THAT'S A WRAP ON THE 2014 SUNDANCE #ARTISTSERVICES WORKSHOP!
On May 10th, the Austin Film Society hosted the first ever Sundance #ArtistServices Workshop in Austin. Scroll below to read more about our panels and featured speakers.
For an event recap, check out Filmmaker Magazine or the Sundance Artist Services Blog.
Since launching in 2011, Sundance Institute’s #ArtistServices Initiative has helped both newcomers and pros navigate an ever-changing independent film landscape. Producers and Directors now conceive, strategize and deploy creative control of their work in the modern micro-cinema age. Raising over $7 million-dollars on Kickstarter and empowering the self-release of over 100 independent films, Sundance Institute and the Austin Film Society are set to co-host the first-ever #ArtistServices Austin Workshop. Get wicked-smart with a posse of Guest Panelists on the latest tech and trends in Creative Financing, Digi Distribution, Guerilla Marketing and Indie Theatrical Releases.
Opening Salvo by Holly Herrick
10:00 AM to 10:15 AM CST
Since 1981, Sundance Institute has supported more than 6,000 artists who have brought original stories and authentic voices to the screen and stage. Austin Film Society has been the premiere advocacy organization for independent filmmakers since 1985, championing the future of storytelling in the digital age by fostering a vibrant and sustainable independent filmmaking community. Both organizations share a primary commitment to support the development of independent film and to expose it to audiences – in any way possible.
Holly Herrick joined AFS in June of 2012 to serve as Associate Artistic Director. Prior to joining AFS, she served as Deputy Program Director at the Hamptons International Film Festival in New York, where in addition to film programming, she programmed and produced the festival’s signature artistic events. Herrick has collaborated with her writer/director husband, Michael Tully, on his films. In 2011, she associate produced his narrative feature SEPTIEN, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and in Austin at SXSW, and was distributed by IFC/Sundance Selects. She is also associate producer on the upcoming narrative comedy feature Ping Pong Summer. Holly continues to write about films, and contributes to the Resources Blog of the Independent Feature Project and the editorial film website, Hammer To Nail. Her writing has been syndicated by the trade publication IndieWire.
Soft Money, Uncle Sam, Equity and Crowdfunding (2nd Edition)
10:15 AM to 11:15 AM CST
It’s all about The Benjamins, The Bucks and The Chedda’ in this roundtable debate about the state of hybrid funding in independent film. We’ll stay focused on tax implications for crowdfunders, soft money options for producers and the emergence of new online equity opportunities. Our lively experts will further explore how they all fit together and get you thinking in new directions about how to fund your own work.
Cameron Keng has practiced tax law for clients such as Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Pfizer at PwC an KPMG. Cam has been featured by Bloomberg, Tax Analysts, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, HuffingintonPost and Fox News as a tax and finance authority. Cam most recently founded a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax clinic that has received Congressional endorsements for outstanding community and public service.funders, soft money options for producers and the emergence of new online equity opportunities. Our lively experts will further explore how they all fit together and get you thinking in new directions about how to fund your own work.
Evan Glodell was raised in Wisconsin and moved to Los Angeles in 2001 to pursue filmmaking. After many years working as a director and cinematographer on shorts and music videos he began work on his feature-film debut Bellflower in 2008. Bellflower was made over the course of three years on a minuscule budget of $17,000 with Evan taking on major roles as writer, director, producer and actor. Bellflower's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011 was met with much attention and critical acclaim. The film was theatrically released in the United States on over 100 screens found international success in France, Japan and the United Kingdom. Mr. Glodell was nominated for a 2012 Spirit Award for best low-budget film and a 2011 Gotham Award for best new director with the film winning prizes both domestically and internationally. Evan has a number of projects in development including Chuck Hank and the San Diego Twins which he is producing under the Coatwolf Productions banner (to be released in 2015) and is currently working on his directorial follow-up. Glodell is represented by Creative Artists Agency.
