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Sub-Genre Media Newsletter:
Semi-frequent musings on indie film, media, branded content and related items from Brian Newman.

In This Issue

Brian Newman & Sub-Genre Media

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Sandra Schulberg's Honorary Gotham Award

Sandra Schulberg honored with an Honorary Gotham Award  - Another week, another indie film legend and dear friend honored in NYC – and this time it’s Sandra Schulberg who founded the IFP and IFP Market – which just had their 40th anniversary. She also co-founded First Run Features, and has produced and financed many indie films, and now founded and runs IndieCollect, which is helping to save the history of indie film. Sandra was one of the first people I met in indie film via the IFP, and she’s been a trusted advisor and friend since that time. I was briefly on the board of IndieCollect as well, and highly recommend you consider supporting their mission too. Read more about Sandra’s contributions to indie film here. Congrats to Sandra, and smart move, IFP!

Stuff I'm Reading

Spotify is allowing artists to Directly Upload and Manage their Music When will this hit the film world? Spotify is allowing select artists to upload, manage, track and receive payments for their music on a transparent platform. Right now, it’s limited, but will likely roll-out to the public. As my friend Eric Stein said on LinkedIn, this quote is quite an understatement: “Should Spotify eventually roll this out as a public feature, it could have a great impact on the indie music market.” We can see this coming to the film world already via Amazon Video Direct, and I could see it working well for iTunes and other platforms. Netflix is taking a curated approach, but DIY direct UGC uploading and selling of film should be next (beyond Vimeo).
Stephen Follows analyzed how many festival films get distribution. And it’s a pretty cool little study, although it only looks at the top Global fests (Sundance, Cannes, etc.) and only at narrative films in competition for the Grand Jury Prize. But it shows that a good percentage do get seen.
How will Disney’s Version of Netflix likely work? The Hollywood Reporter delved into it, and I think most of their guesses are correct.
Should Movie Studios buy Movie Theaters to keep control of the business? Zach Evans thinks so, and he thinks they should do it as a consortium to offset costs and allow for more flexibility as a group to try new models. My take: I agree, they should, because it allows for more direct to consumer offerings, and they can re-create a MoviePass type experience, with a SVOD option as well. Plus, the Justice Department has made it clear they’re open to re-evaluating the old laws against this stuff. Further – Indie distributors should be looking to do the same with art-house theaters, before it’s too late.
But FAANG Groups should not buy legacy media companies, says Matthew Ball in a tweet-storm on Redef. And his argument is pretty convincing, but I think one will do so anyway. Why? Because it often seems easier to buy your way into a business you should be in than to build it from scratch. And FAANG needs to grow its content businesses.

A few Start-ups are helping Indie Filmmakers get their projects made, according to TechCrunch (h/t Redef). Some of this is old news, but it has a good run-down of sites like Tongal that help you pitch brands, LegionM for crowd-sourced funding and promotion of feature films, MovieCoin for blockchain funding of films, and a good write-up of how WattPad is getting stories discovered by Hollywood. Worth a quick read if you don’t already know about these sites.
Dinner and a Movie: Vox takes a surprisingly deep-dive into the world of movie theater concessions, restaurants, bars and how/why this is all growing so fast.
Branded Content
Jordan Kelley posts his second update on the conversations from the BrandStorytelling: Elevate Conference. A great recap on what brands are thinking about when it comes to distributing and evaluating the performance of branded content. A lot of this advice holds true for people in the non-branded film/content space as well, and is worth a read, because distribution and measurement remain the toughest parts of the business whether you’re an indie or a brand.
Copyright © 2018 Brian Newman, All rights reserved.

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