I’m late to the linkfest on this one, but I just caught up with John Anderson’s piece in The New York Times on self-distributing indie films. It’s positioned as a trend piece, and the hook is this week’s release of Randall Miller’s Bottle Shock, which the filmmaker is getting in theaters himself with the help of Freestyle Releasing and former Picturehouse exec Dennis O’Conner. Filmmakers, of course, have been self-distributing for years — the difference now is that the specialty distribution circuit seems like such a bleak place that fewer are questioning the decision to do so.What I found good and succinct in Anderson’s piece are these paragraphs, which lay out the kind of effort Miller is expending on his film. Anderson makes clear that today’s self-distribution involves a lot more than just four-walling a theater, buying a tiny Times ad, and hoping the crowds will show up.To help navigate the sometimes treacherous world of film … [Read more...] about SELF DISTRIBUTING INDIE FILM
Indie films on netflix
Indie film champions are often fond of comparing what we do to indie music. If bands can tour, why can’t we? If bands can sell merch, then we should too. If recording artists can form boutique labels, then why can’t film distributors? Like, for example, Oscilloscope, the film label of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch.At Flavorwire, Judy Berman takes this assumption to task in a piece called “Why is Indie Film Dying While Indie Music Thrives?” She bases her assessment of indie film’s slow-motion death on Edward Jay Epstein’s “Can Indie Movies Survive?”, which I found to be a pretty reductive piece. The central question — how can indie movies survive in an event-based moviegoing culture? — is a good one, but Epstein’s article uses one very specific model of independent film production to speak for the whole field. (On this point about indie films and their event-fullness, check out Ted Hope’s newly redesigned Truly Free Film … [Read more...] about HOW COOL IS INDIE FILM?
At the start of this year, I opened an account with Letterboxd, a social platform that allows you to keep track of the films you watch. I work as a critic and edit a criticism website, so readers and subscribers often write me asking about what I have seen, especially when I do not publish my sentiments about a major film on any outlet. As of mid-December, I have listed about 200 movies (and a few limited series, including Netflix’s Easy and the ESPN sensation OJ: Made in America) as “watched” since I saw Darius Clark Monroe’s brilliant short film, Dirt, on January 20th. This tally is short, though, because as a journalist, much of what I see is embargoed for review until near release, and Letterboxd maintains a ratings system that might jeopardize those embargoes. Then there are the myriad shorts and microbudget indies too low-profile to register with the site.If I had to estimate, I would guess that I have seen upwards of 275 features and perhaps 100 short … [Read more...] about The Best Short Films on Television in 2016
You’ve made an independent film and you’d like to get it out into the world. Unfortunately, unless you’re already a “name” director with an established track record or your film has played at top festivals, there’s no clear route to getting distribution. In recent years as the traditional distribution model has shifted, the future of film distribution has been murky.But at a Portland Film Festival panel devoted to distribution, Drafthouse Films chief operating officer James Shapiro declared that “We have finally arrived at a place where we know what the future will look like, at least for the immediate future. We’re going to a streaming world.” Traditional distribution modelIn the past, films followed a traditional model where they screened theatrically before, after three or four months, becoming available on home video before heading to transactional video and on demand services (cable, iTunes), then going to broadcast (pay … [Read more...] about What Filmmakers Need to Know About Indie Film Distribution in 2016
Do you watch movies downloaded via the Internet to your laptop, tablet, smartphone or even TV set? If so, have you received a love letter from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) informing you to either go on a digital data diet or plan to pay more to suck down more streaming 1s and 0s? If not, it will arrive shortly.The leading ISPs are changing the usage and pricing models they have long used, shifting the industry from one with “unlimited” plans to “limited” deals.The effort to impose data caps – sometimes called data throttling – may have significant, long-term consequences for indie filmmakers. Indie film distribution is increasingly augmenting traditional festival and theatrical releases with Internet video streaming to reach in-home viewers. In this effort, indie makers are relying on non-traditional distributors like Netflix, Apple and YouTube as well as an increasing number of micro-distributors to get their works out.As a rule of … [Read more...] about Will Data Caps Kill Indie Film?