Kevin Smith launches Indie distribution

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Kevin Smith launches Indie distribution

Postby Vince on Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:28 am

This is posted on http://viewaskew.com/redstate/theredstatement.html

The Harvey Boys have witnessed first hand the vagaries of "studio math" - the byzantine numbers game that sees an uneducated media and public celebrating "huge" openings at the box office while ignoring the obscene marketing costs attached to reach those figures. We believe it's a pyrrhic victory to simply "buy" an opening weekend by pouring millions of dollars into TV spots, billboards and print ads. As storytellers, why not instead use our creative abilities that resulted in a film in the first place to also creatively SELL that film directly to our public?

We believe the state of film marketing has become ridiculously expensive and exclusionary to the average filmmaker longing simply to tell their story. When the costs of marketing and releasing a movie are four times that film's budget, it's apparent the traditional distribution mechanism is woefully out of touch with not only the current global economy, but also the age of social media.

Therefore, The Harvey Boys will not spend a dime on old world media buys (such as TV/Print/Outdoor) as we self-distribute our film, Red State, in an admittedly unconventional, yet extremely cost effective, word of mouth/viral campaign.

Knowledge is power, and we believe in empowering the filmmaker - so the Harvey Boys vow to make the financials of Red State open and transparent from which anybody hoping to follow suit can learn. We will do what no studio has dared: open up our books for the world to see so anyone interested in pursuing a similar independent release strategy has a better understanding of the BUSINESS of Red State.

And if we're successful - or even merely effective - at producing a film distribution apparatus that can stand apart from the cost-prohibitive studio model currently viewed as the only way to get a movie into a theater? It is our intent to use the groundwork we lay with Red State to aid other filmmakers in releasing THEIR films, via our newly launched SModcast Pictures.

Don't hate the studio; BECOME the studio. Anybody can make a movie; what we aim to prove is anyone can release a movie as well

The Harvey Boys
Jon Gordon & Kevin Smith

Kevin announced at Sundance tonight that he is going to self distribute Red State one screen at a time to generate the 2.5 mil needed to do a 1000 screen run in October.

See a list of dates here: http://viewaskew.com/redstate/

Okay so he says he's opening the books. Does this mean we'll get to see all the financials? I've detailed all my movies financials with Warner Bros. in my book http://www.rebelwithoutadeal.com and let me say it is a humbling experience, but one I felt was important to aid other filmmakers. I hope he'll be able to share Red States books with us cause it will be a very interesting comparison from a $10k indie like Kisses and Caroms http://www.kissesandcaroms.com to a $4 mil indie like Red State.
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Re: Kevin Smith launches Indie distribution

Postby Vince on Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:32 pm

Here's a video of Kevin Smith talking about distribution shot in the theater right after the Red State Sundance screening.
http://www.rebelwithoutadeal.com/special.html
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Re: Kevin Smith launches Indie distribution

Postby Bayouwolf on Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:48 pm

Thanks for posting that Vince...

Now it seems like McWeeny is really grasping at straws to make KS out to be a douchebag at that screening...
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Re: Kevin Smith launches Indie distribution

Postby Peven on Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:52 pm

Bayouwolf wrote:Thanks for posting that Vince...

Now it seems like McWeeny is really grasping at straws to make KS out to be a douchebag at that screening...



worse, it exposes him as an envy-filled studio stoolie who can't stand that Smith is doing something, and has 10 times, that he hasn't been able to pull off even once, making a movie, despite playing the game and kissing all the "right" asses......really, just look at who McWeeny is defending and looking out for in his trashing of Smith....the fucking studios, yeah, those institutions film geeks like to blame for the creativity and originality being sucked out of cinema and McWeeny is doing his best to go to bat for them over this. talk about showing his true colors. go back and check out his "Green Hornet" review if you think he has any credibility left as a voice independent of studio influence.

like his movies or hate them Smith is trying to do something here that could help open doors for new voices in indie film distribution, which means we as an audience might be able to benefit from more small films getting out there for us to see. I am not even a big Smith-movie fan, have never seen one of his podcasts, i don't do twitter, but i can respect when someone is trying to buck the system at the risk of their own career and trying to break new ground to make a path for the sake of creative freedom and autonomy for artists who don't want to have to sell out the way McWeeny has.
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Re: Kevin Smith launches Indie distribution

Postby Spandau Belly on Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:38 am

Smith is in a pretty unique position.

Not many filmmakers fit all three of the following criteria:
- have such a devoted fanbase
- are blessed with a personality that is entertaining in itself
- make low budget films

So his movies don't cost much, and therefore there's not so much cost to recover, and he can count on his fans to show up to hear him ramble, and his fans can count on his ramblings to be worth the price of admission.

I'm having trouble thinking of another filmmaker who could pull this off. Back in the day, Jorodowsky. My local grindhouse cinema frequently has special guests to introduce their films and talk a bit. They don't charge more than a standard ticket price and even then the shows don't always sell out.

So it's hard to say that this will really change the film industry in any big way, but I think Smith will be happier this way and I'm glad he's doing it.
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