Wednesday September 18 / IFP Indie Film Week / Tickets at IFP Dot Org
Sundance Institute’s #ArtistServices project 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 $5 million-dollars on Kickstarter and empowering the self-release of 80 independent films since launching in 2010, Sundance Institute staffers Chris Horton and Joseph Beyer will host this first-ever NYC workshop in collaboration with IFP’s Independent Film Week and enforce a Truth-Only Chautauqua of where this movement is going. Get wicked-smart with a posse of Guest Panelists on the latest tech and trends in Creative Financing, Digi Distro, Guerilla Marketing and Indie Theatrical Releases.
175 Public Tickets Available for $90.00 each – purchased through IFP.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 | 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM EST | Seating is First-Come, First-Served | Doors Open at 9:30 AM | Arrive Early
Opening Salvo by Keri Putnam, Executive Director Sundance Institute
10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. EST
Since 1981, Sundance Institute has supported more than 6,000 artists who have brought original stories and authentic voices to the screen and stage. IFP has been the premiere advocacy organization for independent filmmakers since 1979, 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. Executive Directors Keri Putnam of Sundance Institute and Joana Vicente of IFP have been at the forefront of this movement and will kick off the workshop with their observations on the state of creative distribution and the challenges our industry still faces.
Keri Putnam is the Executive Director of the non-profit Sundance Institute whose mission is to discover and develop independent artists and introduce audiences to their new work. Since joining the Sundance Institute in 2010, Putnam has advanced the Institute’s international work, expanded its involvement in arts advocacy, and launched new programs bringing technology and film together to enable wider distribution and explore new forms of storytelling.
Before joining Sundance Institute, Putnam served as President of Production for Miramax Films, the Walt Disney Company’s specialty film division, where she was responsible for production, acquisitions, co-production and development. Prior to joining Miramax, Putnam was Executive Vice President, HBO Films, responsible for the development and production of films for both the cable network and for theatrical release.
A graduate of Harvard, Putnam studied theatre and began her career working for Williamstown Theater Festival, McCarter Theater, Arena Stage, the ART, and others. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
Joana Vicente has been the Executive Director of the IFP since December 2009. Prior to this, she and her partner Jason Kliot produced/executive produced over forty films by such acclaimed directors as Jim Jarmusch, Miguel Arteta, Brian De Palma, Hal Hartley, Steven Soderbergh, Nicole Holofcener, and Todd Solondz. She has co-founded three separate and unique film production entities over the course of her career. Among the many films that Vicente and Kliot have produced are Tony Bui’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award-winner Three Seasons, Jim Jarmusch’s cult classic Coffee and Cigarettes, Niels Mueller’s The Assassination of Richard Nixon, Todd Solondz’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning Welcome to the Dollhouse, Brian De Palma’s controversial Redacted and Alex Gibney’s Academy Award® nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Vicente’s films have garnered numerous accolades and awards, including twenty-three Independent Spirit Award nominations and four wins. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Made in NY Award for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to New York City’s entertainment industry. Vicente graduated from the Masters program at The Catholic University of Portugal with a degree in Philosophy and began her career as the press attaché for the Portuguese delegate-and former Prime Minister of Portugal-at the European Parliament. She later became a radio news producer for the United Nations before turning her attention to film.
Soft Money, Uncle Sam, Equity and Crowdfunding
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST
It’s all about The Benjamins, The Bucks and The Chedda’ in this first-ever 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.
Colin Brown, an award-winning film business journalist by background, is part of the senior team of Slated, the equity film financing and networking platform that matches accredited investors with filmmaking teams. He also teaches “The Future of Film” to graduate students at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where he works closely with its Cinema Research Institute as a board member. As Slated’s Editorial Director, Colin oversees the creation of informational tools that bridge the communication gap between the investment community and filmmakers closing deals. He is the author of the “Filmonomics” blog for the website and a strategic advisor in Slated’s international plans. Colin’s film business articles have appeared in numerous publications including “CNBC Business”, “The Guardian”, “The International Herald Tribune” and “Filmmaker Magazine”. As a film critic, Colin has been invited on numerous film festival juries including that of the Sundance Film Festival – where he helped judge the world cinema dramatic competition in 2009.
Dianne Debicella is the Senior Program Director for Fiscal Sponsorship at Fractured Atlas. Dianne helps over 3,200 sponsored artists and emerging organizations, representing all artistic disciplines, find funding and other resources to support their work. Since 2006, she has led the program to become one of the largest, most renowned art fiscal sponsorship programs in the country with an annual budget of $17 million. Dianne is the co-founder of Brooklyn Community Supported Art + Design (CSA+D) and serves on the steering committee of the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors. She received her B.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art and her M.P.A. from Pratt Institute’s Arts and Cultural Management program. Dianne previously worked as a Project Coordinator for a restoration painting studio and as a Manager of Site Development for Planet Aid.
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. His other projects include Autotax.me, a company that automates 1099 taxes for businesses authorized by the IRS and all fifty states for electronic paperless filing.
