Tag: hybrid cinema

10 Ways in Which I Would Release Bomb It Today

Posted on by Emy

Chris Horton asked me to write this post for the new Artist Services website that Sundance has set up. However, many filmmakers don’t have access to that site, and so I am posting it here on my blog for anyone to be able to read. Here is the post:

In 2005 I started a documentary project that became Bomb It which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007, was released on DVD, iTunes and Netflix via New Video and has had an extended life on VOD (Gravitas), Web series (Babelgum), various foreign sales (PAL DVD this month on Dogwoof) etc. As many of you know, my experience releasing Bomb It inspired me to write a manual for other filmmakers to release their films in this new distribution landscape: Think Outside the Box Office. Chris Horton approached me to write a post on how I would release Bomb It in today’s distribution landscape (and knowing what I know now). I’ve actually thought about this a lot (mostly kicking my self for what I could have done better!)
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Jon Reiss Interview with Nat Mundel

Posted on by Emy

This was published on voyagemedia.com today.

Author Jon Reiss on the Death of the Film Festival AND HIS BEST KEPT SECRETS THAT COULD MAKE YOUR NEXT INDIE FILM A SUCCESS!!

In his interview with Nat Mundel, independent filmmaker, author, and educator Jon Reiss unabashedly confirms one thing: the film festival acquisition model is dead or dying.

But Reiss hasn’t sat idly, waiting for his films to get picked up. Instead, he throws up his middle finger to would-be buyers. Taking matters into his own hands, Reiss has booked his own theater screenings for his film Bomb It across 27 cities, and has even sold bootleg DVDs of his film along the way (yes, he bootlegged his own film; in so many words, badass.)

Since 2007, Reiss has become one of the go-to experts on Do It Yourself (DIY) film distribution, publishing the DIY Bible Think Outside the Box Office in November of ’09. We got Reiss to open up about his book, his DIY workshops, and his predictions about the future of independent film.

Watch and listen for 4 major tips to get your next indie film project an audience before you even lens up.

Review of Think Oustide the Box Office by Content NOW

Content NOW

Here’s the pull quote: “Written in a light conversational tone and beautifully organized over 354 pages, Jon, a noted filmmaker (Bomb It, Better Living Through Circuitry) and CalArts teacher, passionate about connecting filmmakers to their audiences, arms filmmakers with the arsenal needed for a killer DIY direct to fan film marketing campaign. This book drills down to specifics that allows the reader to form an actionable strategy, and is destined to become required reading for all filmmakers.”

#AFM Thinking Outside The Box Office 06Nov09

We are now midway through AFM, and things are looking up from last year. Buyers are buying, but very specific in their wants. I had a chance to catch up with John Foster, CEO, of Odyssey Pictures who recently acquired 31 hours of animated children’s content from DPM, a French-based specialty distributor of entertainment and how-to programming. Having scored this superb catalogue of cartoon classics (Superman, Casper, Bugs Bunny) at Cannes, John is shopping AFM before heading on to other markets like NATPE in January. ”We are looking to acquire content libraries for the children’s market as well as for specialty markets like health, finance and education. We are in talks with ION for television distribution, Limelight to power distribution online, and working with Spelling Communications to secure US sponsors. Odyssey already has several European sponsors signed up. Backed by a $10mm acquisition fund, Odyssey is on a tear analyzing mobile marketing opportunities as well as those with connected devices. ”Odyssey soon will be launching 1-3 hours sponsored programming via satellite and on the web. We’re starting with established content but plan to showcase outstanding original programming in time.” Interested sellers can contact John at info@odysseypix.com.

For the weekend, AFI Fest has moved to the Laemmle at 1332 2nd close to the Loews. Rush Lines are still getting into screening for free so stop by. And the price of admission to AFM drops significantly as the market opens up to half-market badgers on Sunday.

There are also several excellent seminars still being offered: Sa 11/7 at USC is Distribution U with Peter Broderick, Steve Kirsner, Jon Reiss, Adam Chapnick.. and Su 11/8 at Le Merigot is Changing Indie Distribution Strategies. At both events, Jon Reiss will be signing his timely new book: Thinking Outside The Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution in the Digital Era. He sent me a copy to review earlier this week and I am still deeply immersed. Written in a light conversational tone and beautifully organized over 354 pages, Jon, a noted filmmaker (Bomb It, Better Living Through Circuitry) and CalArts teacher, passionate about connecting filmmakers to their audiences, arms filmmakers with the arsenal needed for a killer DIY direct to fan film marketing campaign. This book drills down to specifics that allows the reader to form an actionable strategy, and is destined to become required reading for all filmmakers. Some of his points are similar to what we’ve been covering:

