Speaking on D.I.Y. distribution

As a result of my presentation to the Sydney Film Festival short film finalists on independent distribution for short films, I have been asked to speak at Metroscreen on DIY distribution.

Imagine having 3 million people see your film or thousands of people paying to download your content. At the next Metro Screen Connect event you can gather together with three industry experts who have helped many independent film projects, TV concepts and online content find and build audiences.

Come along to Metro Screen to hear from practitioners who have been breaking new ground and making their own rules to engage audiences. From DIY screenings to torrent distribution, find out from the experts what works and what doesn’t and where they see the audience building landscape is heading. What are the alternatives to the traditional distribution paths? How do filmmakers connect to an audience?

Speakers include:

John L Simpson, Titan View Media (The Jammed, Men’s Group, 33 Postcards)
Ahmed Salama, Creative Director DLSHS (The Tunnel, Cedar Boys)
Nick Bolton, Viocorp, (Australia’s leading internet broadcaster)
Guest moderator – Dean Francis, writer/director

Venue: Metro Screen Studio 1
Paddington Town Hall, Cnr Oatley Rd and Oxford St [Oatley Rd entrance, under the Chauvel Cinema], Paddington NSW 2021

When: 6.00 – 8.00pm Wednesday 29th August 2012
Price: $10 plus booking fee

Book here: http://metroscreen.org.au/events/2012/diy-distribution

Sydney Film Festival ‘Short Film winners’ workshop – online video distribution

Had the great pleasure of being asked to contribute to some workshops for the finalists of the Sydney Film Festival Short Film Festival, sponsored by Dendy

The workshops discussed the move from Shorts to Long Form, and I was asked to demonstrate online video distribution strategies.

My fellow panel experts included Paper Giants producer Karen Radyzner from Dragonet Films Master & Commander / Happy Feet scriptwriter John Collee and John L Simpson from Titan View, responsible for the innovative distribution strategies for The Jammed and Mens Group.

Over the two hours, we had 3 x 35minute groups sessions with the short film finalists comprising Directors, Producers, Writers and Animators, before being treated to lunch at the Chef’s Gallery and then onto Event Cinema’s to see the shorts.

I put together a brief powerpoint with some examples of online video strategies which you can see below.

From the panel discussions, the following observations can be made:
1/ A short film maker either goes for the Festival circuit or for online audiences. Genre often dictates this eg comedy works very well online. Festivals exclusivity restricts online distribution.
2/ The Production Company is just as important to brand as is the project. Think how Blue Tongue Films or Warp Films have such a good following.
3/ A new project can instil new life in an old project. Projects can have long tail effect. Chis Kezelos talked about how how his film Zero is still seeing traffic which always increases when he releases new work – see Zero below.
4/ Producers want to sell their shorts direct to their audiences, as well as through channels such as iTunes, but there is not the check and instant technology to do this. DRM, encryption, security plus online payment systems aren’t developed or integrated enough, and often cost more to implement than the short film makers yearly potential revenue. Paypal’s Digital Goods product can help this, and the Dynamo Media Player looks promising.
5/ Revenue generation isn’t a primary goal for the short film maker but any revenue is good revenue.

Dendy Short films:
Laugh-out-loud, surreal, visually inventive and achingly sensual – the finalists in this year’s Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films contain every shade of the cinematic spectrum. The line-up includes three titles selected for the Berlinale (including winners Julian and BINO, two for South by Southwest The Hunter and The Maker and one for Cannes Yardbird. The 10 films are competing for three prizes: the Dendy Live Action Short Award, the Yoram Gross Animation Award and the Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director. The ten finalists will screen together on 16 and 17 June and the winners will be announced at Sydney Film Festival’s Closing Night ceremony on 17 June.

Dendy Supporting the SFF short film awards for over 20 years. Proud supporters of the Yoram Gross animation award

ZERO by Chris Kezelos

Emerging film maker wins SFF Vodka O scholarship

Emerging Sydney film maker Adam Marshal has won the inaugural Sydney Film Festival Vodka O Scholarship award for his short film.

ASM Liquor CEO Tim Szonyi said they had been blown away by Marshal’s entry.

“Not only did it far exceeded our expectation, as a company that started in a tiny garage in Sydney with not much more than a good idea and enthusiasm we recognise the importance of giving people who have talent and bundles of passion that well-earned leg up,” he said. “We believe the number of entries and their level of excellence is testament to the amazing talent in Australia and the status of the Sydney Film Festival. We are delighted to support both and look forward to doing so for many years.”

The winning film screens throughout the 12 day festival as well as on SFF TV at Martin Place. The prize includes $1000 cash, opportunities to network with industry, celebrities and other guests at the opening night and after party including Bruce Davey of Icon Entertainment. Vodka O will also sponsor a private screening party for Marshal and 10 friends..

Shot in and around Sydney the film is a collage showing a group of friends having an original carefree and fun day with music by fellow local Sydney artist Flume (Featuring Anthony from Cleopatra).

Twenty-five year-old Marshall attended film school followed by a Bachelor of Communications while making films on the side. His 2007 film Yesterday was exhibited in festivals around the US and secured him a number of awards in Australia.