Mynette Louie is a film producer and winner of the 2013 Independent Spirit Piaget Producers Award. Credits include Marshall Lewy’s CALIFORNIA SOLO (Sundance 2012), Tze Chun’s CHILDREN OF INVENTION (Sundance 2009), Patricia Benoit’s STONES IN THE SUN (Tribeca 2012), Olivia Silver’s ARCADIA (Berlinale 2012), Andrew Bujalski’s MUTUAL APPRECIATION (SXSW 2005), and Tze Chun’s COLD COMES THE NIGHT, which will be released by Sony. Louie serves on advisory committees for the Sundance Institute, IFP, and A3 Foundation, and was named one of Ted Hope’s “21 Brave Thinkers of Truly Free Film.” She previously worked at the Hawaii Film Office, where she authored the state’s production tax credit, and at SportsIllustrated.com, Jupiter Research, and Time Magazine. Louie graduated from Harvard, where she studied Chinese literature and film.
Robert S. Fingerman, is the founder and president of Independent Films Production Consultants, Inc., (IFPC) which provides a wide range of financial consulting and accounting services to the motion picture and media industries. IFPC also provides management and consulting services to artists, film producers, financiers, film funds, studios, distributors, directors, government film agencies, screenplay writers and playwright authors, as well as providing on-site film production accounting. His over twenty-five years of experience in the entertainment industry include working for some of the most respected entertainment accounting firms in the country.
DCP Roadmap for Indies: Graef Allen of Dolby Labs and Michael Tuckman, Theatrical Booker of “Detropia” and “Upstream Color”
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST
Dive in as Dolby Laboratories’ Graef Allen and theatrical booker Michael Tuckman take us on a crash course in the workings of digital cinema mastering and distribution. 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.
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.
Michael Tuckman, a veteran of the independent film industry for fifteen years, Michael Tuckman began his career at The Cinema Guild, where he was hired to start the company’s theatrical distribution division. Tuckman went on to serve as Vice President of Theatrical Sales for THINKFilm, handling the planning and implementation of all theatrical release strategies, including the breakout successes of Oscar-winning and nominated films including SPELLBOUND, HALF-NELSON, BORN INTO BROTHELS, TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE and MURDERBALL.
He now operates his own distribution services company, mTuckman media, with which he works directly with filmmakers under their own banners. Most notably, he has handled Shane Carruth’s UPSTREAM COLOR and DETROPIA, from the Academy Award nominated directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, guiding those films to national releases in over 100 theaters and upwards of half a million dollars at the box office while working with limited release budgets.
What We Love Right Now: David Larkin of GoWatchIt.com
12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST
GoWatchIt.com connects movies with audiences in new and exciting ways. Their universal queue system allows fans to register for notifications to track favorite films as they become available to watch in theatres and On-Demand platforms. Find out how to utilize this innovative platform to connect fans to your film and your release strategy, and best of all – it’s FREE.
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.
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST
Strategy to Know: How “Sound City” Broke the Windowing Barrier
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST
Dave Grohl’s debut film, SOUND CITY, was one of the best received docs at this year’s Sundance and SXSW Film Festivals. It’s also one of the better self-distribution case studies of the year—the film has topped the iTunes charts since debuting. How did they do it? And if they had the chance, would they do it again, or would they sell it to a distributor? Find out as Jim Rota and John Ramsay, the film’s producers, sit with Sundance’s Chris Horton to discuss.
Jim Rota is a Movie Producer, Record Producer, Singer/Guitarist, Songwriter and founding member of internationally touring hard-rock band, Fireball Ministry. Rota has also spent the last 8 years designing, managing and executing feature production and post production workflows for such films as THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series, PARENTAL GUIDANCE, and CHASING MAVERICKS. When taking a break from work, you can find him scouring the internet for treasures like old rock documentaries, vinyl obscurities and rare mono and quadraphonic finds. Presently, Rota has a reoccurring role as on-air talent “Fireball Jim” on Nikki Sixx’s Nationally Syndicated Radio show, “Sixx Sense” and along with Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters and John Ramsay of Therapy Content, produced the documentary SOUND CITY that was an official selection in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
John Ramsay, a graduate of William Paterson University, John Ramsay began his career in New York City in independent films at Plus Films. This experience garnered him a position as associate producer at Viacom’s VH1 Pop-Up Video. Ramsay moved to Los Angeles in 1999 to join Sony Pictures where he focused on feature-film accounting and finance. He would go on to become producer at post-production house, Brass Knuckles Editorial in Venice, CA producing commercial work for national brands such as Microsoft, Target and Pepsi as well as music videos for Nirvana, No Doubt and OK GO. In 2005 Ramsay formed Therapy Studios, a state-of-the-art post-production studio in West Los Angeles. Today, John Ramsay leads feature-film production as Cofounder and Executive Producer of Therapy Content where he recently produced the studio’s second feature film, Sound City, in association with Roswell Films, directed by Dave Grohl, and released in 2013.
Creative Convo: Designing Key Art for the Digital Marketplace
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST
Admit it: You judge a movie by it’s 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.
Zak Soreff , the EVP of Sawyer Studios, runs creative advertising, national media, digital, social and mobile projects exclusively for entertainment companies. Current clients include IFC Films, Magnolia Pictures, HBO, Cinemax, Tribeca Film, Cinedigm and many other independent distributors, producers and sales companies.
