×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Singapore Filmmaker Tan Pin Pin Finds Global Reach With Vimeo

SINGAPORE — Vimeo has become the global distribution platform of choice for Singaporean filmmaker Tan Pin Pin.

Three of her documentaries, “To Singapore, With Love”, “Singapore GaGa” and “Invisible City” are available on the U.S.-based platform, but the first one is not available in Singapore. It is banned in its home country due to its politically-sensitive content.

Vimeo takes a 10% cut on all rentals and purchases, while intermediary payment services like PayPal take their fees, averaging some 4% of the price, leaving the filmmaker with some 86% of revenues.

“It is still the best split you can get,” says Peter Gerard, Vimeo’s director of audience development and content operations. Gerard says that the pricing of each of the 30,000 films on Vimeo on Demand is arrived at after discussion with the filmmakers, and the films themselves are chosen after a curation process by experts who are often festival programmers.

Gerard is currently on a round the world mission to educate international filmmakers about the platform.

Tan also explored rival platforms like iTunes and Netflix, but was put off by the upfront format conversion fees they charge, ranging from $500-$800. Netflix usually pays filmmakers a flat fee while iTunes relies on content aggregators in different countries who take a substantial cut, reducing the filmmakers’ share in the process.

“I knew who my audience was and I knew how to reach them. I really didn’t need their algorithms at that point,” says Tan. The filmmaker used Vimeo and YouTube in tandem to promote her films. She would upload fragments of her features on YouTube that would encourage audiences to pay for the whole films on Vimeo.

However, Tan isn’t just relying on digital platforms. “To Singapore, With Love,” which saw Tan interview a dozen exiled former political activists, played at a number of high profile festivals, but was denied a release in Singapore on the grounds of that it represented threat to national security. However, it is achieving brisk DVD sales internationally via U.S. portal Gumroad.

Tan and Gerard were among the participants in a panel discussion on digital distribution at the ongoing Singapore International Film Festival, alongside Malaysian digital pioneer James Lee and Christian Lee and Jason Chan of Bananamana Films whose “Perfect Girl,” a 10-episode digital series, won awards for outstanding drama series, directing, writing, editing, and lead actress at the L.A. Web Fest 2015.

Gerard has a keen eye on the vast Indian market, but is well aware of the challenges in a country where broadband connections are scarce and where buying online and paying for digital content is still in its infancy.

“We have made a start by successfully targeting the Indian diaspora,” says Gerard.

More Film

  • Carol Burnett

    Carol Burnett's Mother-Daughter Story 'Carrie and Me' in Development as a Movie

    Carol Burnett’s bestseller “Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story” is in the works as a movie at Focus Features with Burnett, Tina Fey, Eric Gurian, and Steven Rogers producing. Burnett will produce through her Mabel Cat Productions with Fey and Gurian under their production banner Little Stranger along with Rogers (“I, Tonya”). The sibling [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Plans for Agency Pact Expiration: 'There Will Be Difficult Moments'

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have sent members contingency plans for the possible expiration of its agency franchise agreement on April 7 — and admitted that it may be a rocky road. Members received the letter Tuesday from the guild’s negotiating committee as the WGA and agents were about the hold their seventh [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Entertainment One, Universal to Partner on Home Entertainment

    Entertainment One and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have signed a multi-year, multi-territory distribution agreement. UPHE will serve as the home entertainment distributor of eOne’s offerings across both physical and digital formats. The pact covers film, television, and select family content and includes all sales, marketing, and distribution, spanning the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Spain, Australia, [...]

  • Will Smith Jada Pinkett Smith

    AFI, Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation Launch Second Young Women in Film Intensive

    The AFI Conservatory and the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation have partnered to launch the second annual Young Women in Film Intensive. The AFI Campus in Los Angeles will host 45 high school girls for an eight-week filmmaking workshop, where students will receive mentorship from current fellows and working professional alumni of the AFI [...]

  • Paul Davidson

    The Orchard Head Content Executive Paul Davidson Steps Down

    At the finish line of its sale to 1091 Media, distributor the Orchard’s film and TV head Paul Davidson is parting ways with the company. In an amicable split, the creative executive addressed staff in person and in a company-wide memo on Tuesday in New York City to inform them of his decision. “While I [...]

  • Ava DuVernay Toby Emmerich Michael Douglas

    Ava DuVernay, Toby Emmerich, Michael Douglas to Speak at Produced By Conference

    Ava DuVernay, Toby Emmerich, and Michael Douglas will speak at the Producers Guild of America’s 11th Produced By Conference. The event will be held on June 8-9 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif. Other notable speakers include Netflix executive Cindy Holland; Blumhouse producer Marci Wiseman; “Homecoming” showrunners Micah Bloomberg and Eli Horowitz; Entertainment One [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content