Monthly Archives: June 2017

Bullet to the Head Movie Review

When I heard about this movie, I was very intrigued that Walter Hill was attached to direct, and Stallone was to star, two people who I thought could pull off a great action movie. After Stallone had proved he still had what it took to make an action movie with Expendables and Expendables 2, I thought this movie could offer something fresh to the somewhat stale genre the action movie has become.

The movie has Stallone playing a hitman named Jimmy Bobo, who is given a simple job which turns sour and his partner is killed. Bobo survives an assassination attempt on him, and starts to track down the man who killed his partner. He ends up stuck with a Korean cop named Taylor Kwon who is investigating the murder which Jimmy and his partner had committed earlier. The two men track down the dirty trail for their own reasons, but one of them want to stay above the law, and the other doesn’t care about the law.

This soon turns into a buddy movie, with the two men attempting to bounce off each other with some witty comments and jibes towards each other, but for me there was not much chemistry between the two and it felt slightly awkward. Most of this bonding between the two takes place while they are driving from one place to another, and it did slightly grow on me as the movie went on, but I think the mediocre acting limited its success.

Stallone played the usual type of character you would expect from him, he is not the best actor in the world by any means, but playing the silent assassin he always seems to do well, mainly because he doesn’t have to act to much. He looks cold and calculated and fits the character well. But lets be honest, you don’t watch a Stallone movie for acting, its all about the action, and in that department Stallone still has it, and gives it to us in bucket loads. I found the action very stylish, and although it was rather violent and graphic at times, as the special effects seem to be leaning towards in recent years, it was entertaining and great to watch, Stallone pulls it off with ease and seems to still enjoy throwing punches and firing guns. The highlight of the movie has to be the axe battle at the end of the movie with Jason Momoa.

Sung Kang plays Taylor Kwon, who you may know from his stint in the Fast and Furious franchise. He is a decent actor, I like his laidback style, and think he can hold his own, but for some reason I just didn’t think he comes off to well as a cop. He doesn’t seem to have the right attitude for a cop, but it doesn’t spoil the movie. He leaves most of the action for Stallone and instead takes the bullets. But in the action he does take part in he delivers. I think I would like to see him with a bit more of the action as I think he could hold his own.

Jason Momoa who plays Keegan does a decent job as the bad guy in this movie, although he is working for Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Christian Slater, he is the main man who Stallone wants revenge against, and the main driving force for Jimmy Bobo. He does a good job as the cold blooded killer, but seems a littler wooden at times with some of his acting. He still looks very Conan in this, he delivers on the action but is not quite there on the acting.

Christian Slater is great as ever, he is a tremendous actor, and for me he should of really had a little more screen time, he is very likeable as an unlikeable character, he just has something about him that is very weaselish. But it comes across great on screen.

The plot of the movie itself was very quite intriguing, being based on a graphic novel I had rather high expectations, as the transition to cinema is quite often a very positive one, this was not bad but maybe it could have done better. The revenge plot worked well for me, but the Taylor Kwon side of things was less appealing, I was always a little confused with what was going on with him. He was constantly on the phone, but at the start of the movie they asked for minimal contact, and I thought his storyline was slightly forgotten about in favour of Jimmy Bobo’s revenge plot. The combination of Sung and Stallone did grow on me as the movie went on, and the good guy, bad guy combo came over OK. It gave us glimpses’ of humor and a nice dose of action which resulted in a decent action movie, at a time when action movies are having somewhat of a resurgence with the release of Expendables, Arnie’s The Last Stand and this outing.

Overall this was a bit of a hit and miss for me. The action was great, with the stand out moment being the axe battle. The acting is what you would expect from a Stallone action movie, with some highlights from Christian Slater. This is recommended to any action movie fan, as it will be a refreshing change to see a new offering from an action legend, however if your not a Stallone fan, or a fan of action movies in general, then this movie may be disappointing.

Movie Crazy

Are you movie crazy? No, I don’t mean crazy for Harold Lloyd’s comedy Movie Crazy from 1932 about a young man with little or no acting ability, desperately trying to be in the movies. I mean, are you crazy for movies period? I must admit I’m a cracker for movies. So, all those who consider themselves movie crazy raise your hands. Yup, that’s almost everybody. Why are we movie crazy? Why do we live in a movie crazed society? Hey, what are movies anyway?

