Archive for the ‘Distribution’ Category

Second Screen Mobile App Enhances ‘APP’ Film

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

A new Dutch film apply named APP will use a second screen application as a companion to the film. The app utilizes the SyncNow Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology. ACR makes second screens content-aware, delivering a package of enhanced features and information that are relevant & synchronized with the content playing on the main screen. Viewers are asked to download the app (available in iOS or Android) before going to see the film. APP’s app will offer 35 moments in the film where additional information or content will be accessible to enrich the movie viewing experience.


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This second screen feature is an interesting concept that is probably not a good gimmick for just any film. Other filmmakers (I believe Kevin Smith was the first) have used audio companion downloads that provide the director’s commentary that you’d time to synch with the film. However, APP’s story line makes it relevant since it involves a young psychology student who is addicted to her smartphone and after a long night of partying – discovers a mysterious app named IRIS has been downloaded on her phone.

APP Official Trailer:

Self Distribution via Vimeo On-Demand

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Vimeo recently announced the launch of their self-distribution on-demand (VOD) platform that will allow filmmakers to sell downloads or rent their films to the public. It’s available now through their ‘PRO’ service ($199/year).

I’ve been looking at all the self-distribution options for the feature film I produced and co-wrote with director Xackery IrvingNothing Without You. As we come to the last leg of the Festival phase of our film (next screening to date at the Sarasota Film Festival – April 6 & 7) we’ve come across several options. There are many ‘pay-wall’ type options similar to what Vimeo is now offering – but I think they all do not have the same brand cache and audience that Vimeo brings to the table. Plus, Vimeo’s revenue share is unmatched with their 90/10 split favoring the filmmaker.

[Vimeo On-Demand] is completely open, so anyone with a Vimeo PRO account can create a VOD page, sell their work, choose their price, choose the regions they want to offer and the time that it will be available, make it look beautiful, then push a button that says ‘publish’… and it’s open to the world.” – Blake Whitman, the company’s VP of Creative Development.

You can read Blake Whitman’s full interview with IndieWire here.

Here’s the Vimeo On-Demand trailer:

SoShare Your Large Media Files For Free

Monday, February 18th, 2013

SoShare is a new free file sharing/delivery service (currently in public Beta) that works through BitTorrent. You can send as many large video, audio and image files, or any other type of file – up to a terabyte of data in each transfer. All for free! The only limit that I can see is that the files are only available for 30 days.

“With SoShare, you can send files of any size. You can collaborate on media projects with friends and co-workers. Ideas are free. And so is SoShare. There are no caps or size limits on creativity.” – from official SoShare site.

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Summary Highlights:

  • Send bundles up to a terabyte in size, totally free.
  • Sharing is as easy as email. They get the files, you get a receipt.
  • The SoShare plug-in enables pause/resume and fast transfers.

After you sign up [highlight]here[/highlight] – you’ll need to download their plug-in.

Check it out.

JuntoBox Films Can Green-light Your Film

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

JuntoBox Films is a collaborative film studio and social media platform that allows filmmakers to pitch their ideas and have film fans rate & vote on projects that can ultimately be funded, produced and distributed. To get started, create a project and profile in the JuntoBox platform. This is where you’ll present ideas to the JuntoBox Films Collective (see their “How-to Junto”).

Filmmakers will then rise up through the Five Levels of development by building their film’s profile through fan participation and completion of various tasks. When a project has risen to the top of the JuntoBox ladder, it is eligible for development. JuntoBox Film’s co-chair – actor, producer and director, Forest Whitaker recently announced that they will be funding and green-lighting five films in 2012!

JuntoBox’s 5 Levels

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images/illustrations from juntoboxfilms.com

Beyond a business, JuntoBox is aspiring to be part of a new business culture that aligns talented people in need of support with accomplished mentors who want to give something back and encourage the stars of the next generation.” — JuntoBox founder Philippe Caland

The success of this type of initiative is crucial to the development of truly independent films. Check it out, sign up and and show your support by pitching your film idea and/or rating other’s projects.

Mobcaster is Crowdfunding Indie TV

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Mobcaster is another crowd-funding site, but specializes exclusively on indie produced television content. It has it’s own online TV channel (Mobcaster TV) – which will broadcast the funded shows’ series and will share ad revenue (50/50 net split) with the show’s creators.

Mobcaster sells advertising around the series broadcast on Mobcaster TV and all Showrunners of such shows are entitled to half of our net advertising revenue. Because Mobcaster TV is dedicated to audience supported (and funded!) TV, Showrunners will have the opportunity for greater revenue participation than nearly anywhere else online!” – from mobcaster.com/faq 

Mobcaster’s biggest success to-date is a show called The Weatherman (watch the pilot episode here). It not only surpassed its $72,500 goal, but it will get a distribution deal with TiVo’s digital streaming service.

I watched The Weatherman pilot episode and it was really funny, well written and produced (by Dark Heart Productions). They are setting the bar pretty high for all the other proposed shows that will try to get funded through Mobcaster.

If you have an idea for a TV show – go ahead and pitch it (free of cost) to the Mobcaster audience. Follow their steps: Pitch -> Fund -> Produce -> Broadcast.

On My Block NYC Film Challenge

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

On My Block is a film challenge that brings communities closer together by inviting filmmakers to create short narrative or documentary (1-5 minutes) films on their NYC block . The only rule (besides being located in one of the 5 New York City boroughs) is that you can only use your neighbors within a one block radius for all the cast and crew of your film. Read all the rules and eligibility requirements here.

