Tag: distributing independent film

Jon Reiss joins BAFTA panel at this year’s AFM Conference

Posted on by Mark

I’ll be sitting on the BAFTA panel at AFM discussing changes in Indie Distribution on Sunday, November 8th from 11:00am – 12:30pm.   Come on out to hear the most cutting-edge discussion of indie distribution and marketing!

Sunday November 8th

11:00am-12:30pm

No Direction Home – Changing Indie Distribution Strategies
Programmed by: British Academy of Film & Television Arts, Los Angeles
BAFTA
These are confusing times for indie filmmakers. Just as revolutionary production choices are opening up, traditional distribution models are collapsing. How cost-effective is U.S. theatrical release? Does it still impact foreign sales? What kind of income streams can be generated from such new sources as on-demand, internet download, and direct website DVD sales? Our panel of experts may not have all the answers, but will attempt to provide producers with a compass to navigate the rocky shoals of a challenging and still-evolving marketplace.

Location: Le Merigot Hotel (1740 Ocean Avenue)
Cost: $40 per person

Moderator:
John Alan Simon, Writer-Director, Radio Free Albemuth; Producer, The Getaway; Former Staff Writer, New Orleans Times Picayune; Member, BAFTA/LA Education and Outreach Committee

Panelists:
Chris Hyams, Founder and CEO, B-Side Entertainment
Ted Mundorff, CEO, Landmark Theatres
Jon Reiss, Director/Producer, Bomb It; Author, Think Outside the Box (Office) – The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing for the Digital Era
David Shultz, Founder and President, Vitagraph Films
Leslie Urdang, President, Olympus Pictures; Producer, Adam, Rabbit Hole
2:00pm – 3:30pm
THE ENTIRE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE IS BELOW:
Continue reading →

Jon Reiss at Vancouver International Film Festival Forum – Panel on Doc Distribution Strategies

I’m on a panel at the Vancouver International Film Festival Forum today talking about independent film distribution. I’ll be doing a book signing for Think Outside the Box Office right after. Look forward to seeing you then!!!

DOC TALK – Friday, October 2

1:00 – 2:15 PM
21st Century Doc Distribution Strategies (FTV20)

Let’s take stock of the current opportunities for documentary distribution. Panelists will discuss the trends in the market – positive and negative – for creative, non-fiction work: developing your doc for broadcast and Internet, targeting audiences, branded content, engaging corporate partners, on-line fundraising, new media platforms and possible new business models that can be ‘embedded’ in various types of media. Find out from these forward leaning filmmakers and distributors who are doing it for themselves and maintaining the digital rights. Film school doesn’t always teach you the ins-and-outs of the real business of new media and distribution. This panel will venture down this path.

Moderator:
Leah Mallen, Founder/President, Twofold Films

Guest Speakers:
Lindsay Nahmiache, Partner/Director of Entertainment & Lifestyle Division, Jive Communications
Jon Reiss, Director, Bomb It
Robin Smith, President, KINOSMITH

Think Outside the Box Office Book Signing at the Vancouver International Film Festival Forum

I’m heading to Vancouver today to attend the Vancouver International Film Festival’s Forum, where I will be on a panel on Friday October 2nd – see info below. I’ll be doing a few book signings with Biz Books who will have a booth in the Forum. First is scheduled for 5pm on October 1st. Next is right after my panel on October 2nd at 2:15. Finally 5pm on October 2nd. Hope to see you then!

DOC TALK – Friday, October 2

1:00 – 2:15 PM
21st Century Doc Distribution Strategies (FTV20)

Let’s take stock of the current opportunities for documentary distribution. Panelists will discuss the trends in the market – positive and negative – for creative, non-fiction work: developing your doc for broadcast and Internet, targeting audiences, branded content, engaging corporate partners, on-line fundraising, new media platforms and possible new business models that can be ‘embedded’ in various types of media. Find out from these forward leaning filmmakers and distributors who are doing it for themselves and maintaining the digital rights. Film school doesn’t always teach you the ins-and-outs of the real business of new media and distribution. This panel will venture down this path.