Movies are ideas and/or stories brought to an audience through emotion by sound and a sequence of seamless images. Thanks to Google Search.

How popular are movies? Well, the keyword “movies” boasts a mind boggling 1.1 billion and growing number of searches on Google’s search engine alone. And the keyword “movie trailers” has collected a whopping 127 million plus searches. Watching movie trailers on the internet has become a popular past time for many. I know my husband’s one of them. He loves to watch his movie trailers.

This past year alone has brought in an astonishing box office revenue of 29.2 billion dollars worldwide just for 2009. Movies are watched and made worldwide. The language gap has been dissolved due to the addition of subtitles. Now we can all share in the universal movie experience. As well as being universal, movies are made for everyone young and old. Why you can even see generations at most Disney or kid movie showings. There is something out there for everyone no matter what your age.

We celebrate movies and we celebrate the stars in our movies. We bring them into our homes by way of TV shows dedicated to stars like ET, ET Canada, Access Hollywood and TMZ to name a few. We grab supermarket tabloids like The National Enquirer and Star scanning the latest celebrity gossip and stuff them into our shopping carts when no one is looking.

We have Oscar parties like we do Superbowl parties and even bet or at least announce our opinions on who the winners of the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, MTV Awards, etc. will be. Then there’s the classic TV shows like ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ that we turned on faithfully oohing and aahing over the content like it was fine wine. The show ran for over 10 years (March 1984 – September 1995). What a run! What a concept! We actually got to tag along and drool over the extravagant homes, lifestyles and dream vacations spots of the stars. Today, you can watch similar shows like MTV’s ‘Cribs’ and VH1’s ‘The Fabulous Life of….’

If you’re more of a home body you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to see a movie. You can literally channel movies through your TV’s regular cable or on specialty movie channels like Thrill, The Movie Network, HBO, Movie Central, Showtime, Turner Classic Movies, etc. And that’s after you’ve clicked through the TV movies of the week, recorded movies on your PVR or sent your kids to the video store to rent one of this week’s new releases. Oh, and not to mention you can buy movies from your brick and mortar video store down the street or even online on eBay or Amazon.

How do we get our golden tickets to these grand palaces? We buy cereal boxes and cut out cardboard vouchers, we use our air miles points or exchange reward points to turn cash into movie tickets. We fill out contest forms in hopes to be chosen as the lucky few to attend pre-screenings to our favourite movies before they even hit theatres. We also line red carpets around the world and tune into celebrity interviews on our favourite daytime and night-time shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, Oprah and Regis & Kelly.

What beats the movie experience? Nothing. We cue up for our tickets, purchase our favourite goodies, grab the latest Famous or Tribute magazine for casual light reading before our movie (while devouring our real buttered popcorn or bag of liquorice). The lights go dim, the screen widens and the picture and sound arrive simultaneously. We anticipate the movie previews while watching the nuisance commercials and then there they are. Those big beautiful coming attractions in all their glory. We whisper yeas or nays or give a thumbs up to our pals seated beside us for the next movie adventure we’ll be planning. Then if we’re lucky, that is, the guys will get to hear the bellow of the THX sound effect that roars around the theatre. (Hey, guys you can hear it on YouTube or download it as a free mp3 or ring tone). Then the wait is over. Whoopee! And the adventure begins…

Again, why are we movie crazy? Could it be because movies are inexpensive; a cheap date; or an economical family outing. Is it that the encounter can be even more enhanced through the Imax or 3-D experience. Or does it go deeper. A chance to escape the real world if only for a few hours. Movies evoke emotion whether it’s excitement, laughter, terror, sadness, inspiration, faith, love, etc. Maybe you’re on an unpredictable adventure, figuring out a mystery or watching a family deal with loss. Movie’s take us away; anywhere we want to go. Even the theatre itself is an experience as we’ve discovered. The lights, sound, feel, big screen, comfy oversized fabric chairs, convenient cup holders, popcorn and munchies from the snack stand, etc. The movie experience really touches on all our senses. What movies have stirred you emotionally lately?