Shannon Swallow has more than 15 years as a marketing communications expert for both Fortune 500 companies and startups. Shannon is currently the Head of Marketing Communications for Indiegogo, whose mission is to democratize finance and revolutionize the way people around the world get access to capital. Responsible for the global voice and vision of the company, Shannon has helped build the company's international presence, develop its integrated marketing strategy across key categories and spearhead the newly-launched rebrand, which is rolling out this April.
Prior to joining Indiegogo, Shannon has held several senior leadership roles. As the Vice President of Marketing for digital publisher Take Part, Shannon led the online audience development efforts for parent company Participant Media's films and documentaries.
Entertainment lawyer Deena Kalai represents artists and businesses engaged in entertainment, intellectual property, and technology, including film, television, fashion, literary publishing, and mobile/interactive media. In addition to her work on narrative features and on behalf of writers, directors, and talent, Deena has a particular interest in the copyright doctrine of fair use. Therefore she assists many documentary filmmakers each year in assessing the applicability of this important concept to their projects, saving them thousands of dollars in potential licensing fees. She is also an executive producer of the award winning film jumping off bridges, as well as three additional feature films currently in development.
Deena has lent her legal expertise to other community organizations such as the Texas Motion Picture Alliance, the Austin Film Festival, and the Austin Film Society. Deena is a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas—an honorary society of lawyers who are among the best trained in their profession—and other professional associations in Texas and New York. She speaks frequently at continuing legal education conferences and legal workshops, and has lectured at business, film, and law classes at the University of Texas, as well as at various film conferences.
Digital Cinema Mastering 101 For Indies
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM CST
You finished your film but are you ready for your premiere? Regardless of whether or not you premiere at the biggest or smallest festival, sell your film to an all rights distributor or self distribute, this asset delivery bootcamp led by Dolby’s Graef Allen and Light Iron’s Emily Eddey will teach you how to get your digital master and assets in the necessary shape to satisfy the strict requirements of encoding houses and digital retailers. This presentation is NOT for the faint of heart, but filmmakers with the gusto to do their research about mastering and distribution options will reap significant rewards from this deep dive.
As the Senior Producer at Light Iron, Emily Eddey provides clients with solutions to simplify the post process and realize their creative vision. From constructing workflows using OUTPOST on-set data labs to overseeing the digital intermediate process and deliverables, she ensures best-in-class services for commercials (Skechers, Calvin Klein), music videos (“Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake), and major motion pictures (Ender’s Game, 42). Emily has found a particular niche in guiding indie filmmakers through all stages of post. Clients such as Short Term 12, Afternoon Delight, and C.O.G. have gone on to receive honors at the Sundance and SXSW film festivals.
Graef Allen is the manager of Content Services at Dolby Laboratories in Los Angeles, California. Graef has been with Dolby for more than nine years, working primarily in digital cinema mastering and distribution. Although some of her work is on studio titles, most projects are independent films or educational films for science museums. Graef spent 15 years on the staff of the Telluride Film Festival, working in production, theatre operations, and projection.
Lunch by Hat Creek Burgers / Burger Maker
Company to Know: GoWatchit
1:30 PM to 1:45 PM CST
David Larkin is the Founder and CEO of GoWatchit, a search engine and universal queue for movies. He has worked in many roles in the film industry from production assistant to producer. Memorable films include late night cable staple Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers, better known as CHUD and SXSW Award Winner, Made In China. He is Executive Chairman of Nanotronics Imaging, an innovative platform for high resolution digital imaging and analysis, and sits on the Board of Directors of Trickle Up, which helps the world’s poorest people start businesses thorough micro grants and business training and he is also a director of the Montauk Observatory, a public astronomical observatory for the education and enjoyment of students, astronomy buffs and families on the East End of Long Island.
Creative Convo: Designing Key Art for the Digital Marketplace
1:45 PM to 2:30 PM CST
Admit it: You judge a movie by its poster. There’s a lot of mystery when producers begin working with graphic designers and distributors to create and master their Key Art Package. Learn the best practices for achieving that beautiful set of promotional graphics you’ll need to distribute your film into theatres, digital retailers and on-demand platforms. Explore both the process and the specifics of how to make your key art hit the sweet-spot.
