Iklipz fills interview ‘Gap’

Show to provide info to struggling indies

Iklipz.com, a year-old, filmmaker-friendly website for independents, launches today the six-part video interview series “Bridging the Gap,” which puts together emerging filmmakers with industry pros.

Company prexy Arthur Cohen, the former marketing head for Paramount Pictures, sees the show as providing badly needed information to struggling indies.

“It struck me that the information that an outsider does not have is not rocket science; they just don’t have it,” Cohen said. “It’s not hard to explain to anybody. We’re trying to bring that info into the lives of more people so more people have a chance of being successful. That’s what the site is about.”

Each segment will be available at iklipz.com, with the first episode, “How Do I Get My First Breakthrough Role?,” which matches veteran actor William Fichtner with actor-filmmaker Bob Levitan, debuting tonight at at 7 p.m. One new episode will be unveiled each week thereafter.

Three of the first six episodes slated for the debut season have been completed, and all feature iklipz members who have uploaded their indie films to the site. The iklipz staff voted on which filmmakers should be included.

Three more episodes will film this summer, featuring writer-director John August and Sandra Ruch, director of the Intl. Documentary Assn. Future seasons of “Bridging the Gap” are expected as early as this fall. Iklipz members will be able to blog and chat about the segments.

“People often ask me how I manage my career with such a diversity of roles, and the truth is I do what I have a passion for,” said Fichtner, who does stage work as well as studio and indie films. “I like this idea of using a site like iklipz, whose devotion to independent film is echoed in a no-BS forum where a fan can ask whatever they want to.”

Other shows feature Roadside Attractions acquisitions exec Dustin Smith talking with filmmaker Jay Delle Valle about the trials of securing a distributor for his documentary “The Glorius Mustache Challenge” and publicity veteran Fredell Pogodin giving advice to Julie Stevens, co-director and co-producer of the cable documentary “Life After Tomorrow,” an examination of actresses who’ve appeared in the musical “Annie” across the globe.

Iklipz boasts some 10,000 members, who are encouraged to “see, show and share” their shorts, features and clips. Supported by advertising, iklipz is registering 700,000-800,000 player views per month but got 4 million in June. So far, more than 5,000 films have been uploaded.

“Bridging the Gap” is produced inhouse at iklipz, with I/D Public Relations’ Barry Dale Johnson serving as executive producer. IKLIPZ’s VP of Content and Acquisitions, Seth Nagel, is co-producer.

Cohen wants to continue to add more original content to the site, which already features the satirical weekly video blog Lipz Service; Comedy Klipz, “for the independently funny filmmaker”; and video coverage of indie press junkets and red-carpet premieres.

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