The movies are one place where you can choose what you want to see and feel. If I want to be happy I’ll go see a light hearted comedy. If I want to be thrilled I’ll go see a thriller or horror. And if I want to entertain my little niece and nephew I’ll go see the latest animated movie, etc. Then there’s the rest of the genres that fill out the movie experience: action and adventure, crime and gangster, drama, epics/historical, musicals/dance, science-fiction, war, documentary, westerns, biopics, chick-flicks, detective and mystery, disaster, fantasy, film noir, guy films, melodramas/weepers, road films, romance, sports, supernatural, etc.

Movies bring people together. They are something to talk about at the watering hole at your 9 to 5 job, chat amongst your Facebook friends or discuss in forums. We can talk about the worst movies we’ve seen or our all time favourites. We can quiz each other on movie trivia, quotes and songs. We can read or write reviews on movies, look up movie ratings and purchase books on movies. We can even get the latest Hollywood gossip sent to our email boxes or go online to peruse blogs such as Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy blog.

Is there any other advantage from movies other than the whole entertainment experience? Actually, there is. Many professional therapists are using movies to help people in crisis. There is a therapeutic movement using—you guessed it—movies. It’s called Cinema Therapy. Cinema therapy is used because it’s readily available (there’s a movie theatre in every city pretty much) and the subject matter of most films are familiar to everyone. It also enhances the rapport between both the client and the therapist. Who doesn’t want to talk movies.

Other benefits include the release of emotions such as when we laugh during a comedy our laughter releases stress, tension and/or pain. A tear jerker that makes us cry releases built-up/blocked emotions. How about movies that touch on relationships or parenting. These observations and/or lessons can bring us closer together with people, make us analyze our current situations/relationships or make us realize we’ve got work to do.

And if there’s one last thing that solidifies our movie crazy mentality it’s our want or longing to actually be in a movie and/or meet a movie star. Well, this just in—you can do both. Have you heard the term TV or movie extra? If you want a better than bird’s eye view of making of a movie and to encounter a movie star or two sign-up to be an extra. You’ll get paid, fed, be on set and maybe bump elbows with your favourite movie star.

My 2010 Movie Awards

So, we have finally closed the book on 2010. Now, as we transition into the new year, this is when most people reflect back on the year before. In the movie world, this is also when critics and movie lovers take the time to review the past year. Not to mention, this is awards season. With the Critics’ Choice Awards in just a couple of weeks and the Oscars less than two months ago, suffice to say the red carpet is officially out.

Today, I’m going to throw myself into that very ring as we bring you Couch Potato Club’s 2010 Movie Awards. Up front, though, I would like to go ahead and say, I’m going to do this different than those big award shows. For one, you’ll see some of the typical categories, but likewise there will be some off-beat ones. Also, call me crazy, but I believe the biggest factor in judging a movie is its entertainment value. Granted all of the other little facets of making a movie help to make a movie better, however I believe entertainment succeeds a movie’s technical prowess in order to define whether it is good or not. So, you won’t be seeing me awarding these “artsy” movies just because of their “cinematic achievement” (whatever the hell that is). Instead, I’ll be judging on good ole entertainment value (with acting, story, etc. playing factors).

So, without further ado, here are the winners of the first annual Couch Potato Club Movie Awards.

Best Film: Inception

For me this came down to Inception and Black Swan. I’ve honestly spent days mulling it over in my head which would be my movie of the year. However, in the end, Inception wins out. Inceptionwas also perfect in a sense. With intelligent writing, good acting, fun action, great cinematography and so on and so on, the movie proved to be awesome style with great substance. Nolan proved once again here why he is one of (if not THE) most sought after filmmakers today. A narrative genius. After watching this movie, it made me realize what a god-send Nolan is to Hollywood really. Everybody in Hollywood should be taking notes. This is exactly how a blockbuster movie should be done. Let’s not kid ourselves, blockbuster action movies will continue to be the bread and butter of Hollywood for some time to come. While this is alright, the problem usually lies in that they’re so shallow and cliche and just “eh”. They usually just rely on cool action sequences and awesome looking special effects. Not Inception, though. This movie provides all that, but then actually brings substance to that style giving us an engaging and mind-bending/intelligent storyline to go with it. This perfect blend makes Inception my movie of the year.