Moderator:
Leah Mallen, Founder/President, Twofold Films

Guest Speakers:
Lindsay Nahmiache, Partner/Director of Entertainment & Lifestyle Division, Jive Communications
Jon Reiss, Director, Bomb It
Robin Smith, President, KINOSMITH

Speaking at MCNY in NYC Tonight

I’m doing a presentation on the new world of distribution and marketing for filmmakers at MCNY tonight. Here are the details:

Quickie Media Seminar: FILMMAKER JON REISS
Do-It-Yourself Film Distribution

Digital evolution has sparked a Film Revolution and we can all distribute our own films, with a little help from the current expert in DIY/self/Web/hybrid distribution – Jon Reiss!

Jon Reiss has cracked the code and constructed a DIY distribution business model that
YOU CAN DO with YOUR film.

THIS UPCOMING MONDAY
9/21
6PM (Sharp) – 7PM
@ MCNY
431 Canal ST. (corner of Varick & Canal – (between Varick and Hudson)
Continue reading →

FINAL FILM INDEPENDENT WORKSHOP WITH JON REISS — The DIY Bible: A Nuts and Bolts Workshop on How To Distribute Your Film in the Digital Era

Hey everyone! I’ve been doing this workshop with Film Independent Tuesday nights (through September 8th) it’s going well. I would like to invite all of you to attend if interested.

The DIY Bible: A Nuts and Bolts Workshop on How To Distribute Your Film in the Digital Era

**Topic for Tuesday, September 8th: DIY Marketing

Check out Film Independent’s posting for the workshop here.

The independent film world is abuzz with the collapse of the traditional independent film distribution model. Specialty divisions such as Warner Independent and Paramount Vantage are shuttering and the traditional releasing organizations that are left are not buying films like they once did. No longer can a filmmaker believe that if they make a good film, they can take it to a premiere festival and a white knight will swoop down and give them a million or two or four and take their film off of their hands with and wait for their theatrical premiere to miraculously occur to thousands of adoring fans and reviews. In this class students will not only learn how the film distribution landscape is changing, but how to use the new models of independent film distribution to effectively release an independent film. Emphasis will be on: Creating a Strategy for Your Film, How to Prepare Your Film For Distribution, Reinventing the Theatrical Release, DVD and Educational Distribution, Digital Distribution and Web Sites and Web Promotion.

About the Instructor: Jon Reiss was named one of “10 Digital Directors to Watch” by Daily Variety and is a critically acclaimed filmmaker who has produced and directed three feature films most recently Bomb It (Tribeca 2007) about graffiti and the battle over visual public space throughout the world. Based on his experience releasing Bomb It with a hybrid strategy and the classes he teaches at Cal Arts, Jon is now writing the book: The DIY Bible: The Complete Guide to Film Distribution in the Digital Era to be released September 15th.

WHEN: Tuesdays, August 11 – September 8, 7:00pm – 10:00 pm
WHERE: Film Independent Office
PRICE: $200 for Film Independent members, $250 for non-members
RESERVATIONS: Required – call 310.432.1222 or email Reservations@FilmIndependent.org.
Seating is limited.
Parking validated after 5:30 pm
View the MAP with directions.

Another Workshop with Jon Reiss TOMORROW — The DIY Bible: A Nuts and Bolts Workshop on How To Distribute Your Film in the Digital Era

Hey everyone! I’ve been doing this workshop with Film Independent Tuesday nights (through September 8th) it’s going well. I would like to invite all of you to attend if interested.

The DIY Bible: A Nuts and Bolts Workshop on How To Distribute Your Film in the Digital Era

**Topic for Tuesday, September 1st: Digital Rights and Distribution Options
September 8th: DIY Marketing

Check out Film Independent’s posting for the workshop here.

