Distributor creates club for early releases

Indie distrib Oscilloscope Laboratories is introducing the Circle of Trust, a movies-by-mail club that will send subscribers the next 10 Oscilloscope releases on DVD.”About one a month, give or take” will be the laid-back rate of release, according to the company. The service — $150 for a 10-disc subscription — is up and running via the Oscilloscope website.Adam Yauch, the Beastie Boys member who runs Oscilloscope, explained that he hopes the series will offer the same kind of boutique appeal that consumers get from the Criterion Collection.”If somebody signs up for this thing, hopefully they’re saying, ‘I like the last five films you guys put out,'” Yauch said.Movies by mail-order subscription is a rarefied business model — Dave Eggers’ literary magazine, McSweeney’s, has its Wholpin DVD magazine (which has featured short films by directors from Spike Jonze to Steven Soderbergh), and Film Movement has a DVD-of-the-month club, which sends subscribers a kudo-getting indie pic 12 times a year. But those two are exceptions to the rule. In addition to the actual discs, O-scope will be offering subscribers 50% off the company’s 20-film back catalog, which includes acclaimed Kurt Kuenne docu “Dear Zachary” and Kelly Reichardt’s “Wendy and Lucy.”Yauch said the movies distribbed by the Circle of Trust would still go out through regular channels (including Netflix), but subscribers will get the discs about a week before their official release date. There are no plans to incorporate Blu-ray yet, but Yauch suggested the company may include a rent-to-own digital streaming service of the kind Criterion uses on its website.

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