Best Actor: James Franco – 127 Hours

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you want to test the merit of an actor? Throw him in a movie where he is pretty much the only one ever on-screen and he has to carry the entire movie himself. Where the whole weight of the entire movie rests most assuredly on his shoulders. Will he shine? Will he crumble? This is the test. Others have proven themselves in the same way (Will Smith, Tom Hanks). And truly I believe this (and the “retard role”) is one of the biggest ways to test an actor and see if he’s one of the greats. So, enter James Franco and 127 Hours. Playing a mountain climber that gets trapped under a boulder and is all alone, Franco is left to carry an entire film on his own. Does he succeed? Damn right he does. With flying colors at that. Keeping it interesting, conveying a range of emotions throughout the film and sucking you in all on his own, Franco clearly shows he had the mettle to tackle such a daunting task and come out on top. For that reason, he’s my actor of the year.

Best Actress: Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Natalie’s performance in the Aronofsky psychological thriller is absolutely brilliant. Her best work to-date in my opinion. Playing a role that requires her to eventually transition from sweet little naive princess girl to girl-gone-wild (in a dark side kinda way), she hits every beat without missing a step. I believe the biggest factor for a good actor/actress is range. Anybody can shine in a part that was just made for them (in line with their natural persona), but range and playing different personas/characters is where an actor/actress can show their true prowess. In Black Swanalone, Natalie Portman has shown, in just the 2 hours, that she has more range than most actresses around. She exhibited more range in one performance than most do in their entire career. For such a brilliant performance Natalie Portman gets my vote as actress of the year. I don’t think this is even up for debate.

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale – The Fighter

Here’s another that I feel is just a given and isn’t up for debate. Bale absolutely stole the show in every scene he appeared in The Fighter. The weight loss alone shows Bale’s dedication to his craft. Furthermore, the way he was able to lose himself in that crackhead persona and into the role of Dicky Eklund just further proved what an amazing actor Bale is. To really show you how brilliant his performance was, the video clip of real-life Dicky during the credits showed you just how well Bale nailed that performance. It had to almost be like looking in a mirror for Dicky.

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo – The Fighter

Yes, the supporting cast of The Fighter was just great. They’re the ones that kept this movie afloat. Leo’s turn as the “white trash” overbearing mother was great and was another (along with Bale’s performance) that really helped this movie shine. Without these two, The Fighter bombs.

Best Director: Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan

Like I said, best film was down to Black Swan and Inception for me. Aronofsky’s work here was damn near perfect. This was a brilliantly directed movie. From the camera shots to the music to the story-telling to what he got out of his cast, Aronofsky did a great job in conveying this thriller story very aptly on all levels. As one of my favorite modern directors, it’s no surprise that Aronofsky continues to impress year after year.

Best Screenplay: Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin – Black Swan

For me, screenplay/story is probably the biggest factor in determining whether a movie is entertaining. Afterall, without an intriguing and entertaining story, then your movie is just going to suck. That being said, it’s no surprise that this, for me, came down to Black Swan and Inceptionagain; the two movies vying for my Best Film award. However, in the end I have to go with Black Swan edging out in this category. The story was great in my opinion. Very thrilling and intriguing story that left you on your seat the whole while through. To top it off, though, was all the subtext present throughout the film. From the “life imitates art” to the “greed can consume us all” to the commentary of how much pressure can be put on an entertainer and the risks they ensue when losing themselves in a performance in order to be “perfect”. This script had it all and fired on so many cylinders. Truly was a great story and I loved how the main character’s life began to mirror the very character she was attempting to play on stage.

Best Ensemble Cast: The Fighter

I guess after the previous supporting awards, this should come as no surprise. However, I will say I was also seriously considering The Town for this award which had a very good all-around performance from its entire cast. However, the cast of The Fighter performed well in all areas. Even Mark Wahlberg was decent enough (and I don’t particularly care for him). Though, he was the weak link and his actual character was boring. However, everyone else turned in fine performances that, as a whole, really pulled you into the family in the film. Then the performances of Bale and Leo really just pushed the overall ensemble over the top. Meanwhile, Amy Adams delivered a very good performance as well standing out.

