Archive for the ‘theatrical’ Category

Best Bets for Screening Indie Films in Brooklyn

Monday, March 21st, 2011
Rooftop at Bkln Tech

Rooftop Films at Brooklyn Tech

A number of new venues have popped up around Brooklyn that show film some or all of the time. These can be great places to screen for a local or younger crowd or for a special event screening.

indiescreen – 285 Kent St in Williamsburg. Offers a full menu as well as first run indie movies.

Brooklyn Lyceum – shows occasional films and hosts Flicker NYC Super 8 nights.

The Bell House – Located in the Gowanus, hosts special events including screenings.

- this lovely space in DUMBO (relocated from Williamsburg) hosts screenings as well as performance, music and other events.

reRun Gastropub Theater- in DUMBO, this small theater in the back of a bar offers a small menu and indie screenings.

Brooklyn Bowl – pair your premeire with some pins at Brooklyn Bowl’s screening space.

The Back Room at The Gutter – Bowling + Movies = Love, at least in Brooklyn.

Rooftop Films – The masters of outdoor summer screening fun use a number of Brooklyn venues.

Brooklyn Arts Council Gallery – in DUMBO, for BAC artists

Zora Art Space – Has occasional screening series in the heart of Park Slope.

The Knitting Factory – Mostly a music venue, the Brooklyn outpost of the minichain does show films from time to time.

Brooklyn Historical Society
– 128 Pierrepont St. If your film is of Brooklynish historical relevance, this might be an option.

It’s also probably that many of the music venues around Brooklyn would be able to accomodate a 4-Wall type booking as most do have fairly robust A/V situations. Other options, if appropriate, are the library, churches, or community centres.

There is also the venerable BAM Cinematek, Cobble Hill Cinemas, and a new multiplex to open this fall in Williamsburg. Add more or tell us your experience with any of these venues in the comments.

Thom Powers on the success of Stranger Than Fiction

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

A video made for THE MAIN EVENT: Finding YOUR Audience, a panel I moderated at SXSW. Thom Powers, founder of the fantastic NYC doc series Stranger Than Fiction and doc programmer for TIFF, shares a few tips with filmmakers hoping to capture some of STF’s success for their own releases.

Thom Powers on making a doc screening a success from Laure X on Vimeo.

Think Outside: Jon Reiss tells you how to release a film today

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Think Outside The Box (Office): The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing in the Digital Era is the new book from filmmaker/author Jon Reiss (not yet available at For readers of this site, the book is probably both utterly essential and potentially old news. It provides a step-by-step guide to creating a strategy for your film in the digital age, and how to exploit different platforms and techniques to reach an audience.

I haven’t yet read the book but overall, if you care considering a DIY strategy for your film release, this looks like a fantastic resource.

Jon is touring about with the book, including stops at CPH:DOX; DIY Days: Los Angeles; and the IFC Center in NYC. He’s also the inaugural “Weekly Player” at Filmmaker Magazine, answering questions until November 16.

CineGoGo is a different kind of "Festival Direct"

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

CineGoGo explains how they take films from the festival circuit and distribute them to the nontheatrical/semitheatrical market on HD.

Ted Hope for the future

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Ted Hope Art House Convergence Closing Remarks from joe zina on Vimeo.
Indiewire has posted Ted Hope’s keynote address for the Arthouse Convergence, a conference for indie exhibitors ‘and friends’ in Salt Lake City this week. Kind of like one of those relaxation exercises where the speaker keeps repeating “listen to the sound of my voice”, this speech will take you from “the Hell of Now” to a brighter– well, somewhat brighter– place.

A movie or a measure

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Over at Digital Cinema Report, IndiePix prez Bob Alexander has a column about the “New Era for Independent Film.” Among his points:

  • Over the last 3 months, the indie distribution business has seen some major shifts, either towards elimination of specialty divisions at studios (Warner Independent, New Line, Picturehouse); financial instability (THINKFilm); or consolidation of cable markets for indie film (Sundance @ Cablevision).
  • With the expenses of theatrical, it will be too costly to put indie films in theatres.
  • Traditional indie distributors don’t have a plan for this end-of-theatrical marketplace.
  • The new era will allow for amazing new films with great cinematography, editing, and storytelling but will not use theatrical distribution (but IndiePix will be at the forefront, natch!)

While I applaud Bob’s vision and his optimism, I can’t say I agree with the model he’s proposing, at least as I understand it. While I believe that there will be a market for digital distribution for indies (it is, in fact, the premise of this here blog), I think that the idea that theatrical will totally wither and die seems unlikely for a number of reasons. What seems more likely is that indie theatrical will need to become more limber, have a better understanding of what was once known as the “non-theatrical” market (schools, museums, non-profits), find more creative ways of rolling films out and rely more on marketing than advertising. Some kind of “theatrical” is still important and will continue to be so- even though the real money for the last decade has been in ancillary.

One reason traditionally is reviews- perhaps a new first gate will emerge for reviews (major festivals?) but so far, if you want reviews, it’s pretty important to have a theatrical. Conceivably there could be an online system with the same prestige as theatrical but right now the model seems to be to get everything out there and “let the audience decide”- which they have done in the past with the help of reviews from theatrical runs. Reviews are not what they once were, but for the indie world, they are still pretty important for getting people interested in the film. A great NYTimes review still has traction- and a theatrical is needed, by and large, for the Times.

Maybe even more importantly, theatrical is a great social networking tool. I think it has not been exploited enough in this way- there are a lot of things exhibitors can do to make their theatre more than just a 2-hour destination point. But even so, going to a movie is a great social activity as a date or as thing to do with friends- it’s economical, climate-controlled, and creates a common experience in 90-120 minutes. It’s also fun to do alone when you want to get out of the house. I don’t think watching something on your computer (or even set-top box) will replace this completely.

Cost-benefit protections

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

The folks over at TechDirt responded today to the discussion at Cato Unbound regarding copywrite that I discussed earlier. In their incredulous reaction to the idea that copyright is still viable (or at least to the article by Doug Lichtman, a law professor at UCLA on the subject), they offer their own “helpful hints” for saving the movie business.

What’s interesting about these suggestions is that they suggest that even the savviest tech types are still under the impression that theatrical revenues are either particularly significant for most releases or that increasing theatrical revenue (which tends to be costly) would compare to the much greater revenues that stand to be lost in home media sales.