– Budget as much for marketing and distribution as you do on production upfront, e.g. $100,000 production budget = $100,000 P&A budget (Jon provides detailed budgets with links to websites where assistants, publicists, bookers, sales reps/distribution consultants can be hired, and cost information to help filmmakers decide which path to take for theatrical release)

– Consider festival circuit as theatrical release, eventize screenings with cast and crew, reach out to traditional press as well as tastemaker/niche blogs for coverage, connect with fans, collect emails and zips, get venue/alcohol sponsors to throw after-parties, handout out stickers other pocketable schwag with website url, sell tees, merchandise, DVDs, CDs

The book also includes steps to create better engagement on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube, and then in the next breath puts a call out to festival directors to see themselves as distributors, aggregators of quality indie content for traditional and new media. It seems so complete I’m still reading on hoping he addresses ways not to trip up Oscar qualification with day and date online screenings. An incredibly valuable resource. $5 off if you order through this link. Free if you’re a filmmaker who fills out the filmmaker survey (see page 17 of the book). The companion website is at www.ultimatefilmguides.com. Enjoy!

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

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.

Jon Reiss DV Magazine Column: Top 10 Subjects They Should be Teaching in Film Schools

Posted on by Jon Reiss

I wrote a column for DV Magazine on what film schools should be teaching students besides how to make films: Top 10 Subjects They Should Be Teaching in Film School.

Here it is – let me know what you think:

Top 10 Subjects They Should Be Teaching in Film School
May 18, 2009 By Jon Reiss

Film schools are normally quite good at teaching students how to make films. But they generally have not seen it as their mandate to help students actually learn how to survive in the modern media landscape. Because of this, I developed a class at Cal Arts — where I teach — entitled “Reel World Survival Skills: Everything I Wish I Had Been Taught in Film School.”

To succeed, it’s no longer enough to have a body of work and a script in hand for what you want to do next. You instead need to develop a range of entrepreneurial skills in order to develop, pitch, fund and distribute your work. Filmmakers need to be the architects of their own career and create a wider and wider network of relationships to help them on their path.

What follows are the Top 10 subject that should be taught in film schools (and by film organizations around the country/world), broken equally into “Old School” and “New School” categories.

Old School Techniques That Are Still Essential:

1. Building Relationships
Filmmaking is a business based upon personal relationships, but, unfortunately, most filmmakers are intellectual wallflowers. You need to come out of your skin, go to as many events as possible and learn how to create lasting relationships. Hint: People like to talk about themselves instead of exclusively listening to you. Continue reading →

Crowdspring DIY Graphic Design

Need a website design, key art, DVD package??

A friend turned me onto this incredible website for anyone who needs any kind of design work.

http://www.crowdspring.com/

It’s pretty amazing – you put in what you want and how much you will pay for the winning design and a deadline – and then the internet design world goes to town trying to come up with something you’ll love. It seems that simple. You can use it for your your logo – email promos – anything.

I’m going to use it for the cover of my book.

If you use it – let me know what you think.

DVD Distribution How To in Filmmaker Magazine

My second in my series of Hybrid Distribution How To’s has been come out in Filmmaker Magazine. Here it is:

MY ADVENTURE IN HOME VIDEO, PART 2
Setting up DVD distribution: Yes, you can still make money doing this.
BY JON REISS

Following — or perhaps instead of — your independent film‘s theatrical release is its release on DVD. While sales of DVDs released by all content providers, studios included, are dropping at the moment, home video is still one of the most lucrative stages of a film‘s distribution. And while much has been written about filmmakers self-distributing their films to theaters (see, for example, part one of this series in the Fall 2008 edition of Filmmaker), filmmakers‘ options when self-distributing their work to the home market have been less well covered. Rest assured, however — the same grassroots marketing strategies and cost-saving economies can be brought into play.

I don‘t think it was clear in part one of this series, but I was offered quite a few theatrical/DVD offers for my graffiti doc Bomb It. Like most deals independents are faced with these days, these were very low-money offers in which the buyer wanted all rights for at least 10 if not 20 years. While these companies were offering a small theatrical release, my producer and I were savvy enough to realize that theatrical releasing expenses would be cross-collateralized with DVD and cable revenue. Translation: The likelihood that we would see any additional money beyond the tiny advance was small. Plus we would lose all control of the film and its revenue streams for many years.
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