You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Adding pic punch

Homevid taps Web core and mass-market muscle

The Internet is increasingly being used to steer independent films to both their core audiences and the mass market, panelists said Saturday at AFM’s seminar on exploiting ancillary markets.

Filmmakers can sell DVDs directly to core audiences via their own movie Web sites, while third-party video and theatrical distributors simultaneously push the titles through traditional channels.

“There’s a revolution in distribution” among independents, said Peter Broderick, president of consultancy firm Paradigm, who pointed to motorcycle-racing doc “Faster” as a case in point.

“Faster” grossed a hefty $14,000 in a weekend at one Los Angeles theater on the strength of just Internet promotion to biker enthusiasts, with no paid ads.

“We let them know online, it cost us nothing and they all showed up,” Broderick said.

“Faster” will sell about 12,000 DVDs directly from its Web site prior to a traditional video release later this month via New Video later this month. Broderick expects to move 100,000 more DVD units.

Broderick said filmmakers should set up movie Web sites even before their films are made — to promote the pics to target audiences and build up mailing lists for marketing.

In a twist, video distributors increasingly push for a token theatrical release to generate awareness for video release, and sometimes provide theatrical marketing costs as part of their rights deal, said Paul Colichman, chairman of Regent Entertainment.

Regent made the hit “Gods and Monsters.” One or two years ago, a small theatrical release was viewed as not worth the expense for a modest independent film, Colichman said.

Such a release might involve just $100,000-$500,000 in marketing costs for a theatrical run at a single theater in five-10 cities, “the purpose of which is to get noticed by the media,” said David Garber, president and CEO of Lantern Lane Entertainment.In the domestic market, filmmakers can access broader audiences inexpensively by mounting joint promotions with special interest groups –which have ready-made mailing lists of members interested in specific topics — and by entering film festivals.

Producer Robert Greenwald launched docs “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism” and “Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War” via inhouse direct sales, then enlisted outside distributors for broader circulation.

“You need both,” he counseled, saying third parties are in a better position to collect from stores or movie theaters, promote broadly and manage labor-intensive physical delivery.

Independent Feature Project/Los Angeles programmed the seminar, which was moderated by Michael Donaldson, a partner at Donaldson & Hart.

More Film

  • Octavia Spencer Bryce Dallas Howard

    Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard to Reunite for Comedy 'Fairy Tale Ending'

    Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard will reunite for the ensemble comedy “Fairy Tale Ending.” Jim Hecht (“Ice Age: The Meltdown) and Tracy McMillan (“Marvel’s Runaways”) are writing the screenplay. Howard will also produce the Universal movie through her Nine Muses Entertainment alongside Eric Carlson and Susan Carlson. Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins will produce [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

  • 'Ghostbusters': First Look at Jason Reitman's

    Watch the First Teaser for Jason Reitman's 'Ghostbusters' Sequel

    If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, it’s time to watch a teaser for Jason Reitman’s “Ghostbusters” forthcoming film. Sony Pictures released a first look at the upcoming movie, a sequel to the 1984 classic. The footage shows a glimpse of the memorable station wagon Ecto-1. The studio announced on Tuesday that the wheels are [...]

  • Anne Hathaway

    Anne Hathaway to Star in Robert Zemeckis' 'The Witches' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anne Hathaway has closed a deal to star as the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis and Warner Bros.’ “The Witches” adaptation. Variety first reported that Hathaway was holding the offer for both that and “Sesame Street,” and at the time, scheduling for both films were holding up dealmaking. With those issues settled, Hathaway is [...]

  • Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K.,

    Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K. With Tougher Restrictions on Sexual Content

    The body that oversees film ratings in the U.K. is tightening its age restrictions and giving movies with certain types of sexual content older age ratings. The British Board of Film Classification said the changes were in response to public demand after a consultation that took in the views of over 10,000 people in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content