Thursday, December 27, 2007

Self Distributing Sayles

John Sayles, like many a filmmaker before him, has decided that the distribution game hasn't been rigged in his favor and is self-releasing his new film Honeydripper. The film opens this weekend in NY and LA, and then expands. He's working witha great team, including Emerging Pictures, Mark Wynns and Rainforest Films (Stomp the Yard) among others on this release, so its not completely solo, but it is smart.
Definitely go see the film on opening weekend to help them out, but I also recommend that any indie filmmaker follow the film's blog to learn some good tricks. It covers everything from how their distribution plan works, to how to deal with talent agencies as an indie. Definitely worth a read.
I hope they do well with the release.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Study supports watching film in theaters

By way of Science Daily (and ScreenDigest): A new study has shown that people's enjoyment of films correlates to other audience members. If the audience likes a film, you are more likely to like it, and you are more likely to like the same film if you watch it in a group. Seems that people really are copycats, and tend to gauge the reaction of others in the room and mimic their feelings (as expressed in their body movements and facial expressions):

"When asked how much they had liked the film, participants reported higher ratings the more their assessments lined up with the other person," explain Suresh Ramanathan and Ann L. McGill (both of the University of Chicago). "By mimicking expressions, people catch each other's moods leading to a shared emotional experience. That feels good to people and they attribute that good feeling to the quality of the movie."

They continue: "Social effects described above were bi-directional suggesting that such influences were mutual rather than the result of a leader-follower pattern."

It appears that this is also true for not liking a film - if the audience hates it, you'll be more likely to hate it as well. That said, the study confirms what many cinephiles have known for awhile, that there is something to watching a film in a theater.

Thought that I should share this given the amount of negative stories for theater owners elsewhere and in this blog these days.