We suppose this is the wrong moral to draw from Charles Lyons‘ New York Times piece on the many broke filmmakers with no distribution deal, in particular Susan Buice and Arin Crumley, the sensitive young things behind "Four Eyed Monsters" who apparently put themselves deeply into debt making the film, but our first thought was: "Damn, those kids are being wily about drumming up publicity!" Which may be cold comfort when you’ve just been forced to move back in with your parents, but we like to think that you should do that at least three or four times during your life anyway.
"Four Eyed Monsters" has played a few festival (including Slamdance) and gotten a decent response, but what seems to be drawing more attention are the filmmakers’ video podcasts and general online chronicling of their attempts to get their film distributed (they even pay a visit to IFC) â€” a savvy move, because as we’re reminded (per Lyons, "the 2005 Sundance Film Festival received more than 2,600 feature-film submissions – up nearly 30 percent from a year earlier – and selected only 120") there are tons of films out there, but not so many down-to-earth stories of the slog to get one of those films picked up.
Speaking of, we’re beginning to wonder who Jon Morrison is sleeping with â€” the Punk Cinema publicist’s adventures in LA at the AFI Festival and the American Film Market trying to sell "The Gigolos" have been getting prime placement at the Guardian, and now over at BBC? That better be, like, the best movie ever.
On the topic of alternate means of distribution, two recent web-worthy things:
IFC launched Medialab not so long ago â€” if you’re a filmmaker interested in getting your film on the channel, you can upload it to Medialab, and in January people will be able to view and rate your film. The top-rated films will be put on-air.
And Marcellus is set to launch in early 2006 as well â€” the site, which is still in its early stages at the moment, is the product of UC Berkeley’s Center for New Media, and promises to be dedicated to "displaying superlative independently created content, some of it in high definition quality, made available via the web, and on mobile devices as well." They’re currently looking for video content to be used with the prototype version of their site, so if you’re interested in having your short/animation/whathaveyou hosted and getting feedback, you can see their submission guidelines here (and their sign-up page, for anyone interested in previewing the site, is here).