Breakout Performance of the Year: Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone

The movie itself, I found was fairly overrated. However, Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone did an absolutely wonderful job of playing the role of Ree Dolly. If not for her, the entire movie would have been a wash. However, her performance was very nice to watch. It made it even more worthwhile as I got to witness that this girl is actually a very adept actress. Before this, I had only seen her in ‘The Bill Engvall Show’ where she plays the typical cliche ditzy teenage girl. Which, honestly, there are a million and one girls in the nation that could pull that off. Watching her go from that ditzy teenager to this gritty and convincing performance was definitely a treat for me and showed me her worth. For that, she receives my Breakout Performance of the Year award.

Best Action Movie: Inception

Inception wins here. Of course being my Best Film of the Year, it’s going to also win in its specific genre category. The movie fires on all cylinders for an almost nonstop joyride, especially for the last half of the film. The last half especially, with the gun fights and chases and fights, etc. prove to be an adrenalin rush of action. Again, this is pretty much the Hollywood-action-blockbuster film perfected.

Best Comedy: Get Him to the Greek

Ok, here’s where some might disagree with me (if they haven’t already). However, it’s my belief that Best Comedy movie should mainly be based on which movie was the funniest. Granted, there were movies I liked better overall that fall into the comedy category (Scott Pilgrim), but on the laugh scale they didn’t touch Get Him to the Greek. Russell Brand is just hilarious. And his part as the typical rock star was great and hilarious. Even “P Diddy” (who I hate) had me cracking up during this movie. For me, it really was the funniest movie of the year.

Best Animated Movie: How to Train Your Dragon

Yep, I’m doing it. I’m kicking Pixar to the curb this year and letting someone else have Best Animated prize. Granted, I really enjoyed Toy Story 3, but for me How to Train Your Dragon was just the better movie and was more fun. It was cute, funny, inspiring in its own way and refreshing. I really enjoyed the movie. How to Train Your Dragon was one of those that had heart and depth and was really beautiful (both story-wise and animation). One that truly appeals to both adults and kids alike.

Best Horror Movie: Paranormal Activity 2

I loved the first one and the sequel proves no different. Paranormal Activity has been something of a savior for the horror genre I believe. And part 2 makes it a saving grace for Hollywood as the franchise goes mainstream. With good pacing and ‘storytelling’, Paranormal Activity 2, like its predecessor, brings the art of tension and suspense back to a seemingly hollowed out genre. It does a great job of really getting into your imagination and letting it run wild, in turn terrorizing yourself. Really a refreshing movie in the genre, I can’t wait for part 3 this fall.

Best Thriller: The Town

Yes, I realize Black Swan is a thriller, and I absolutely agree that it’s the better movie. However, like the comedy movie, I feel the Best Thriller movie should be judged pretty much solely on the “thrill” aspect. And while Black Swan did engulf me and keep in thrilled, The Town pulled that aspect off a bit better. Maybe because the action of it catered to that, I don’t know. However, The Town just had me really on the edge of my seat from start to finish pretty much. The action was good, the movie was so intense and the whole of it just never let up once it took off running, that I couldn’t help but be enthralled as I went on that thrill ride.

Best Docudrama: The Social Network

Social Networking has been spreading like wildfire in the past years, so it comes as no surprise that it would eventually become the basis of a film. The Social Network isn’t just any film though. Becoming one of the most talked about movies of the year and making a real movie to be movie of the year, the movie is a great all-around film that everybody should see. And it might be one of the most significant films of modern day (that or its counterpart ‘Catfish’).

Best Indie Film: Buried

Another thriller that just keeps you enthralled throughout (yes it seems I have a thing for thriller type movies). With such a minimal set and minimal story and cast, Buried just seems like it’s set to disappoint. Despite all these risks though it manages to succeed and become a very thrilling and captivating movie, with Reynolds carrying it well.

Best Fight: Zero-Gravity Hallway Fight – Inception

The visuals and special effects was just one facet of what made Inception so awesome for me. And this fight scene was one of those that stood out above the rest. Creative, cool to watch, action-packed, it really was just a really fun fight and pretty awesome.

