November 21, 2012

Larry Clark's 'Marfa Girl' Streaming Online Only Beginning Today

Distribution is changing. Sure, Hollywood is still trying to keep the status quo, and at the same time slowly branch out into VOD and streaming, but the indies have been forging ahead with new and ever-changing methods of distribution -- many times circling all of the above when it comes to getting their movie out there. Larry Clark, best known for the film Kids, is releasing his new film Marfa Girl (which just won Best Film at the 7th Rome Film Festival) in a rather peculiar way: streaming online tonight only for 24 hours, and then he says you'll never be able to see it again in any other format. [Update: I misunderstood the wording on his site. The film will be available online indefinitely, but the rental will give you access for 24 hours.]

Since it doesn't seem like a trailer exists, here's the only available clip from the film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayJioC5cnGw&feature=plcp

Larry Clark said this about the release:

I will put the film on my first and only website, larryclark.com, which is the only place one will ever be able to see the film…. It will stream for $5.99 for access to the film for 24 hours…. This is the future and the future is now…. Most and very soon almost all the small theaters that show Indie and Art films will be gone….

Everyday another goes out of business because everything is digital now and it is quite expensive for the wonderful old smaller theaters to bear the cost of switching to digital…. Anyway I think I am one of the very first directors to release a new film this way, on a website who’s only purpose is to show his new films…. I think this could be very successful and it also cuts out the crooked Hollywood distributors.

In an interview with Filmmaker Magazine, Larry described more of his motivation for why he made the film and why he's releasing it this way:

I wanted to make a movie for the Internet. These days everyone one is on it — emails, social networks and all that. I have kids and they are constantly connected to it. I send them a message and they get back to me straight away. It’s so hard to get a film made, especially an art film with your own final cut. So I thought, “Why don’t I just do it myself, set up a website and get it going.” I decided to get rid of the middlemen, producers and the like. Anyway, they’re all crooks; I never got paid for my movies. The Internet is happening, people make a video and it gets a million hits, so fuck it, let’s do it.

This is absolutely fascinating to see, as it gives the movie a scarcity it never would have experienced otherwise. Sure, it may be a gamble to release a film once for a short period of time, but with enough buzz (we're obviously adding to that here), you can attract a sizable audience. He could still change his mind about releasing it at another time and in different mediums, but at the moment, it seems like he really wants to do things differently.

The film costs $6, and will be available streaming only on his website, and then, according to him, go offline forever after 24 hours. It's not often that you see award winning films not test the distribution market, but clearly Larry is fed up with the way many distribution deals go down -- which very often involves the artist never seeing a dime from sales of the film. As many of these distribution deals take away more of the filmmakers' control over the future of the film, there's no question more people with a solid reputation will follow suit in one way or another.

I plan on watching the film later, but what do you guys think about his strategy? How about his thoughts on the industry in general? Would you consider trying something like this with one of your works?

Link: Watch Marfa Girl by Larry Clark

[via Filmmaker Magazine]

Your Comment

26 Comments

I was under the impression that, once purchased, the film would only be available to stream for 24 hours, not that it will only be available to purchase/screen for 24 hours.

November 21, 2012 at 3:02PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Well obviously this works better when you have some sort of name recognition, but I see more and more artistic endeavors going this way. I'll check this out based on Clark's previous work.

November 21, 2012 at 3:38PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ian

Site says: Access stream for 24 hours. Online only. Works with Flash player on desktops and h.264 streaming on iPhone/iPad

November 21, 2012 at 3:45PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Jer

Let's be honest, it's an idiotic strategy smacking of a bratty artist. Unless there has been a grave mistake in translation, this guy is saying that his movie will be destroyed and never available to anyone everywhere after the 24 hours are up. Either that's poor grammar, or a temper tantrum not worthy of anyone's attention.

And anyway, why make movies in the first place if it's not a permanent medium?

November 21, 2012 at 4:20PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Paul

...or is it Joe Marine misleading hype.... as per usual. All of the quotes from Larry Clark state that it will be available only online, and the anytime fee gives you 24hrs to watch it from time of purchase. The rest is manufactured in Joe Marines head, and now I have wasted time looking into this misinformation.

Joe is a gimick, and I am now tired of his posts. I initially just tried to avoid his posts, but now I am avoiding NFS as a whole.

November 21, 2012 at 4:43PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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James0b57

It is not "misleading hype," we got it wrong and we weren't the only ones:

http://www.slashfilm.com/larry-clarks-marfa-girl-gets-exclusive-24-hour-...
http://filmmakermagazine.com/58969-larry-clarks-marfa-girl-gets-exclusiv...

If Joe is a "gimick" [sic], please let me know what else he's done that has been misleading. Joe has written 437 posts on this site and if you consider one or two provocative headlines worth avoiding, then yes I would recommend avoiding this site and pretty much everything else in the world too.

November 21, 2012 at 4:53PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Joe is a great writer and I've appreciated his posts. He will correct himself if he makes an error and will do so publicly. No one is perfect and he strives to deliver the most relevant information to this site's target audience. I've never found any of his headlines or articles to be misleading or sensationalized in order to drive clicks/pageviews. (as several other sites are guilty of)

In offline communications where I've presented inaccurate information (in error), he's always been professional and corrected me in the most respectful and polite manner. He's definitely dedicated to providing honest and truthful information.

November 21, 2012 at 5:05PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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sean

Hey, just was making a point, albeit a bit of a 'gotcha', but that really is the point.

