps. But the out-of-competition selections allow programmers and viewers to cut loose a little.The 53 films that populate this year's Premieres, Next, Spotlight, Park City at Midnight and New Frontier sections run the gamut from the cosmically experimental to the star-studded and silly. There is indeed something for everyone at this year's event, which runs Jan. 21-31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.As usual, Premieres collects work involving the industry's higher-profile talent, none more so than John Wells' feature directorial debut, "The Company Men," which stars Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper. Mexican actor Diego Luna's directorial debut, "Abel," will screen, as will Philip Seymour Hoffman's "Jack Goes Boating."Michael Winterbottom has the rare distinction of having two films in the festival: … [Read more...] about Sundance reveals noncompetition lineup