Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sundance movies prove independence is changing

While movies are being screened and bought at Sundance, some of the biggest news has been the direction that sponsorship and distribution is going for independent movies.  

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has shown how companies are willing to sponsor independent movies, now more than ever.  Up until now we've been led to believe that companies are only willing to be a part of big budget studio movies.  Morgan's new documentary, 'The Greatest Movie Ever Sold', shows that this can all change with a little tenacity.  (And I'm sure being a popular documentary make helps, too.)

indieWIRE.com caught up with Morgan to talk about getting sponsors:

From sponsorship, we take a look at distribution.  Director Kevin Smith has decided that he wants to forgo what is seen as traditional routes.  

For those that didn't hear, on Sunday Kevin announced that he would be distributing his new movie 'Red State' on his own.  Then the interwebs went crazy.  Fans and independent film makers have expressed excitement over a new venture like this.  And Hollywood buyers and suck ups have called Sunday a complete waste of their time and total bullsh**.  Man, oh man...people are taking this way too seriously.  Really, the only people who should be taking it this serious are the Smiths, his production team and the movies investors.  

'Red State'
'Red State' will open in theaters this October, but prior to that the movie will go on a road tour that begins March 5th at Radio City Music Hall.  To attend screenings on the tour, you will pay a premium price.  But you'll also get a speaking engagement with him as well.  The idea being that they may be able to recoup the production cost of the movie ($4 million) from the tour.  (See the tour dates and locations at http://www.viewaskew.com/)

The next part of the equation is will theater chains be willing to be a part of this experiment as well.  If they are, studios really need to un-learn what they have learned.  (Thanks Yoda.)  That's because if this model proves successful for Kevin and his team, it won't be the end.  He will use it again, not only for his hockey movie coming up next, but for other movies he may produce.  (Which seems to be the part of the story that a lot of other bitter people seem to leave out of their articles.)

If Sundance is truly hoping to revive the indie movie spirit, these two gentlemen could be the ones leading the way for others to follow suit.

What say you?

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