Cory McAbee is best known as writer/director of the feature films, THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT (2001), STINGRAY SAM (2009), CRAZY AND THIEF (2012) and as singer/songwriter for the musical group The Billy Nayer Show (1989–2011). He has created many award-winning short films and has worked as actor and musician in American and European features. McAbee is currently creating an opera, a graphic novel, and developing the global music, art and film collaborative, Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club. CAMC has received a fellowship through the Sundance Institute and is being developed and supported by arts organizations throughout the world.
Madeleine Olnek is a prolific writer and director who honed her skills in downtown New York City venues with over 20 produced plays–all comedies–which frequently enjoyed sell-out runs. She is one of the authors of A Practical Handbook for the Actor (with a foreword by Mamet), a widely-used acting textbook, which articulates a truthful approach to performance. She studied filmmaking at Columbia University, where she was awarded the William Goldman Screenwriting Fellowship and the Adrienne Shelly Award/Grant for Best Female Director. Her first film, the award-winning short comedy HOLD UP, was presented at Sundance in 2006. She returned in 2009 with another award-winning comedy short, COUNTERTRANSFERENCE. Olnek’s debut feature comedy, CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and has been all over the world in many languages. Her latest film THE FOXY MERKINS had its world-premier at #NEXTweekend in Los Angeles.
Ryan Werner is an independent film marketing & PR consultant. This summer, he worked with RADiUS TWC on campaigns for 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, ONLY GOD FORGIVES, CUTIE AND THE BOXER and LOVELACE. He also worked with Cinedigm on SHORT TERM 12 and is currently work on Claire Denis’ BASTARDS for Sundance Selects, ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW with PDA and THE MOTEL LIFE with Film Buff. He was previously Senior Vice President of Marketing & Publicty at IFC from 2006-2013 where he helped launch the company’s day & date program and worked on some of the most acclaimed independent films of the decade. Previous jobs include Wellspring, Magnolia Pictures, Palm Pictures, Sundance Channel, Shooting Gallery and IFP. He lives in NYC.
True Disruptors Roundtable Moderated by Chris Horton, Sundance Institute
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST
Direct to Fan is not a new concept, it’s a new movement. Learn how to circumvent all traditional distribution barriers and take your creative work directly to your fan base. We’ll help you understand the concepts and technology that are fueling the releases of such films as “Bones Brigade: An Autobiography” and turning the industry on its head (yet again).
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 2012 Sundance Film Festival: DETROPIA, winner of the U.S. Documentary Editing Award, and INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE, winner of the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award.
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.
Steven Beckman heads the Content Partnerships department at FilmBuff, a leading curator of digital entertainment. In this role, Steven identifies relevant projects for FilmBuff and develops unique strategies for their releases, primarily through maximizing opportunities in the digital space. Prior to joining FilmBuff in 2007, Steven had worked at The Weinstein Company, DreamWorks, 20th Century Fox, Marc Platt Productions and Hock Films. He has also produced several independent documentaries and concert films. Outside of film, Steven serves on the board of trustees for Ramapo for Children, a not-for-profit organization serving children with special needs. Steven graduated from NYU with a B.A. in History and minor concentrations in Economics and Cinema Studies.
Adam Klaff is the Head of Business Development for VHX, where he oversees platform growth and is responsible for content partnerships with filmmakers, distributors, and other providers. Prior to VHX, he was Vice President of Scott Rudin Productions. He is a graduate of The George Washington University.
Debra Fisher is the Global Director of Digital Sales at Cinedigm. In this role Debra oversees sales strategy for the company’s transactional digital business worldwide. Prior to joining Cinedigm, Debra was the Head of Digital and Television Sales at Oscilloscope Laboratories, where she oversaw the digital distribution of all Oscilloscope titles, including WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, MEEK’S CUTOFF and SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS. Debra also served as Head of Sales at Cinetic Media and Head of Ancillary Sales at Filmbuff, where she worked on over one hundred films, including PRECIOUS, EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP and TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE. Debra began her career at Fremantlemedia and later worked at Sundance Channel and Lifetime Television.
Bill Mainguy founded and led Infinite Games, an independent 20-person game development studio which produced the prototype 1XR for the Xbox 360. This experience led him to his career at Electronic Arts where, as a Producer, Bill was responsible for leading multiple international teams of engineers, animators and designers while driving the vision of AAA titles such as FIFA and Need for Speed. Bill also served as Middle East Business Development Manager for KTM Sportmotorcyle AG in Dubai where he was responsible for regional B2B partnerships, the factory race team as well as regional sales for the X-BOW vehicle.
Most recently Bill’s experience stems from Blast Radius, a digital strategy agency where he managed multi-million dollar projects for Fortune 100 companies, such as the redesign of Microsoft’s SQL Server property and the global rollout of Starbucks’ 40th Anniversary digital rebranding and campaign. Currently, Bill is Co-founder and CEO of Reelhouse.
Takeaways: Joseph Beyer / Sundance Institute
5:00 p.m. EST
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 $5 million dollars have been successfully raised through the partnership since launching in January 2011.