Melanie Miller has over two decades of experience in the film industry with an uncanny ability to recognize talent and with the knowledge to develop the right projects for that talent. As Vice President of Acquisitions and Marketing at Gravitas Ventures, she has played an integral role in the growth of the new paradigm of independent distribution. With the ability to release a film in theaters, in over 100 million homes in North America and over one billion worldwide on the same day, Gravitas is now one of the leading distributors in the marketplace for indie films. Under her watch, she has sub-licensed over 150 films to Warner Bros. Digital Distribution with over 40 receiving a pre-theatrical or day & date theatrical/VOD release.
Prior to Gravitas, Melanie was the Artistic Director at the Jackson Hole Film Institute and also worked on a notable slate of independent films including James Merendino’s SLC PUNK! and Kristine Peterson’s SLAVES TO THE UNDERGROUND, which were both official selections at the Sundance Film Festival.
Yen Tan (Writer & Director) premiered the critically-acclaimed Pit Stop at Sundance 2013. It was nominated for a John Cassavetes Awards at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The film has acquired distribution worldwide. His previous feature, CIAO (2008), was released theatrically and was a Queer Lion contender at Venice Film Festival. He currently lives in Austin and also works as a graphic designer, where he is known for his key art of several prominent independent films that screened at Cannes, Toronto, Berlinale, Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca.
In 2005, Rob Jones spearheaded the poster side of Mondo by tasking his comrades in the gigposter world to create movie posters for the Alamo Drafthouse's first "Rolling Roadshow" tour. Eight years later, with the help of fellow creative directors Justin Ishmael and Mitch Putnam, he oversees Mondo's production of artwork for over 200 posters a year. Mondo's unique take on advertising new films and saluting treasured classics has made them popular with studios looking for alternative means to promote their movies.
In addition to his Mondo work, Rob Jones operates Animal Rummy which tirelessly provides design services mainly for gig posters, record covers, shirts, and gimcracks. His efforts in this arena culminated in a Grammy win recognizing his box set packaging for THE WHITE STRIPES: UNDER GREAT WHITE NORTHERN LIGHTS, for which he also did the key art promoting the film portion's theatrical run.
Rob's personal interests include goats, the movie DUNE, and writing about himself.
Licensing and Distribution in the Modern Age with John Sloss
2:30 PM to 3:30 PM CST
Steve James’ latest documentary, Life Itself, the definitive biography of Roger Ebert, premiered to rave reviews at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Led by Cinetic Media’s maverick dealmaker John Sloss, the film took advantage of its Festival premiere and combined creative financing via Indiegogo, day-and-date streaming via VHX, and traditional split-rights distribution deals with CNN Films and Magnolia Pictures. Hear from Sloss himself on how why this model makes sense, and what it means for filmmakers going forward.
John Sloss is the founder of Cinetic Media and the co-founder of FilmBuff. He is the founder and a partner in the entertainment law firm Sloss Eckhouse LaCo LLP. He co-founded Producers Distribution Agency, the theatrical distributor of Exit Through the Gift Shop, Senna, and Brooklyn Castle. Through Cinetic Media, Sloss has facilitated the sale and/or financing of over 400 films including Before Midnight, Prince Avalanche, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Precious, I’m Not There, Napoleon Dynamite, Little Miss Sunshine, and Super Size Me. Sloss has executive produced over 60 films including Before Midnight, Bernie, and the Academy Award winning The Fog of War and Boys Don’t Cry. His clients include Killer films, Richard Linklater, Kevin Smith, Bob Dylan, John Hamburg, Justin Lin, Jake Kasdan, the Isle of Man’s CinemaNX, and Big Beach Films. Prior to founding Sloss Law Office in 1993, Sloss was a partner at the international law firm Morrison & Foerster. Sloss received his JD and BA from the University of Michigan. He lives in New York with his daughter LouLou and son Henry.
