Archive for January, 2010

Fans, Friends, and Followers

January 25, 2010

Earlier tonight, I finished reading Scott Kirsner’s Fans, Friends, and Followers. I was going to write another long, elaborate review about the book. It was a very resourceful book, and I got a lot of valuable advice. But I’m at a point where I want to move beyond how to put myself out there.

Meanwhile, Children Of Invention, a movie I blogged about a few days ago, is up as a rental on YouTube this week for $3.99. I watched it last night, and I really enjoyed it. YouTube also has a few other Sundance selections up for rental, including Bass Ackwards (whose distribution fundraiser I also contributed to), and One Too Many Mornings. With the premieres of movies like Lovers of Hate, Howl, and Cyrus, and the NEXT showcase, I sincerely wish I was in Park City right now.

Maybe next year.


Children Of Invention’s DIWO Distribution

January 21, 2010

With the help of Variance Films, director Tze Chun and producer Mynette Louie are engineering a theatrical release for their feature, Children of Invention. Even though self distribution can be cumbersome and a costly venture, here’s why they’ve opted to do this:

Yes, we might be crazy. Perhaps all of those traditional distributors who passed on our film were right–perhaps we are indeed a “tough sell” in this horrible climate for indie film (read more about this in our DIY Manifesto). And yet, why did we sell out our festival screenings in Boston, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, DC, Cleveland, Denver, Sarasota, Vancouver, Woodstock, and Sundance? And why do people come up to us after our Q&As to buy DVDs of the film they just saw? Sure, festival audiences are different, but we’re being “brave” (as Ted Hope recently called us), and betting that “regular” audiences will want to see our film on the big screen too.

And yes, a theatrical release is very hard work, but the major critics and press will not review your film unless you have a commercial theatrical release. And without this important coverage, our little film will fade away into oblivion.

Prove those distributors wrong by donating to their fundraiser. Today I donated $5. You may be able to donate more.

Overlook Mountain

January 17, 2010

This weekend I did something that puts me one step closer to writing the script. While I was working on it, I came across this. Does anyone know if anyone owns this property?

If Not This Time

January 14, 2010

This morning, I went down to the Workforce Office. I was told that I have fifteen weeks left on my unemployment, and since I re-applied in October, I will not be eligible for an extension. In other words, I need to find a job. While it doesn’t mean that I have to put it on hold (just yet), there was another project that I was hoping to launch this weekend, and I may have to put that on hold. I’m not that upset about it, as I figured it was likely.

Last weekend, I heard a really great song on a local NPR program devoted specifically to psychedelic music. The song was called “If Not This Time” by Fifty Foot Hose:


The Film Panel Notetaker Fundraiser–Please Donate!

January 12, 2010

A blog that I do some work for, The Film Panel Notetaker, is holding a Fundraiser so that we can continue traveling to festivals and taking notes. A contribution–even a small one–would be greatly appreciated. To learn more about the Fundraiser, and/or donate, please click here.

It would really be great if some of you did, so that I may be able to return to SXSW again in March…

Book Review: Think Outside The Box Office

January 11, 2010

The successes of low-budget independent films at Sundance like Slacker, Clerks, and El Mariachi in the early 1990s created the myth of the independent film “discovery”, a myth that continues to pervade to this day. For this year’s festival, Sundance recieved 9,816 submissions (113 were eventually picked), even as studios have pulled out of the specialty business.

Last year, three movies got picked up at Sundance. In other words, having your movie at a major festival is no longer a guarantee to secure distribution, nor was it ever, really. Even the movies I mentioned in the first paragraph had much more complicated backstories that one might believe.

Although always a firm believer in the DIY aesthetic, Jon Reiss always preferred to leave the distribution to others. His previous documentary, Better Living Through Circuitry, was handled by the small distributor 7th Art, and at the time of its release, benefitted from the electronic musicians profiled in the film: The Crystal Method, Roni Size, Moby, and BT. (As Reiss explains in the book there were two other movies in release at the time, and all the releases complimented one another.) When it came to debut Bomb It at Tribeca in 2007, Reiss believed that Bomb It would follow the same pattern. Except that it didn’t.


My Resume

January 11, 2010

To help me settle my current employment scenario and thereby making the pursuit of my movie easier, I’ve posted my resume.

New Ideas, New Priorities

January 6, 2010

You know how I said that I would start writing this week? I lied.

After reading Jon Reiss’ Think Outside The Box Office and setting up a new YouTube account, I’ve decided to work on getting my previous film, Are You From Bingo? on DVD. I’ve actually been working on DVD release for quite some time, but I believe that it’s time to push ahead and get it over with. Not only will I be able to move on after it’s done, but it’ll also give me a precedent to say I’ve done this before.

Kentucker Audley uploaded three clips of his new movie, Open Five, which gave me some ideas. The clips caught some of the flavor of Memphis I caught onto passing through there last March. Here are two of the clips: