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YekraFor independents and studios alike, the online distribution of movies is a game that’s heating up rather rapidly. There’s already a handful of players in the game, so the first question I always ask to new platforms is: what are you offering that the others aren’t? Funded with $3M in venture capital last year, YEKRA launched today, and they have a lot to say about online distribution. They have a really interesting affiliate program in which you can earn money by curating or sharing movies that are hosted on their platform. However, instead of trying to solely funnel people into their streaming platform, they are bringing their platform to you. So what does a VOD movie theater experience look like anyways? Let’s find out. More »

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The Congress House Studio Austin TX — The ShopKeeper A documentary about Mark Hallman

Folk-rock artist Rain Perry has some important questions about the music industry, so she’s chosen celebrated music producer Mark Hallman to be the subject of a new documentary. The Shopkeeper takes us to Austin TX, where, after 35+ years in the business, Mark Hallman is still making music in his studio, The Congress House. How can Mark’s life path (a songwriter turned producer) help answer questions about the state of things now? How can artists make a living in the age of Spotify? How has technology influenced artists and audiences alike? Rain sits down with No Film School to discuss being a “noob” to filmmaking, how it compares to creating music, and important lessons she’s learned so far. More »

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BitTorrent Sync New Version 1.4When BitTorrent’s file transfer app BitTorrent Sync hit the 1 million user mark earlier this year, we knew they would only continue to become a go-to way to transfer files. They are now at 10 million user installs and it’s one of the only ways of bypassing “the cloud” when transferring files over the internet. With version 1.4, they’ve brought us new sharing features and a redesigned user interface, saying, “No cloud means faster transfer speeds and that no third parties ever have your data; your data belongs to you.” More »

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As curation becomes more important, it becomes about how we carve out small pockets of culture online for audiences who are hungry for unique, uncompromising and refreshing work. Vyer Films is a new subscription service that not only selects a robust catalogue of independent movies, but also strives to coax their audiences deeper into the culture of their movies. I see what Vyer Films is doing with the curatorial streaming model as pretty representative of where things are headed, so I asked founder K.C. McLeod to chat with No Film School about their commitment to sharing great films, their take on the streaming subscription model and where it all fits in the future of film distribution. More »

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CreativeDistrict1Creative District launched earlier this year as Technicolor’s offering to the filmmaker social media space. With an emphasis on filmmaker to filmmaker connections, building collaborators online, and a simple and pleasing browsing experience, Creative Districts enthusiasm for connecting filmmakers doesn’t stop there. They offer $5,000 grants monthly to users of the website who are working on interesting projects, but until now that grant was not available to YouTubers and Vimeo Creators. Read on for the full details of the contest, the winners will be announced on September 2nd, 2014. More »

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Menthol on Vimeo on Demand

Now that Menthol was finally released online last week, let’s check in with the release status and watch the 3rd part of our interview series with the makers of the film. This post will complete my 6-part series on releasing the film with a $0 marketing budget. With direct distribution I’ve learned that what appears to be the end of a long road usually leads to be the beginning of a new one, but for this post I’ve selected some big takeaways and put them together in a Direct-Distribution Lesson Roundup. Read on. More »

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Menthol Release on August 4th

Menthol is finally done playing film festivals and we’re in the clear to release online. It’s been a long road getting to this point, navigating various distribution strategies and seeing what we can implement with a $0 marketing spend. Menthol will finally enjoy its online release today, August 4th through Vimeo on Demand and Reelhouse. To whet your appetite for the film, here’s the next installment in the Behind the Story interview series and some words on what we’ve learned. More »

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Jack Plotnik at Outfest 2014To follow-up from last week’s 2014 Outfest kickoff, the festival has released a few more interviews from their Meet the Filmmakers series. Outfest asked me to conduct some interviews with some of this year’s filmmakers, allowing a glimpse into the minds of some really interesting directors working today. Including interviews with Marina Rice Bader, Jack Plotnick and Desiree Akhavan, and a compilation video of all their advice for other independent filmmakers. More »

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Outfest 2014Getting your film seen on a big screen seems harder and harder to do, but it’s clear that film festivals still play a major role in the preservation of the theatrical experience. The Los Angeles-based Outfest is one of the most prestigious LGBT film festivals in the world, and to celebrate their 32nd year they are trying something new: a series of interviews with the filmmakers talking about their stories and some of the challenges of making them come to life. More »

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Matt Mason and Evan Husney Talk The Future of Film DistributionBitTorrent has long been a pioneer and a strong voice in the conversation about digital distribution, and now they’re bringing us a video interview series called BitTorrent Sessions. Off the heels of a successful Bundles collaboration (over 3.5 million downloads) with Drafthouse Films for The Act of Killing, BitTorrent’s Matt Mason sat down with Evan Husney (the then creative director of Drafthouse Films, now with Vice) to talk about the current state of film distribution and where we’re headed. More »

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Our festival run is almost complete and we’re preparing for our imminent online launch. Direct distribution is a moving target, and we’re constantly shifting our release strategy and making adaptations we feel are necessary. Our latest adaptation is going to be making the film available on more than one platform when we release. For this post I’ve also put together the first of three videos from hours of interview footage on the cast & crew’s experience of making Menthol. Click through to keep following along and to watch the video. More »

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Heaven Adores You a film about Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith is one of the most prolific and authentic figures in the contemporary singer/songwriter era and is synonymous with intimate, honest folk music. His songs are cinematic in the sense that they are character studies, “little pictures made of words” that capture a certain person, time or place. Many documentaries have tried to have been made over the years, but Nickolas Rossi has succeeded in making the first feature-length Elliott documentary with permission to use his music. Read on for our interview with the director Nickolas Rossi on constructing a portrait of Elliott’s life and work. More »

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Curtains by Tyler T Williams

Budgets are rapidly coming down for music videos, but some directors still manage to execute their visions on a budget. Tyler T. Williams is perhaps one of the best at this, always putting together interesting images with great music. With his latest video for “Curtains!?” by Timber Timbre, Tyler displays a growing confidence in storytelling and a welcome throwback to the film noir grunge of the 40s and 50s. Hit the jump to watch the new video and for our interview with the director. More »

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Menthol at 18th Sofia International Film Fest

The process of releasing and distributing my first film has been a challenge, and as we enter the last month or so of pre-release work I will be sharing more a long the way. In the previous two posts in this series I talked about cutting a trailer and shared philosophical ramblings after our world premiere. In this post, I’m gonna talk about our international premiere experience, putting on our own screenings and preparing for the next steps before release. Hit the jump to read more. More »

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Panel 2 at the 15th Annual IFTA Production ConferenceWith a keynote speech from producer-of-the-moment Cassian Elwes (Ain’t Them Body Saints, Dallas Buyer’s Club) and a selection of some of the most successful individuals from producing, financing, sales, marketing and distribution, the sold-out 15th annual IFTA (Independent Film & Television Alliance) production conference was held in Los Angeles on April 25th. No Film School was invited to attend the conference to help extend the conversation to all the independent filmmakers who couldn’t fit in the room, so click through to read some major takeaways from the event. More »

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FV SpectraHD 4 1280-720 EVFF&V has been steadily cranking out quality lighting products, and at NAB 2014 they introduced their first EVF. Containing features that you’ll find in higher-end EVFs/monitors, the new 4.3″ SpectraHD 4 is going to come in at a bit lower price than some other options. They’ve also got a larger 7″ monitor with slightly less resolution, which should work well as an inexpensive additional monitor on the camera. Finally, they are introducing new lights with far higher CRI ratings — which means better color reproduction. Check out the interview below: More »

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VaricamWe’ve seen plenty of impressive cameras be unveiled at NAB in the last week from Blackmagic, Sony, JVC, and even AJA. Although we’ve known about Panasonic’s first 4K VariCam for a while, we were able to chat with Steve Cooperman about the modular camera, as well as take a closer look at its features, which include a Super 35mm CMOS sensor, 14+ stops of dynamic range, PL mount, and internal 4K up to 120fps. We’re also told by Cooperman that, with all components included, the camera will be sold for under $60K. More »

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Full SailYes, we’re called No Film School, and yes, we get the irony of sharing information about a film school, but we caught up with Jacob Abercrombie and Alex Boyum at Full Sail University’s “mobile experience” truck at NAB, which travels around giving hands-on demos to potential film school students. Check out what they have to say about the kind of education you can expect to receive at FSU, which offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees both online and on their campus in Winter Park, Florida. More »

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SmallHDSmallHD has made a pretty significant upgrade to their already visually superb 7″ DP7 field monitor, and David Bredbury gives us a quick demo at the SmallHD booth at NAB. The new features in the DP7 include the ability to load and export custom 3D LUTs, as well as editing and grading footage in real-time. Continue on to see the DP7 in action, as well as all pricing and availability information. More »

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RedRockRedrock Micro is probably best known for their award-winning One Man Crew, a motorized parabolic motion system, as well as their remote focus system microRemote. We stopped off at their booth at NAB, where Redrock’s Brian Valente not only gave us a demonstration of the new features of these two products, but of their new 3-piece, vintage style rig for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, the Retroflex, which allows for handheld operation. More »