A filmmaker called me the other day, asking if I could think of some comps for his movie. You know, other movies whose marketplace performance would indicate that there is a paying audience for his demographically-similar picture. He named a title he really liked and said he was shocked to see via Box Office Mojo that it had done so poorly. Indeed, its reported box office was in the five figures. The very low five figures. “But that box-office figure is misleading,” I replied. “The film was bought by a company whose strategy is to release on VOD and digital […]by Scott Macaulay on Sep 11, 2013
The past week witnessed big announcements from two divergent digital video platforms. VHX, the direct distribution site, lauded by the likes of Shane Carruth and Ira Glass, publicized its recently acquired $3.2 million in Series A financing. Spearheaded by new board member Andy Weissman of Union Square Ventures, the funding will allow VHX to expand into public beta, bringing their services to a greater user network. They’ve already put out a call for “filmmakers, distributors, publishers, educators and moving-picture-creators” who are ready to sell their work, thereby joining the ranks of Sound City, We Are Legion, Upstream Color, and, most recently, […]by Sarah Salovaara on Sep 2, 2013
Intel, the giant computer chip manufacturer, is joining the growing roster of tech companies entering the web-delivered video jamboree. In addition to Google’s YouTube and Netflix, Apple and Microsoft are carving out space on the web to offer live and video-on-demand (VOD) TV programming. Web video distribution can be executed either as Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) or as Over-the-Top (OTT). With IPTV, the digital signal is streamed and/or offered as VOD programming over a closed or proprietary network through a cable or telephone company. OTT refers to streaming and/or VOD programming distributed over an open or unmanaged video data stream […]by David Rosen on Jun 18, 2013
Earlier this week I posted “15 Lessons for Producers from the Cannes Film Festival and Market.” With the festival and market now firmly in the rear-view mirror, the consensus is that it was a solid one for the international sales community, without, perhaps that one giant locomotive title but with an appropriately modest number of films hitting their ask prices. Tastes were noted to have shifted, with buyers wanting “more Jennifer Lawrence and less Sylvester Stallone.” And on the pure indie level, I noticed, as I wrote in my piece on producers, a new crop of American independents have figured […]by Scott Macaulay on May 31, 2013
Alicia Van Couvering on the mysteries of VOD reporting.
As indie makers know all too well, movie distribution is undergoing a major restructuring. The shift from analog media to digital production, post-production and distribution technologies not only changes how movies are made and distributed, but how people view them. Theatrical moviegoing is declining; since 2002, ticket sales have declined by nearly 20 percent. Making matters worse, DVD sales are shrinking. And video streaming revenues, while growing, are doing so at a rate insufficient to make up the difference. Readers of Filmmaker are urged to check out a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, “Now playing at a living […]by David Rosen on Nov 5, 2012
The trailer for Jon Lefkovitz’s micro-budget psychological thriller Engagement caught our eye here at Filmmaker. It’s a Hitchcock-inspired tale about an young groom-to-be and the woman who may or not be the sister of his out-of-town fiancée. The film is currently up on VOD through Film Buff, and below we ask Lefkovitz five questions about making smart genre entertainment for a price. Filmmaker: Where did the concept of the film come? What were your inspirations? Lefkovitz: The concept for Engagement is actually semi-autobiographical — in 2009, my then-fiancée (now wife) went away for six weeks, leaving me alone in our […]by Scott Macaulay on Jul 24, 2012
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but now that the new issue is shipped and off to the printer, here’s what I’m catching up on. What’s one measure of good dialogue? According to the Physics arIXv Blog at MIT, it’s the memorability of its quotes. A Cornell University study found that there’s a reason lines like “You had me at hello,” “You can’t handle the truth” and “Hasta la vista, baby” lodge themselves in our memories. “The cloud” — that system of networked and very terrestrial computers that store and stream are data — may have […]by Scott Macaulay on Apr 8, 2012