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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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Keep Up With Brian:

DocNYC, Mass Expo & The Outside Story

DOCNYC hits NYC Nov 8-15th.
DOCNYC has grown to be the largest doc fest in the US (I don’t know how they measure this…) and it’s got a stellar line-up this year. There are a lot of films playing, but I’m gonna pitch just one for you to watch – and I’m biased because I’ve been consulting with the filmmakers for over a year now – Stars in the Sky: A Hunting Story by Steve Rinella. I am willing to bet that 100% of my little reading audience doesn’t hunt – and has probably never fired a gun and has no interest. That’s ok. You can even be anti-hunting. But Steve Rinella is not only a good filmmaker, he’s the Anthony Bourdain of hunting – he knows his stuff, knows the arguments for and against, and this film will open your mind to thinking about it a little differently. And even if it doesn’t – you’ll learn a lot about how hunters and fishers contribute to our public lands. Check it out on Nov 11th.
But to me, the best thing about DocNYC is the DocNYC Pro program – panels, keynotes/manifestos and pitch sessions. This is where you can really learn the state of the industry and put faces with names on those industry folks you want to get to know. Check out the full line-up for DocNYC Pro Here.
Mass Media Expo takes place in Boston this Saturday, and I am speaking on  a panel about branded content, with my friend Rob Sheard of Zero Point Zero (producers of Stars in the Sky, mentioned above), and Megan Cunningham of Magnet Media. Both of these people are way smarter about the future of branded content than me, so make sure to come see us if you are near Boston. They’ve also got a great set of panels, including one about the state of OTT and cord cutting, and there’s also an Exhibitor’s Hall with many great vendors.
The Outside Story shoots Nov 10-30. I won’t be at DocNYC though, because shameless plug – I’m producing this great indie film at the same time. This also means I won’t be writing newsletters again til December.

Stuff I'm Reading

There’s a glut of SVOD Channels – Milking Genre Fans, and people are getting sick of it already, reports Endgadget. As the writer points out: “So I'm spending a bunch of money on shows I don't even watch... It's basically no different from having cable. Cord cutters have long extolled the virtues of an "a la carte" model of TV consumption, where you pay only for what you actually want. Well, congratulations! We're there, and it stopped being cheap a while ago. (No wonder piracy's going back up.) Geeks might be fond of cutting the cord, but we're also quite fond of BitTorrent.” My take: this is unsustainable for customers and the folks launching these channels. I see a big shake-out in a year or two, in addition to the recent loss of FilmStruck. No one wants a la carte cable for more money. It just don’t compute. We either need some bundling of services, or this just won’t work.

The LA Film Festival is no More, and that's Great: Variety reports that Film Independent is shutting down the LA Film Festival. Why do I say this is great? I actually feel bad for the people losing their jobs, and hope Film Independent helps them find new homes, but I think it's great when an organization assesses it's situation and admits it can do something better. Kudos to Josh Welsh and the leadership team there for re-focusing on how to better serve indie filmmakers through year-round programming. As board chair Mary Sweeney told Variety: "“In the end, we concluded that the organization should explore a more nimble, sustainable form of exhibiting and celebrating independent film artists year round.” That's a great idea. I hope more film organizations take it to heart and think about what they may do differently as well (and no, not all of them should shut their fests, but some should).
Copyright © 2018 Brian Newman, All rights reserved.

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