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in Filmmaking
on May 20, 2008

The best film news podcast, KCRW’s The Business, hosted by Claude Brodesser-Akner, has as its guests this week Killer Films president and producer Christine Vachon and Cinetic Media founder and sales rep John Sloss. The program is titled “Indie Film Shake-Up,”, and in it the two discuss the indie market in the wake of Rainbow Media’s purchase of the Sundance Channel and the shuttering of Picturehouse and Warner Independent by Warner Brothers.

Among the discussions are Vachon’s looking back at how successful indie films like Poison and Go Fish seemed to her when they grossed over $1 million. Now, the studio specialty distributors wouldn’t be interested in such low-grossing acquisitions, she says. When it came to IFC and Sundance, Sloss seemed less concerned that one channel would fold into the other, noting that both pay very small license fees. He then brought up one of the pressing issues for indies these day: how to create economic models for new forms of distribution which have not yet reached maturity. He talked about the IFC’s theatrical-and-VOD day-and-date releasing system and how filmmakers still don’t really have a way of estimating for themselves how successful these distribution efforts are or will be when they ink their deals.

Here’s an excerpt of Sloss’s comments:

“I think IFC is doing bang up business — I’m still waiting to get accounting statements from them on the myriad films that we licensed to them. In sheer volume, they are our biggest buyer, our biggest customer, and they’re doing deals with theatrical distribution [which] are really driven by VOD. There’s a revenue split on the VOD which they are whispering in the filmmakers’ ears is going to be significant, and I have no doubt that it can be, but we’re still waiting to see the results.”

You can listen to the podcast at the link above, but you really should just subscribe to “The Business” via iTunes if you are not already a regular listener.

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