are likely to put behind their projects. An exclusive Netflix deal can still mean a lot of promotion, and that helps with future projects, as well.
Going with a theatrical release, however, can be
a better move for indies like Juno or Little Miss
Sunshine that have famous names in their casts.
A few years back, Callif spoke to one filmmaker who signed a day-and-date release with
Netflix, meaning the film would be available
for streaming at the same time it appeared
in theaters. When the release weekend came,
the filmmaker went to the ArcLight Hollywood
to enjoy the moment, and was bummed to find
the theater empty. Later, she turned to Twitter
and found a surprising amount of discussion
around her film. People were watching it, after
all, and social media gave it plenty of buzz. The
movie made a bigger splash than it would have
with a theater-only release.
Having so much entertainment on tap is a
win for viewers. The movie theater experience
is changing—with larger plush seats and bet-
ter food options—but it doesn’t seem to be go-
ing away. The SVODs have brought changes to
the film industry, but so far it feels like positive
steps for all parties.
“I do think it benefits the filmmaking community,” Callif says. “There are more dollars
out there to make content and there are more
people looking for original content, so that provides a wonderful opportunity for independent
filmmakers. I hope there’s a balance—that Netflix is extraordinarily successful and Amazon is
extraordinarily successful, but people are still
going to the movies and experiencing films and
television in different ways and taking advantage of those different options.”
Troy Dreier ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is senior associate editor
of Streaming Media and Onlinevideo.net.
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