on October 6, 2011
For starters, I've been ordering from Amazon.com now for alittle over a year. Since that time, all the transactions have been problem-free and the deliveries have all arrived on time. As for my latest order, Independent Film Distribution, this book has been very helpful and informative to someone like me who is working on their first feature-length movie. The interviews with people in the industry who have "been there, done that" has opened my eyes to the behind-the-scenes look at the business of Hollywood and how distribution plays a huge role in whether a film is successful or not. The advice in the book not only looks at what is happening now via distribution, but also looks into the future of the business and offers alternative ways in helping the indie filmmaker get his movie out there for the masses to see. I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking knowledge of what exactly to do with your movie once it's "in the can".
on December 20, 2010
It won't be long before we sport wireless chips in our brains with molecular, atomic or quantum binary switches. We'll simply regard or think a product code for a film or show, and enjoy it in almost any circumstance--experiencing it kinesthetically and aromatically, as well as visually and audibly. But until then we have movie theaters, television (via broadcast, cable or satellite) discs, drives, a few styles of chips, and the web--land-based and the geometrically expanding wireless. The number of possible human viewers on planet Earth is predicted to level off at around 9 billion--no want for an audience, but immeasurably difficult barriers to reaching them. How to attract an audience for one's work when one is not engaged with any tentacle of a mega media corporation is the subject of Phil Hall's "Independent Film Distribution".
"The strategy...throughout this book," Hall writes, "is to gain an understanding of how the independent film distribution business works, with the goal of getting your film picked up for commercial release." Providing that `understanding' is precisely what Hall's book does--with an attitude of great support for independent filmmakers, and no want of frustration and angst expressed by the many filmmakers quoted throughout the book. There is so much general and detailed information about the worlds of distribution that Hall's tome feels like a mini-encyclopedia of its subject matter.
Hall begins with a brief yet comprehensive history of independent filmmaking. (I was surprised to see John Sayles' name absent from the many filmmakers referenced in this chapter.) He goes on in the next seven chapters to cover every topic conceivable to the strategy and tactics of securing distribution. Chapter 4, "The Hard and Bitter Truth about Festivals" is as thoughtful and wide-ranging discussion on the value of film festivals as I've heard or read. This chapter alone is reason enough to read Hall's work. Chapter 5, anachronistically entitled "So You Think You Can Do a Better Job than Miramax", covers the topic of self-distribution giving equal time to its pros and cons. In a later chapter Hall addresses streaming services and covers such resources as Wikipedia and Imdb.
Each chapter contains at least one interview with a filmmaker or industry representative on that chapter's topic. These interviews thoroughly enrich the book, creating an intimate connection between the reader and the many independent filmmakers referenced. There are a few tertiary--and entertaining--discussions such as Ryan Dacko's tirade against film schools. Peppered throughout the text are an incredible number of references to websites devoted to independent filmmaking. As you read "Independent Film Distribution", keep note-taking media handy, for these references are not compiled in an appendix--but you will want them. There is, however, an invaluable appendix listing one hundred and nineteen distributors--yet another critical reason to keep this book on hand.
I cannot emphasize enough how important "Independent Film Distribution" is to novice and accomplished filmmakers alike. Similarly I cannot imagine an independent filmmaker not being positively influenced by a cover-to-cover reading of Phil Hall's standard-bearing work.