What’s the ideal future scenario for filmmakers?

As our company struggles to raise the financing for our next feature, we’re spending a lot of time and effort asking ourselves—and lot of others who are following the rapid changes in our segment of the industry—just what might be the ideal set up for us in the future from the development phase of a project through distribution.

Mind you, we’re a small production company operating outside of the Hollywood “system” trying as best we can to produce films of artistic Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 24: Musings on the future of independent film distribution

Since the release of The Sensation of Sight in the summer of 2008, the independent film industry has been pretty much turned on its head.

And this is especially true regarding distribution. It comes as no surprise to anyone who has been following the independent film business that the last couple of years have seen a long-awaited and much-anticipated disintegration of the old distribution model and the beginnings of a new era in terms of how filmmakers are finding access to the global marketplace.

As I sit here writing this post, I find myself thinking back to when we first launched Either/Or Films five years ago and how different the landscape was then. It’s pretty amazing all that’s happened since. Putting together a distribution strategy when we were raising financing for Sensation, our first feature film, was a no-brainer: Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 23, From DIY to distributor to domestic release

Six months after our DIY release ended, our newly signed distributor Monterey Media began a limited theatrical release, commencing in the late summer of 2008 in several cities throughout the country.

We had traveled to California that spring to meet with the Monterey Media staff, spending the better part of a day at their offices in Thousand Oaks. This was a very productive time as we met almost everyone in the company and had the opportunity to talk through the approach to the marketing and release of the film in some detail.

All of our deliverables had arrived (the long list of items that we, as producers, are contractually obligated to get to the Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 20, On the road to distribution

buzz_mclaughlin_producerAs our festival run got underway with San Sebastian, we were already thinking in terms of finding a distributor.

I have to say at the outset of sharing this part of our journey that the timing for us with this film in terms of what was beginning to happen in the industry in general for indie filmmakers was not the most advantageous.

A retrenchment among distributors of indie films was at that time already quietly underway—a retrenchment that surfaced big time about a year ago with the demise Read the rest of this entry »

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A true independent film

buzz_mclaughlin_producerPart 1: Independent vs. Studio films

Often I find that people are confused by what is meant by an “independent feature film” as opposed to any other film you might see at a theatre.

A true independent film is one that has been entirely produced outside of the Hollywood studio system.  It has no studio financing, no studio control over artistic elements or personnel, including the final cut of the film, and, in most cases, no guarantee of distribution.  It is conceived of, financed, and made by a group of people who have a collective passion for the story they want to tell and an almost obsessive determination to get their movie completed and into the marketplace so it can be experienced by the public they’re convinced is going to embrace it with open arms.

An independent feature film company is a David facing the Goliath of the Hollywood “System.” Read the rest of this entry »

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