Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

The Free North- Fun stuff from TIFF

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Some cool stuff from the Toronto International Film Festival last week:

Liesl Copland, formerly of Netflix and now with William Morris Endeavor’s Global Finance & Distribution Group, gave a keynote at the Doc Conference about the state of digital and what it means for the industry. The takewaway: theatrical still has life; filmmakers need to learn about metrics; crowdsourcing is the new focus group.

Ted Hope, as captured by indieWIRE’s Eugene Hernandez, about Hope’s Doing It With Others (DIWO) philosophy. The takeaway: Blog, tweet, Facebook your whole life- or at least your projects and interact with other people using those tools. (He’s made a lot of films but does he have time now with all these social networks? He says yes.)

A conversation with a number of distributors in the New York Times about the state of distribution and what’s to come. The most interesting response for me was IFC prexy Jonathan Sehring’s, when asked about the glut of films in the marketplace (something the other respondents universally decried, as per conventional wisdom).

The one comment from my colleagues that drives me nuts is that there are “too many movies.” If one looks at specialized film as “art,” it is the only art form I can think where people who work within the industry say there are “too many” of. I never hear anyone in the music industry say there are too many songs, no one in publishing says there are too many books, no gallery or museum says there are too many paintings, no one in fashion says there are too many designers — why too many movies? When my colleagues say this it sounds like the anti-immigration, protectionist rhetoric from the far right.

Pat Aufderheide from the Center for Social Media on ‘what she learned at TIFF’- the takeaway: People still find Peter Broderick’s “DIY” presentation new, even after about 500 wears- he must be using Tide with Bleach Alternative! Also, go see some good docs.

RiP: A Remix Manifesto in the tradition of mainfestos past

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

I recently got a chance to check out RiP: A REMIX MANIFESTO, the Canadian documentary that takes a look at copyright (and the mashup artist Girl Talk) in a kind of method way- the producers, EYESTEELFILM, and director, Brett Gaylor decided that since the costs of licensing all the expensive music in the film would be prohibitive, and since the film was about these costs, it would essentially be fair use to go ahead and use whatever they wanted (including network footage, usually very expensive) and just see what happens.

It’s a pretty interesting concept, and though the film does paint the issue in overly black and white terms (the CopyRIGHT vs. the Copy LEFT), by the end, Gaylor has raised some interesting issues about the state of copyright, though I’m not sure many of them are answered. Hope to have a discussion with one of the producers which will be here soon.

It’s definitely worth seeing especially if you enjoy the Girl Talk phenomenon- I met him a few weeks ago at a show and was impressed- he’s totally into giving a great performance- which is all the more remarkable given that his performance is pushing some buttons. And, in keeping with the mashup philosophy, if you don’t like the film (or especially if you do) you can make your own version at OpenSourceCinema.

New Distribution at TIFF

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Going to Toronto and think you might not be entertained enough simply by watching movies (or gawking at celebrities?) Though TIFF may be the last monument of big theatrical distribution strategies, there are a couple events dedicated to the encroaching digital form.

At Meet With… at Match Club, on September 6, 11AM-12PM, Janet Brown AND Matt Dentler of Cinetic Rights Management talk to Shane Smith, Director of In-Flight Entertainment for Air Canada (it appears clear that CRM:digital distribution as Peter Broderick:self-distribution, appearing on every panel a film festival offers on the subject).

At Doc Roundtable, on September 7, 2-3 PM, Matt Dentler from CRM and Skye Sitney of Silverdocs sit down to chat. On September 8, 3-4 PM, Ira Deutchman of Emerging Pictures and Liesl Copland (formerly of Red Envelope and Cinetic) are available to meet.

Oh. Canada?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Apple announced today that its iTunes store would finally be reaching the key market of Canada, to go along with its other recent conquests in the U.K.. Meanwhile, debate rages on in my homeland about Bell and Rogers’ attempts to throttle P2P sharing of copyrighted files, while the legality of such sharing remains ambiguous. And Hollywood, who can no longer tolerate Canada even for service work now that the loony is so strong, blames Canadians for up to 50% of feature film internet piracy (the worst offenders are in Montreal, naturally- those libertines!)

In the new economies of internet trade (where the products are nothing if not ephemeral), a tiny market like Canada’s can suddenly make an outsized difference- if what they are doing is not paying for what we know as ‘products’, sharing media, and then sending it all out to the rest of the world. There is a butterfly-wing result- Canadians may be few in number, but they are affluent enough to access the latest technologies as well as positioned to influence their neighbors to the south. Canadian media producers are used to not making money. The government itself may end up helping to drive this effort.