Tearjerker of the Year: Toy Story 3

Did I personally cry? No. However, Toy Story 3 I feel is the movie of the year that will most likely make someone cry. Maybe it’s the connection after having grown up with the series. Maybe it’s just the depth of emotion created in some scenes that hit home for most people in a real-life way. Whatever it is, Toy Story 3 is sure to get the waterworks running for quite a few people. With scenes like the incinerator scene and Andy’s final time with the toys (especially when he realizes Woody is in there and he ends up parting with the toy that started it all), Toy Story 3 definitely has its moments that truly tug on those heart-strings.

Best On-Screen Couple: Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine

Both of these actors are some of the better young actors around today (Gosling being my choice for best actor under 30 even). They really show their worth here in this movie as well. Giving great and powerful performances the two shine on the screen together. The chemistry between them is absolutely marvelous and the genuine/real emotion they convey over the course of the movie provides for a good watch.

Best Villain: Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman) – Scott Pilgrim vs the World

Jason Schwartzman is just unconventionally hilarious most every time I see him. His appearance in Scott Pilgrim was just icing on the cake for a very good movie. Classic Schwartzman provided humor and intelligence to the role, standing out as my favorite villain of a movie filled with villains.

Worst Movie of the Year: The Last Airbender

I’m not even going to say anything. Everybody knows it sucks. Shyamalan again proves, that despite his last movie (The Happening being horrible) that he can still outdo himself and make a surprisingly worse film than he ever has. The guy is spiraling out of control straight down the drain.

Most Overrated Movie of the Year: The Kids Are All Right

I’m sorry. It wasn’t that good. The acting was decent. Mark Ruffalo was pretty much the saving grace of the movie. Other than that the movie was so pretentious and contrived and just flat out boring. Not nearly as good as people made it out to be (not even the performances). Wasn’t funny or humorous at all. And the movie definitely does not deserve even being considered as a Best Film nominee.

Most Underrated Movie of the Year: Kick-Ass

Sure, the movie got decent reviews, even did moderately well in its opening weekend. However, I feel Kick-Ass was just underappreciated for the year. Quite frankly, the movie, well….kicked ass. In fact, it may go down as one of my Top 10 or 15 favorite movies of the year. It’s one of the best comic book adaptations I’ve seen in a long while. For me, it was even better than it’s competitorScott Pilgrim. A truly awesome and fun movie that should have been given more credit. Very entertaining and more people should give it a shot.

Best TV Show (Drama): The Walking Dead

Admittedly, my typically TV show viewing consists of sitcoms/comedies. However, there are a few dramas I watch here and there. This year’s The Walking Dead proved to be one of those new shows that drug me in and made me love it. Making me eager to see the next season, and disappointed I’ll have to wait so long.

Best TV Show (Comedy): Modern Family

With a funny ensemble cast and very funny writing, Modern Family has proven to be one of my favorite new TV shows recently. And with ‘The Office’ being hit or miss anymore, Modern Familyis the one that consistently has me laughing the most. Most notably, Eric Stonestreet as “Cam” always makes me laugh and really steals the show almost every time he appears. His performance is what puts this one over the edge for me. Though, Big Bang Theory and Jim Parsons performance do come in a very close second for me.

World of Movie Distribution Is a Tough Place

The world of movie distribution is a tough place. After fighting and sweating to finish a movie you’re mentally and physically exhausted.

You just want to take a break and rest, but you can’t because finishing a movie is only half the battle. It’s time to enter the world of movie distribution.

Movie distribution is a tough place for filmmakers new to the grind. It’s hard to switch off the creative mind to deal with the business side of selling movies.

What I’ve learned the hard way is the movie distribution really starts with promoting and marketing a movie.

Social media is an inexpensive way to get the word out about your movie and create a killer viral buzz online.

It’s cool to go the film festival route to get your movie seen by viewers and potential film buyers, but over the years from talking to other filmmakers there is a common feeling that the film festival scene is too crowded now.

U.K. filmmaker Wayne Daniells from LiarDice Films told me his last trip to The Cannes International Film Festival was a ruthless feeding frenzy.

There were a glut of movies and producers were fighting to get the attention of movie distributors.

All in all Wayne expressed that it was a waste of time and money pitching his film there. I’ve heard the same opinion from other filmmakers that are frustrated with the film festival scene and no longer see it as a good way to secure movie distribution.

I personally like the direct route of contacting movie distributors to see if they’re interested in being sent a screener. This is where it helps if you have already been promoting and marketing your movie online using social media.