Also, check out their “Filmmaking Steps” for some production tips – like how to recruit your crew, Pre & Post steps and more.

Watch Ryan O’Hara Theisen, one of the co-founders of On My Block Films, explain the mission behind OMB Films and some of the benefits of being an On My Block filmmaker:
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Once your film is submitted and approved, it’ll screen online on the OMB Vimeo Channel. After Oct. 31st, it goes offline and the top scoring (most amount of Vimeo Likes) 30 films move on to Judges round. They’ll pick the final 15 which will be screened at a yet to be disclosed location in New York City.

Submissions are open until October 31, 2012. Submit your film now.

Gathr is Theatrical On Demand

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Gathr is a new service that attempts to democratize theatrical distribution by allowing the movie-goer the ability to bring independent films to local theatres – coining the phrase, “TOD” Theatrical-On-Demand. Described as if “Kickstarter met Netflix and had a love child,” (from Filmmaker Magazine) Gathr utilizes Kickstarter’s crowdfunding route as a down payment reservation for local theaters. Screenings can only happen if a minimum number of people reserve tickets before a screening request expires. If the minimum is reached, then the venue is guaranteed the funds committed because all reservations are not just intentions to attend, but a paid in full (credit cards are charged) pledge.

Gathr was created by a fellow filmmaker Scott Glosserman (IMDB) who was frustrated by the distribution process he experienced with his own films…

I was so disappointed by the difficulty I had getting my movies out there that I decided our industry had to innovate or filmmakers like me were going to continue to languish.”

There are similar services out there that you should also check out like OpenIndie, Tugg and Eventfull.  I’ve also covered a few others in a previous post titled, “DIY Screenings & Distribution.” The success of these types of non-traditional distribution outlets will greatly benefit our ability to collate an audience for our independent films.

Win $1,000 Scholarship in Fair Trade Colleges & Universities Short Film Contest

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Fair Trade Colleges & Universities (a non-profit campaign to institute ‘fair trade’ on campuses across the U.S.) is running a short film contest with a grand prize of $1,000 scholarship, a trip to Latin America with a documentary team – plus other prizes!  If you’d like to know what their organization is all about – check out this video (below):

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The Contest:

Produce a short (30-90 second) film using your unique perspective as a current or former college student to explain the important role that students can play in the empowerment of farmers, workers, artisans and consumers through Fair Trade.

Eligibility:

You must be currently enrolled or have been enrolled in an institution of higher learning in the past 5 years in order to enter.

Grand Prize –

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    • Trip to Latin America with a Fair Trade documentary team
    • $1000 Cash Prize
    • Keurig Coffee Brewer + a year’s supply of coffee
    • $250 Fair Trade gift card
    • A free trip to the 2nd National Fair Trade Campaigns Conference

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2nd Place Prize –

    • $500 Cash Prize
    • Keurig Coffee Brewer + a year’s supply of coffee
    • $100 Fair Trade gift card
    • A free trip to the 2nd National Fair Trade Campaigns Conference

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3rd Place Prize –

    • $250 Cash Prize
    • Keurig Coffee Brewer + a year’s supply of coffee
    • $50 Fair Trade gift card
    • A free trip to the 2nd National Fair Trade Campaigns Conference

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The contest is open for submissions now – [highlight]click here[/highlight] for more information

Short Films find Digital Distribution via the new Go Social Film iPad Magazine

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Go Social Film Magazine is a new (free) iPad (only) monthly publication that showcases international short films – along with behind-the-scenes production content, exclusive filmmaker interviews, unseen footage, and interactive multimedia articles.  Subscribers can watch these short films in their entirety and filmmakers get exposure to a wider audience.

Go Social Film is a welcome addition to indie filmmaking. There are not that many platforms where shorts have a voice outside the festival circuit, Go Social Film is a great opportunity to be heard.”  – Alex Sufit, director “Gentlemen In Squalor.”

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Here are some of the featured short films included in Issue #2:
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  • “Slug Invasion” (IMDB) Animation – Director: Casper Wermuth, Denmark
  • “O-Ring” (IMDB) Drama – Director: Ondřej Hudeček, Czech Republic
  • “Gentlemen in Squalor” (IMDB) Musical – Director: Alex Sufit, United Kingdom
  • “Phlegethon” (IMDB) Drama – Director: Vadim Vatagin, Russia
  • “Finding Benjaman” (IMDB) Documentary – Director: John Wikstrom, United States
  • “Gravity of Belief” (IMDB) Comedy – Director: Martin Gooch, United Kingdom

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The Go Social Film Magazine App is available for free download in the iTunes Store.

Amazon Studios Wants Your Movie or Screenplay

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Amazon (yes – that Amazon) is getting into the movie biz. Amazon Studios was just launched as a place where budding filmmakers and screenwriters can submit their work for cash and prizes. A combined $2.7 million in monthly and annual awards will be doled out in this program’s inaugural year.

Amazon Studios will also partner up with a major Hollywood studio. Here’s the gist:

Amazon Studios has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures, which means we’ll be presenting our top projects to Hollywood’s biggest studio for consideration as theatrical feature films. And winners of the Amazon Studios Annual Awards won’t just get money—they’ll also get a meeting with Warner Bros. development executives. [from Amazon Studios home page]

Deadline for submission is January 31, 2011. Click here to get started. You should first read their FAQ’s – especially your rights. (fyi…you’ll be entering into an 18 month, exclusive development agreement with Amazon Studios – but you’ll get paid!)