The independent film world is abuzz with the collapse of the traditional independent film distribution model. Specialty divisions such as Warner Independent and Paramount Vantage are shuttering and the traditional releasing organizations that are left are not buying films like they once did. No longer can a filmmaker believe that if they make a good film, they can take it to a premiere festival and a white knight will swoop down and give them a million or two or four and take their film off of their hands with and wait for their theatrical premiere to miraculously occur to thousands of adoring fans and reviews. In this class students will not only learn how the film distribution landscape is changing, but how to use the new models of independent film distribution to effectively release an independent film. Emphasis will be on: Creating a Strategy for Your Film, How to Prepare Your Film For Distribution, Reinventing the Theatrical Release, DVD and Educational Distribution, Digital Distribution and Web Sites and Web Promotion.

About the Instructor: Jon Reiss was named one of “10 Digital Directors to Watch” by Daily Variety and is a critically acclaimed filmmaker who has produced and directed three feature films most recently Bomb It (Tribeca 2007) about graffiti and the battle over visual public space throughout the world. Based on his experience releasing Bomb It with a hybrid strategy and the classes he teaches at Cal Arts, Jon is now writing the book: The DIY Bible: The Complete Guide to Film Distribution in the Digital Era to be released September 15th.

WHEN: Tuesdays, August 11 – September 8, 7:00pm – 10:00 pm
WHERE: Film Independent Office
PRICE: $200 for Film Independent members, $250 for non-members
RESERVATIONS: Required – call 310.432.1222 or email Reservations@FilmIndependent.org.
Seating is limited.
Parking validated after 5:30 pm
View the MAP with directions.

Another workshop with Jon Reiss TOMORROW — The DIY Bible: A Nuts and Bolts Workshop on How To Distribute Your Film in the Digital Era

Hey everyone! I’ve been doing this workshop with Film Independent Tuesday nights (through September 8th) it’s going well. I would like to invite all of you to attend if interested.

The DIY Bible: A Nuts and Bolts Workshop on How To Distribute Your Film in the Digital Era

**Topic for Tuesday, August 25th: Selling DVDs and Other Merchandise
September 1st: Digital Rights and Distribution Options
September 8th: DIY Marketing

Check out Film Independent’s posting for the workshop here.

The independent film world is abuzz with the collapse of the traditional independent film distribution model. Specialty divisions such as Warner Independent and Paramount Vantage are shuttering and the traditional releasing organizations that are left are not buying films like they once did. No longer can a filmmaker believe that if they make a good film, they can take it to a premiere festival and a white knight will swoop down and give them a million or two or four and take their film off of their hands with and wait for their theatrical premiere to miraculously occur to thousands of adoring fans and reviews. In this class students will not only learn how the film distribution landscape is changing, but how to use the new models of independent film distribution to effectively release an independent film. Emphasis will be on: Creating a Strategy for Your Film, How to Prepare Your Film For Distribution, Reinventing the Theatrical Release, DVD and Educational Distribution, Digital Distribution and Web Sites and Web Promotion.

About the Instructor: Jon Reiss was named one of “10 Digital Directors to Watch” by Daily Variety and is a critically acclaimed filmmaker who has produced and directed three feature films most recently Bomb It (Tribeca 2007) about graffiti and the battle over visual public space throughout the world. Based on his experience releasing Bomb It with a hybrid strategy and the classes he teaches at Cal Arts, Jon is now writing the book: The DIY Bible: The Complete Guide to Film Distribution in the Digital Era to be released September 15th.

WHEN: Tuesdays, August 11 – September 8, 7:00pm – 10:00 pm
WHERE: Film Independent Office
PRICE: $200 for Film Independent members, $250 for non-members
RESERVATIONS: Required – call 310.432.1222 or email Reservations@FilmIndependent.org.
Seating is limited.
Parking validated after 5:30 pm
View the MAP with directions.