Movie distributors are more interested in acquiring movies that already have a strong online presence.

I’m strictly speaking from a true independent movie perspective. Studio budget movies are an entirely different animal when it comes to the world of movie distribution.

When it comes to movie distribution for an indie produced film the way it normally happens are independent producers and filmmakers take the risk making the movie without any guaranteed movie distribution deal in place.

They usually have to shop it around to sell it. That’s been my personal experience so far. I’ve never created content with a movie distribution deal in place.

It’s like writing a screenplay on spec, but you’re dealing with a movie. Promoting and marketing a movie through social media is an absolute must.

Start early before you’re movie is even finished. That way when you begin contacting movie distributors you’re movie will already have more appeal because people are talking about it.

Movie distributors that cater to releasing independent movies do very little marketing for most of the titles they release.

If you’re movie doesn’t have any actors or celebrity names attached to it then it won’t get marketed outside of the standard insert in a movie distributor catalog.

So once you do secure a movie distribution deal you’re already giving your movie a boost by promoting and marketing yourself.

My mind is all over the place today, so let me get back to finding a movie distribution deal. Hold up please. A nice Miller Lite would help me focus right now.

That’s much better now. There are different ways to land a film distribution deal. You can spend the money doing the film festival route. Deals get struck all the time at film festivals.

But honestly there is a glut of film festivals. The number of film festivals is way out of whack compared to the number of movie distributors that release independent films.

Skipping the film festival circuit works for many independent movie producers that don’t have name actors in their film or know their story won’t appeal to an art house crowd.

Hiring a film sales representative is a good call if you skip the film festival scene all together. A film sales representative or producer’s rep has contacts with movie distributors to get your movie screened.

Plus many of them can get you into magazines like Indie Slate and MovieMaker to make your movie look more appealing to movie distributors.

They also watch your back when it comes to movie distribution agreements. When filmmakers look at movie distribution agreements it can be overwhelming.

There is lots of legalese “mumbo jumbo” in there designed to lessen the amount of money you make from movie royalty payments or a straightforward buy-out of your movie.

Unless you have experience reading movie distribution contracts it’s easy to get taken advantage of. I’m in the habit know even if I have a films sales representative like “El Tigre” watching my back I still read all contracts completely.

You will be surprised at the hidden fees and costs some movie distributors try to get over on a filmmaker with in of all places, the contract definitions section.
My film sales rep and I once found a flat fee of $50,000 for marketing costs in the definitions section.

Hiring an entertainment attorney is another good move, but usually is too costly for a truly independent filmmaker. Plus from my own experience an entertainment attorney is not as helpful as a film sales rep with securing a movie distribution deal or getting you some press.

That’s not really the job an entertainment attorney. They’re great when it comes to negotiating your movie distribution contract. But most won’t get you a deal like a film sales rep. You can bring them in after you have a deal on the table.

I had two sharp entertainment lawyers that saved my ass from getting burned when it came to sell a reality show I produced called “America’s Wildest Bachelor Parties.” They got me a producer friendly contract and got me paid on time each quarter. I’m glad I hired them.

If it’s just not in your budget to hire a film sales rep or entertainment lawyer you can still secure meaningful movie distribution hustling hard yourself.

Promoting and marketing your movie online is followed up by putting together a clean and neat film package to send to movie distributors. Keep it simple with a DVD screener, one-sheet artwork, tight synopsis, tagline and very short bios for key cast or crew that have previous IMDB credits.

To get a list of potential movie distributors see what companies are releasing movies in the same genre as yours. The Internet makes it pretty easy to find contact information nowadays.

Movie distribution companies usually have a contact page for film submissions. Follow the guidelines and mail off your film package. They get a flood of film submissions, so be patient if you don’t hear back right away.

Movie distributors have certain times they are aggressively seeking films to fill their catalog and other times they have all they need for now. I have the buying months written down.

Once they get your film package they will Google your movie. That’s where having been promoting and marketing your movie online really stands out. It takes more than only having a website or blog.

You need some press and backing from online film bloggers to make your movie standout in the eyes of movie distributors.

I dedicated a chapter about movie distribution in a book on indie filmmaking I wrote. It might help you with more detailed movie distribution information. All the best with marketing and selling your movie.