Facebook Live: My work with NIN and Artistic Integrity

I often have clients come to me at various stages of their projects with concerns about how to keep their artistic integrity when certain decisions are being made about their films.  I recently did a Facebook Live to talk about this issue while telling you some personal stories from my career. Check it out below and hear about my time working with Trent Reznor & Nine Inch Nails, how The Defiant Ones has recently inspired me, & ways to keep your artistic... More
Reasons Why “Whose Streets” is Essential Viewing

Reasons Why “Whose Streets” is Essential Viewing

While at the Sundance Film Festival this past week I had the fortune to to see the premiere of “Whose Streets” by Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis – produced by Jennifer MacArthur. It was even more fortunate because I was able to view this powerful film on inauguration day and it provided wonderful counterprogramming. I was struck by a number of things in the film that still resonate with me almost a week later. 1. The film shows how far we still have to go as a nation to confront a legacy of slavery that is still with us. The film wisely starts with a reference to the Dred Scott decision in 1846 and compares it to contemporary St. Louis and Ferguson. (In the Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court in one of its most notorious decisions,... More
Off to Romania!

Off to Romania!

Tonight I’ll be heading off to Romania as an “expert” for the American Film Showcase. The AFS is a cultural exchange organization that uses film education across the world as a means to opening a dialogue about important contemporary issues. I’m very excited to work with this great organization, and to visit such a fascinating part of the world. We will be holding film workshops in Bucharest for several days, and then heading to the Transylvania International Film Festival! After that it’s off to New York to participate in the IFP Narrative Lab. Earlier this month I was there for the Documentary Lab, and it was an amazing week. I’ve already watched the 10 docs that were selected, and have started watching the 10 narrative films. They all... More

Distribution Transparency: Four Filmmakers Give Up the Gold Pt 2

  Wednesday’s post looked at Neil Berkeley and Judy Chaikin as two filmmakers who wanted to create a theatrical release for their films to boost visibility, increase ancillary value and learn for themselves how to operate in the new hybrid model of distribution and marketing. Today we will look at Paco de Onís the company Skylight he runs with with creative director Pamela Yates and editorial director Peter Kinoy and their film/media project Granito   Paco de Onís, Skylight & Granito   According to de Onís, Skylight is “as much a filmmaking organization, as a human rights organization.” Hence their goals are not about monetary gain – but about social change specifically in the realm of social justice. To do this... More

Distribution Transparency: Four Filmmakers Reveal Their Distribution Numbers, Part One

  Alternative distribution models are no longer the experiment, but are now the norm for the vast majority of filmmakers. However because of a variety of reasons, including not least contract obligations and a fear that exposing numbers may not show the filmmaker in the best light, many filmmakers have been reticent to give out the real numbers from their film’s releases. As a result, for last October’s Getting Real Documentary Conference, held by the International Documentary Association, I wanted to create a panel where the participants were required to reveal the data about the releases of their films. I wanted to see how these filmmakers might be working within new models to not only release one film, but how they are... More