Art House Arrest: Current Trends in Small Theater Programming

This is an article I thought you might find interesting from the Sante Fe New Mexican. Just in case you ever wanted to know what that Cinematheque programmer was really thinking.

The Big Picture: Art-house arrest
Pasatiempo | The New Mexican | 8/6/2009

Size shouldn’t matter, but sometimes it seems that big is all people want when it comes to movies.

While the paying public plunks down its cash to see such summer blockbusters as G-Force, Public Enemies, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince — making these pictures instant box-office hits — managers of art-house cinemas around the country are looking for new ways to attract younger viewers and keep old-time loyalists happy while paying the rent by showcasing “small” pictures.

Changing times, fast-paced technological advancements, an aging audience, the closure or scaled-back activities of art-house distribution companies, and the fact that mainstream multiplexes — like Regal DeVargas in Santa Fe — are playing art-house titles have contributed to the challenge of maintaining a single or even double-screen cinema devoted to art films. Yet directors of art houses are putting up a valiant fight, with some finding new ways to keep their houses vibrant.

“We are really trying to appeal to all ages, but our bread-and-butter audience is the older, aging art-film crowd from the counterculture era,” said John Ewing, director of the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, which opened in 1986. “Our attendance was down 21 percent from our last fiscal year.”

Brent Kliewer, programmer for The Screen on the College of Santa Fe campus, echoed Ewing’s comments. “Business is off,” he said. “Looking at the Hollywood hits this year, it’s pornographic what some of them are making. Everyone has the illusion that the movie industry is better than ever. People say to me, ‘I bet you guys are doing good.’ But good times don’t mean that Séraphine is breaking records. It doesn’t mean that anything small is doing big business.”

The Screen’s future has been in limbo since the financially strapped college announced that it was closing last spring. Now, with the city agreeing to take on $30 million in debt and lease the college campus to Laureate Education Inc., it seems that the 10-year-old art house will survive for now. Kliewer said he expects to talk with Laureate officials sometime in August.

That said, he acknowledged that the art-house enterprise has changed, with many programmers, like himself, looking at the bottom line. Continue reading →

Workshop with Jon Reiss TOMORROW — The DIY Bible: A Nuts and Bolts Workshop on How To Distribute Your Film in the Digital Era

Hey everyone! I’m doing a workshop with Film Independent Tuesday nights (through September 8th) it’s going very well. I would like to invite all of you to attend if interested.

The DIY Bible: A Nuts and Bolts Workshop on How To Distribute Your Film in the Digital Era

**Topic for Tuesday, August 18th: Reinventing the Theatrical Experience
August 25th: Selling DVDs and Other Merchandise
September 1st: Digital Rights and Distribution Options
September 8th: DIY Marketing

Check out Film Independent’s posting for the workshop here.

The independent film world is abuzz with the collapse of the traditional independent film distribution model. Specialty divisions such as Warner Independent and Paramount Vantage are shuttering and the traditional releasing organizations that are left are not buying films like they once did. No longer can a filmmaker believe that if they make a good film, they can take it to a premiere festival and a white knight will swoop down and give them a million or two or four and take their film off of their hands with and wait for their theatrical premiere to miraculously occur to thousands of adoring fans and reviews. In this class students will not only learn how the film distribution landscape is changing, but how to use the new models of independent film distribution to effectively release an independent film. Emphasis will be on: Creating a Strategy for Your Film, How to Prepare Your Film For Distribution, Reinventing the Theatrical Release, DVD and Educational Distribution, Digital Distribution and Web Sites and Web Promotion.

About the Instructor: Jon Reiss was named one of “10 Digital Directors to Watch” by Daily Variety and is a critically acclaimed filmmaker who has produced and directed three feature films most recently Bomb It (Tribeca 2007) about graffiti and the battle over visual public space throughout the world. Based on his experience releasing Bomb It with a hybrid strategy and the classes he teaches at Cal Arts, Jon is now writing the book: The DIY Bible: The Complete Guide to Film Distribution in the Digital Era to be released September 15th.