Chris Horton joined Sundance Institute in 2011 to launch #ArtistServices, an initiative that further extends the organization's mission of connecting artists with audiences. Through a series of innovative deals and partnerships, #ArtistServices provides Institute alumni with tools and resources that enhance creative funding and self-distribution opportunities. Recent projects include two films from the BURN, UPSTREAM COLOR, and DETROPIA.
Horton was previously the head of acquisitions for FilmBuff, a pioneering New York digital distribution company and sister company to Cinetic Media. Under Horton's leadership, FilmBuff acquired sales rights to hundreds of feature-length movies, including Banksy's EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP and Chris Smith's COLLAPSE.
Cutthroat Ideas: Pioneers Of Alternative Distribution
3:45 PM – 4:45 PM CST
Let’s face it, people have a ton of choices when it comes to how (and if) they’ll pay for films. How should the industry balance advances in on-demand technology with the core issues facing intellectual property owners? What role do viewers and filmmakers have in these discussions going forward? Hear from experts on both sides of the aisle in a stimulating discussion we all have a stake in.
Tim League graduated from Rice University in 1992 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Art/Art History. After a two-year stint at Shell Oil in Bakersfield, California, Tim turned his back on the engineering profession and opened up his first movie theater. An unmitigated financial disaster, the Tejon theater closed in 1995, and he and his wife Karrie loaded a truck with 200 seats, a projector, screen and speakers and headed to Austin to Start the Alamo Drafthouse, where he remains as CEO today. League also co-founded Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the United States and Drafthouse Films, which has released such critically acclaimed films as FOUR LIONS, BULLHEAD, and THE ACT OF KILLING.
Straith Schreder joined BitTorrent in 2012 to develop the organization’s publishing platform: working with artists, filmmakers, and fans to design a new storytelling format built for the Internet. BitTorrent Bundle, launched in 2013, is an immersive experience that emphasizes the connection between viewers and creators, a toolkit that allows for sustainable direct-to-fan engagement and distribution, and a social object that increases in value each time it’s shared. Recent Bundle projects include Moby’s community songbook, downloaded over 8 million times, the world’s first 3D printed music video, created by Cut/Copy, and digital object as global testimony, in partnership with the Oscar-nominated filmmakers of The Act of Killing.
Ruth Vitale is the Executive Director of CreativeFuture, a broad-based creative community coalition that includes film and television companies, independent production and financing companies, unions, guilds, talent agencies, and other members and supporters of the creative community.
She has been at the forefront of independent film production and distribution for more than three decades, including as Founder and Co-President of Paramount Classics and as President of Fine Line Features. During her tenure at these companies, she launched the careers of many successful filmmakers such as Paul Greengrass, Sofia Coppola, and Craig Brewer. Her films have won three Oscars and received 16 nominations as well as 18 Golden Globe nominations and two wins. Ruth is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Takeaways: Joseph Beyer | Sundance Institute
5:00 PM CST
When our workshop is all said and done, and the notebooks are filled with data and the minds race with new ideas and deeper questions – Sundance staffer Joseph Beyer will lead this cool-down refresher of the day’s highlights and the takeaways that stood out most dramatically.
Joseph Beyer currently works as Director of Digital Initiatives for Sundance Institute, where he managed the development team and launch of the Sundance Institute #ArtistServices Initiative under the direction of Executive Director Keri Putnam and the Board of Trustees. #ArtistServices provides exclusive creative funding, distribution, marketing and theatrical support to 6,000+ Sundance Institute alumni artists. Filmmakers are eligible for innovative universal and pre-negotiated deals to self-distribute their work to top digital retailers - all while retaining and controlling their creative rights and release plans. Beyer led the team that developed the first-ever collaboration with crowd funding leader Kickstarter.com to provide Institute alumni exclusive training and promotional support in creative funding. 100+ projects totaling over $7 million dollars have been successfully raised through the partnership since launching in January 2011.
Reception by How Do You Roll Sushi
Tickets available here