Indiewire Distribution Panel 2011

Last summer indieWIRE hosted a panel discussion on how film distribution has changed since the site launched in 1996.

Last summer indieWIRE hosted a panel discussion in New York on how film distribution has changed since the site launched in 1996.

Hosted by Editor-in-Chief Dana Harris, the following people were involved:

Amongst the topics they talk about, include:

  • How the speed of release has changed
  • The death of regional film critics
  • How critical influence is now in the hands of a small group of critics (e.g. NY Times, Ebert, David Germain of the AP)
  • The inflation of theatrical ticket prices
  • How Secrets and Lies and Breaking the Waves would never make today the money they did back in 1996
  • How genuine indie movies like Exit Through The Gift Shop have to be more aggressive with advance screenings
  • A bad review in the Village Voice follows you to 17 other cities as they syndicate their reviews
  • Insidious cost $800,000 to make but by directly engaging the horror audience (e.g. filmmaker Q&As and horror websites) it lasted 14 weeks in its theatrical run.
  • How TV sales for foreign films are non-existent now
  • The role of Netflix
  • Tablets as TVs
  • DVD is disappearing quicker than streaming is filling the void
  • How the interface of systems like VOD systems like iTunes and Netflix is a huge issue
  • The problem of VOD tracking numbers, compared to VHS and theatrical (a paradox which show how dominant players like to keep data to themselves)
  • How Bingham Ray was asked to ‘bump up’ the sales figures of an early Jim Carrey film (!)
  • How does an older audience more comfortable with print media cope with the death
  • Younger audiences not wanting to pay for films like The Human Centipede or Black Dynamite
  • How getting out of the house for a communal experience is what is going to keep cinema alive
  • ‘Eventising’ (e.g. live Q&As beamed by satellite across the country)
  •  How younger musicians are wanting to compose music for silent films
  • The rise and fall of the indie bubble coinciding with indieWIRE’s existence
  • How now is a time when “anything is possible and nothing works” (a quote from Richard Lorber)
  • The ever changing distribution landscape

> What indieWIRE looked like in 1996
> More on film distribution at Wikipedia