Strong language is free, but it gets a rise out of people. Using words like "gimmick" and such didn't cost you anything but got you emotional enough to participate in my post with your time and mental energy.

Joe Marine is not so bad, but his sensationalism is sometimes annoying. Just returning the favor. I do intend to come back and participate on NFS.

November 21, 2012 at 5:11PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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James0b57

Well said, Ryan. Well said, indeed. I like your style, brother. Keep doing what you're doing.

November 22, 2012 at 3:17AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Wax

James: Big overreaction. Sounds like an innocent mistake. You say you're never coming back to this site; it goes without saying that I doubt anyone will miss you.

November 22, 2012 at 2:26PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Paul

For works of art, Hawaii has some laws regarding limited editions. Not sure how or if it get enforced but when an artist claims a print is "one out of a hundred" in the edition, it is illegal to make more. If the 24 hour claim for this movie is modified, are refunds granted? Perhaps making a minor editorial tweak will get around it.

BTW, the PBS documentary on media mogul, David Geffen last night was worth seeing. Recommended to any filmmaker.

November 21, 2012 at 4:49PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Rob

This makes me wonder....

For the small town theatres that do go digital, but are independent. How would this type of distribution work? Could a theatre pay the $6 for the 24hr license and screen it?

I must admit, my work has all be direct for clients. I don't need to worry about distribution, they do.

While I do love online distribution and watching movies on the go from a mobile device....nothing beats the theatre experience! It would be a shame if there was not some sort of direct partnership that could be made between film makers and theatre owners to get more independent and digital works on big screens!

November 21, 2012 at 5:11PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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sean

Was a big fan of kids.. Ordered and watching, definitely similar style and content. Edgy and gritty.

November 21, 2012 at 5:41PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I just watched the whole movie, paying was simple and fast, but the streaming was terrible. I have decent Internet here, and the movie was streamed via something like the variable bit rate system that livestream uses to maintain a feed when speeds drop, (I dont know alot abut this) but I ended up having to watch most the movie in a very compressed stream, which really distracted from trying to watch it seeing as you can barely make out what's on screen, and was definitely not worth 5.99 dollars. If I had the option to watch in HD or even High quality I would have gladly waited on buffering. I was watching on iPad, so maybe this is available on computers, but really if your gonna charge people to watch your film, it has to a least streamed to a high standard.

November 21, 2012 at 6:18PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Watched it yesterday. There were options to stream in HD and SD (in three languages) and the streaming on my macbook pro was crystal clear with no buffering or interruptions. Not sure what happened with you.

November 22, 2012 at 6:28PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Nick

Larry Clark is obsessed with Teenage boys and girls having sex. Erm i mean he is so edgy and gritty.

November 21, 2012 at 6:57PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Connor

That's what I was thinking too.

November 23, 2012 at 11:25AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Christian Anderson

Eamon, sorry to hear the Ipad streams are that shitty fragmented-type/"adjusted-quality-every-x-seconds" streams;
but here from France with a standard connexion and on PC/Ubuntu , my experience was really good, ,
I got constant and nice quality (852*480 h264 1.8 MB/sec).
you still have some hours to find a friend with a PC before your ticket expires ^^

I even took the liberty to pause / take some hard screens so you can see, I suppose it's ok (w/ french subs since I needed them ^^ )

http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2012/47/1353542653-vlcsnap-2012-11-2...
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2012/47/1353542653-vlcsnap-2012-11-2...
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2012/47/1353542653-vlcsnap-2012-11-2...
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2012/47/1353542653-vlcsnap-2012-11-2...

November 21, 2012 at 7:05PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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rototo

852x480? Nothing "nice quality" about standard (480p) definition on any device.

November 22, 2012 at 6:08PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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technical addendum sidenote , the flash standard rtmp (constant quality) streams are hosted on amazon cloudfront,
can't tell for the Ipad/phone steams...

November 21, 2012 at 7:10PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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rototo

I figured the quality would be much better on a PC, I just didn't have one at home, and once I was 20 minutes in I figured just watch Til the end and get t over with (Probably a bad attitude)

November 22, 2012 at 4:51AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Eamonn

>Larry Clark
>I have kids

Oh boy...

November 22, 2012 at 11:43AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Natt

Watched the film last night. If you're a Larry Clark fan it will not disappoint. It actually seems a big tamer than his other films. I would have given away the first ten minutes for free (especially since there's no trailer) and have people pay for the rest.

It's a VOD release ($5.99 gets you 24-hr access to watch)... curious to see how this strategy works. I wish Larry the best of luck. Hollywood distribution sucks for indie filmmakers.. I've had three films picked up for theatrical distribution by Regent, Strand, and Fox respectively and never saw a dime. Ever.

November 22, 2012 at 4:49PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Nick

What an incredibly awkward film. Especially the acting.

November 23, 2012 at 11:33AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Christian Anderson

Is "Marfa Girl", going to be released on DVD or Blu-Ray at some point? I don't mind the strange theatrical distribution method. I'm not a fan, but not everybody has as regular access to high-powered computers as other. I personally, most of the time watch movies online when I'm at the library, and I prefer to use DVDs to watch most films. I'm not a fan of limited distribution methods. Why can't things be released everything. In theatres, on DVD, on Blu-Ray, on Demand, on the internet, etc. Hell, I still have Beta tapes somewhere. I hope it gets a DVD release eventually.

November 23, 2012 at 5:22PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Right here is the right webpage for anyone who wants to understand this
topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally
would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin
on a subject which has been written about for years.
Great stuff, just great!

December 16, 2013 at 10:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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