Indie Film and VOD Distribution

    Renting movies as a child was one of the most memorable moments in my life. However, when I took Good Burger up to the front desk I never realized what processes it had already been through. Good Burger had previously been released in theaters by paramount pictures. I knew of this movie at the time simply because it made it to the big screen. To be frank, if they had Video on Demand at that time I never would have stepped foot in a Blockbuster. In Wyatt’s reading he expresses the function of after market sales on theatrical releases. Wyatt presents this concept as the “sell through” approach, which he explains is designed primarily in one way. Movies that are “star based” and “family oriented” have a far greater chance of repeatability when it comes to video at home. Or at least these movies had a far greater chance before the rise of easy accessible distribution platforms.  

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    Today, VOD has proven to be somewhat of a game changer with at home entertainment. Or so some may think. Video On Demand in a way has leveled the playing field for Independent films. Not only has it provided a platform for movies to skip the theater more efficiently, it has also encouraged more production for many Indie film makers from amateur to professional. However, with this flood of Independent productions there may yet be a disadvantage for Independent  film. “People are dumping movies into VOD..” said Howard Cohen, co-president of Roadside Attractions. It has become apparent to many people that sites like VOD are becoming vastly over-saturated with the same type of content. I too have grown to rather dislike the process of scrolling through what seems like endless movies to finally come in contact with a major title. More and more it appears that VOD has replaced home video with a whole new set of questions. The path for indie film looks neither darker nor brighter in today’s world. 

    In my opinion I think VOD is a great win for the survival and success for Independent film and its faithful followers. However, it is important to note that we may find the over-production of Indie films may be a step in the wrong direction for the Indie industry, much like that of Wyatt’s description in the 1990’s. Overall the successes on VOD are those shows with a specific audience or a niche demographic. While being shown in theaters seems to hold less and less weight, big stars seem to be a universal advantage to a successful film. 

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2 thoughts on “Indie Film and VOD Distribution

  1. I agree with your comment about how VOD can be viewed as a great thing for indie films since this allows for a wider variety of content to be viewed in the market, but it is also a curse. First, for those who do not have video on demand, this films become missed opportunities that could have been successful if released in theaters. Theatrical release allows the audience to have a peaked interest ahead of time instead of having to scroll through lists and lists of titles. The VOD experience can become slightly overwhelming when trying to search for a movie with specific content. The more films pumped into VOD allows greater chance for a movie to be made, but it can also hinder the movie’s potential growth as it is lost among the other titles.

  2. ^ I’m not sure if i agree with you about the theatrical release being that beneficial to indie movies, I feel that many indie movies do not have the resources to advertise and distribute as much as the blockbusters. This usually results in indie films having limited release locations meaning rather than driving to the usual Sherman Theater, I end up driving 40 minutes to see a movie that i could potential dislike. VOD provides a low risk, equal opportunity environment for people globally to view a film that may normally be overlooked and forgotten when next to Avengers 2 and Hunger Games.

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