Articles Tagged Distribution

On the Margins of the Multiplex

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In 1973, a young, cinema-loving bohemian couple fled the high rents of Manhattan for the more affordable suburbs of Huntington, NY. Once there, Vic Skolnick and Charlotte Sky found that they had also fled, inadvertently, the vibrant independent cinema scene in New York City, which was then in its heyday, with more than a dozen… Read more »

The Many Meanings of “Fair Use”

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So your documentary has commercial interest and high revenue earning potential. And you’ve secured all of the agreements, releases, and licenses for the film, except for one piece of vintage footage that’s not quite in the public domain (material which can be used freely by anyone because it was created before 1923), but it’s “pretty… Read more »

Picture’s Up

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Everything you need to know about Bob Berney’s taste in movies can be summed up by one simple fact: growing up, his favorite film was Stanley Kubrick’s seminal sci-fi head-trip 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Of course, like most of us, he also had a soft spot for more, let’s say, lowbrow fare. “As a… Read more »

Netflix and the afterlife of indies

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For a documentary, Deadline (2004) was, by all accounts, a big success. The film, which profiled Illinois Governor George Ryan and his decision to condemn the death penalty in Illinois, toured the festival circuit to rave reviews and was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004. Producers for NBC’s Dateline made the… Read more »

From Cecil B. to Businessman

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Will Keenan has done some crazy things to promote movies. He’s been hit by a car, threatened self-immolation, and climbed a water tower only to get busted on the 6 o’clock news. Keenan even once dove from a third-floor balcony into a pool. But what he’s doing these days to promote movies is, by his… Read more »

Acing the Deal

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Distribution. The Deal. That’s the goal of any independent producer after finishing production within budget and on schedule. Ideally, a filmmaker would want to have the film or program distributed by a single company with a reputable track record that would handle distribution in every market. However, although major distribution companies deal in both the… Read more »

Participant Productions

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To most people, Jeff Skoll is the eBay guy. He was the first employee and first president of the online auction behemoth. With over $4 billion worth of eBay stock, he was named the third richest man under 40 in the country by Fortune magazine in 2004. What most people don’t know about Skoll is… Read more »

How much should I hustle?

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Dear Doc Doctor: My film projects and ideas are well-suited for public television. But as an independent filmmaker I can’t envision my work fitting into pre-formatted programs. Do I have any options besides just selling a finished film? To work for or work with—to give up creative control for the safety of a check, or… Read more »

Q&A with David Russell of Big Film Shorts

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David Russell is the go-to man for all things short film. In 1996, he started Big Film Shorts, a distributor which specializes in the unsung short form. Eight years later, Russell and his company are getting ready to partner with Canadian short film channel Movieola to launch the first short film cable channel in the… Read more »

The Death of The Video Geek

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I spent June of this year in Ghent, a small town near Hudson, New York. Hoping to rent some John Sayles movies one night, I headed into town, pulling up alongside a group of heavily pierced teenagers—your average counterculture youth. I asked them where to go to rent a video, and they suggested the Hollywood… Read more »