09 mars 2010

Dissecting American Distribution

The Business (KCRW/NPR) MP3 podcast 30' (8 Mar 2010)

Dissecting Distribution : It's tough to get distribution for indie movies these days. But just what is distribution, and what can you do if you have a great little movie without it? Distribution...and self-distribution...and everything in-between...

  • Richard Fay: President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution, Summit Entertainment
  • Thomas Woodrow: Producer, 'Bass Ackwards'
  • Anthony Deptula: Writer, producer and actor, 'One Too Many Mornings'

Talking points:
- Oscars win/nominations, critical acclaim don't help distribution of small films
- Less and less films are bought at festivals by distributors... (!)
- There is no USA audience to support documentary/highbrow drama/foreign films... that's the excuse of distributors for not buying this kind of "niche" films (?)
- Major studios (MPAA members) get less restrictive "censorship board" ratings than indie films (PG13, R...) for equal offensive content. See: This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006/Kirby Dick)
- Big name distributors can get deals because smaller distributors are (allegedly) incapable to deliver prints in the theatres on time...
- "Block booking/Blind bidding" is (allegedly) illegal : a distributor cannot punish an exhibitor with future films denial if they refuse the deal on the current film. So it cannot be the reason why theatrical circuits only show major studios flicks (whether they are good or bad, popular or flops)... can't be. The only explanation must be that exhibitors don't know what their audience wants, can't tell if a movie sucks, and that they rent bad movies just because they love losing money... yeah right!
- If you have a great film that the Hollywood system refuses to buy, just bend over and release it on YouTube, cause... you know, underdogs must get second rate exposure. Nobody would suggest that the right option would be to change the freaking plutocratic/hegemonic/imperialistic system...

... hopeless

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