4 MILLION AND COUNTING
Over at Wild Diner Films, Sujewa Ekanayake has a long interview up with Lance Weiler in which the filmmaker and frighteningly efficient self-distributor talks about his new movie, Head Trauma and the pleasures of releasing a film on one’s own. (Re the title of this post, apparently Head Trauma has grossed $4 million in distribution income.)
Reality is setting in as more and more films are being made every year. The tools are accessible, which allows for a diversity of voices but the flood of work is putting a strangle hold on an already strained system. Self-distribution is not a new thing, many filmmakers over the years have struggled to get their work to audiences. Melvin Van Peebles (Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song), Tom Laughlin (Billy Jack) and Russ Meyer (Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) all did DIY releases back in the 60’s and 70’s. Self-distribution for a while has been seen as a last resort but it feels like the tide is turning. Filmmakers being able to retain some type of control over their work is starting to gain traction. For a long time success has always been measured by a migration to the studio system. But now filmmakers can work within and outside the system and still reach their audiences.