WHEN: Tuesdays, August 11 – September 8, 7:00pm – 10:00 pm
WHERE: Film Independent Office
PRICE: $200 for Film Independent members, $250 for non-members
RESERVATIONS: Required – call 310.432.1222 or email Reservations@FilmIndependent.org.
Seating is limited.
Parking validated after 5:30 pm
View the MAP with directions.

Social Networking to Increase Your Independent Film’s Exposure (well, duh).

IndieGoGo – A resource you should all know about. On Monday Triplepundit (typically an environment site) issued this article interviewing the Slava Rubin of Indie GoGo.


IndieGoGo: Cause Awareness Through Entertainment

By Gennefer Snowfield | August 10th, 2009 | Triplepundit.com

The social web has opened the floodgates of communication, allowing users from all over the world to share knowledge, meet new people and connect with a multitude of content from breaking news to causes to movies and everything in between. Nonprofits, in particular, have met with much success harnessing the power of Twitter, Facebook and other social networks to generate awareness — and donations — for their causes, and digital entertainment, such as web series, are beginning to tap into this movement, giving fans the ability to help fund their shows. But thanks to Slava Rubin, and his service, IndieGoGo, independent filmmakers have an established turnkey solution for getting their films and documentaries increased exposure, funding and promotion.

IndieGoGo is a socially-driven platform built on the concept of crowdfunding, creating a central location where independent filmmakers can showcase their work, and fans can show their support through microdonations right on the site. And thanks to a new partnership with Snag Films, filmmakers also have a vehicle to connect viewers directly with the causes they support, giving them the ability to make their films — and a difference. In addition, IndieGoGo’s integration with social networks allows the impact of those contributions to be captured and spread virally within viewers’ various communities to spark increased awareness and donations, helping the documentaries and issues gain greater market traction to build fan bases and cause champions. Not to mention the added benefit of delivering important social and environmental topics in an emotionally resonant and compelling way through entertainment experiences that forge deep, lasting connections well after the film ends.

Tell us a little more about how IndieGoGo works, and some of the services you offer for linking independent filmmakers with fundraising and distribution opportunities.

IndieGoGo provides tools for fundraising, promotion, and discovery to the film and media industry. The platform enables people to showcase their work, mobilize their fans, and DIWO (Do-It-With-Others!). We are in over 90 countries and have helped projects raise nearly $150K in funds. Specific functionality includes VIP perk-based fundraising, social media promotion (widgets, social networking, real time Internet, online hub), media galleries and a two-way communications platform for fans to participate.

What inspired you to facilitate a DIWO (Do It With Others) collaborative filmmaking model for IndieGoGo?

IndieGoGo launched in 2008 to address the fundraising challenges and market inefficiencies affecting independent filmmaking today. While Obama was raising a million dollars per day in sub-$1000 contributions, film director Robert Greenwald was validating crowdfunding for film. When Iraq for Sale raised $267K in small donations via an email campaign, it became clear the entire film industry could benefit from online tools that streamlined the audience-building and fundraising efforts.

What notable films and documentaries have utilized IndieGoGo?

We have nearly 1800 projects using IndieGoGo for audience-building and/or fundraising. A few notable projects include:

* Tapestries of Hope: a documentary about a rape crisis occurring in Zimbabwe due to the misunderstanding that sex with virgins cures HIV and AIDS ($22,500 raised to-date)
* Changing the World on Vacation: a British documentary that explores the controversial trend “Volun-tourism” – the merger of adventure travel and aid work – by following a Cambodian NGO ($10,000 to-date)
* Shelter in Place: a British documentary about civil rights, environmental pollution and corporate greed in America ($7,500 raised to-date)
* Co-Ed: a documentary about co-ed soccer in New York City ($4,112 raised to-date)
* Pressure Cooker: a culinary documentary showcasing the potential of students when teachers believe in them and bust their chops; a Participant Productions film (Promotion only)
* Pelotero: a Dominican documentary on major league baseball’s overseas farm system ($2,000 raised to-date)
* FLOW: a documentary on the global water crisis; a Sundance 2007 film with distribution from Oscilloscope (Promoting only)

You recently cemented a partnership with Snag Films to create cause-based partnerships for filmmakers. Please share more details about this relationship and why you decided to link your business to causes.

We partnered with SnagFilms because of our shared belief in Filmanthropy – connecting cause-based films with philanthropic individuals, large and small. Having reduced the barriers to support a film to just a click and a few dollars, connecting in-progress IndieGoGo docs to SnagFilms’ documentary enthusiasts was a natural step. IndieGoGo’s films find new fans as Snagfilms viewers get a new way to action on their beliefs.

What types of causes will you be supporting as part of this partnership?

The beauty of the IndieGoGo platform is that it is open to all filmmakers. We therefore support all the causes our films address. Documentary is one of our most popular genres, and causes are wide-ranging. Topics include environmental pollution, sexual identity, property rights, suicide, Wall Street history, spirituality, cancer, game shows, the death penalty, biographies, politics, the Internet, education, and baseball… to name a few.

Tell us more about the concept of ‘Filmanthropy’ and why you think documentary filmmakers and viewers will benefit from it.

Documentaries are often used as vehicles to drive awareness for an issue, as story is a powerful educational tool. For example, one of our films is being made for $250K; the filmmaker plans to use the film as a marketing vehicle to raise $10MM for the rape issue it’s illuminating. Adding film to the philanthropy effort helps to expand the reach and increase the resulting impact.

How will consumers be empowered to take action? Do you plan to communicate the impact of those efforts back to viewers? How?

Through the partnership, IndieGoGo’s “Take Action” functionality is ported onto the SnagFilms platform. Within one or two clicks, SnagFilms viewers have made a contribution, signed up for updates, provided feedback or shared the project with friends across Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. With transparency as one of our core values, all filmmaker and fan activity is published on IndieGoGo, thus encouraging further action. We launched the SnagFilms partnership one month ago, and IndieGoGo’s films have already garnered a half a million impressions via SnagFilms and its partner platforms.

What trends have you been observing in the independent filmmaking space? Have you seen any spikes in indie filmmakers? Do you think that’s a result of new media and web-enabled resources like IndieGoGo?

As production and distribution costs fall, demand for niche content increases, social media becomes increasingly mainstream, distribution platforms proliferate, and online revenue streams for digital content mature; the opportunity to make a living making film by going directly to one’s target audiences will increase. Tools are replacing middlemen, thereby reducing the friction involved in identifying, engaging and monetizing one’s fans.

Yesterday, filmmakers had one way to monetize their film: get picked up by a distributor. With 8,000 filmmakers applying to Sundance 2008, 150 getting in and just a handful getting distribution deals, the distributor option has never been a likely one for most. As more filmmakers leverage web-based tools like IndieGoGo, fan-funding will become an increasingly common monetization method during production, while self-distribution will become an increasingly viable and attractive monetization method post-release.

Do you think indie films and documentaries will ever reach critical mass in reaching a mainstream audience, or will they always be more niche entertainment?

In aggregate, niche content is already reaching critical mass. A majority of Netflix titles rented each month are not “New Release” titles. Many people refer to this as the Long Tail of film distribution. The tail will only continue to fatten as distribution platforms integrate better with social media and technology to become more efficient in delivering desired content to people – where they want it, when they want it.

What are your future plans for IndieGoGo and where do you hope to take the concept?

IndieGoGo’s mission has always been, and continues to be, the democratization of film. IndieGoGo currently enables “filmocracy” by providing filmmakers an open platform to showcase their projects to the world, and giving the fans a vehicle to experience and influence the once inaccessible world of filmmaking. In the future, we plan to expand our toolkit beyond fundraising and promotion to distribution, thereby helping filmmakers through the continuum of their films – and their careers.