Tuesday, September 29, 2009

City Filmmaker Wins Release

Were you one of the unpaid extras who showed up on the steps of City Hall for a film shoot two years ago?

Since then, the film has a new name, has won several awards and has finally garnered a release date this month.

In September 2007, Plainfield hometown guy Jake Cashill was filming “The Broken Bond” in locations including Plainfield, North Plainfield and South Plainfield. The premise was that of a “woman whose obsession with her dentist drives her to masochism, madness and murder.”

Now re-titled “Oral Fixation,” the film has won several awards, including Best Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Director at the Long Island International Film Expo and Best Screenplay at the Atlanta Underground Film Festival.

Most importantly, it has been picked up for distribution by Lifesize Entertainment and is now available on Netflix, Blockbuster.com, Amazon and other online sites, this fall. Click here for more information.

Cashill says the DVD “contains a cast and crew commentary, a behind-the-scenes documentary called 'Welcome to Oral Fixation,' and a fun behind-the-scenes photo gallery.”

Aware of the changing face of the film industry, I asked Jake to respond to the challenges filmmakers now encounter.

From Jake:

“You're absolutely right about the dramatic changes which have occurred in the traditional distribution strategies for film. Even just a couple of years ago -- when I wrote the business plan for my film -- filmmakers could hope for a studio or a mini-major (like Miramax back when it existed) buying their film for a decent chunk of change if it performed well a reputable festival, like Sundance.
Those days are over. Even films that have starpower and win marquee festivals are being ignored by distributors or being purchased for peanuts because distributors can no longer rely on recouping their investment.
Twenty years ago, when theatrical distribution was threatened by home video and cable, studios found that they could still count on domestic and foreign DVD sales to recoup distribution costs.
Those days are gone, too. With streaming video, rampant piracy and the staggering number of films being produced (good, bad and ugly), making a profit on DVD. let alone theatrical, for all but the most-hyped studio films, is very difficult, if not impossible. “On the flip side, there are many, many more modes of getting one's film "out there." A filmmaker can make his or her film on cheap digital video, upload it to the internet and voila, It's "released." But will anyone see it?
Their good friend and family, maybe. Will they make money from it? No. “I was well aware of this when I set out to make ORAL FIXATION. So what I did was craft a film that I considered had the best chance of making its money back -- a sexy thriller. They're marketable around the world. They translate well. And they don't rely on costly special effects to produce. My pitch to investors was, "A well-written, sexy thriller shot on a low budget without sacrificing production value can make its money back." We kept the budget very low, included some nudity, some blood and, I think, hit the story points that a thriller must to engage an audience. “And I think we succeeded. We won Best Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Director at the Long Island International Film Expo, and won Best Screenplay at the Atlanta Underground Film Festival. Moreover, we were picked up for distribution by Lifesize Entertainment, with a limited theatrical release this fall coinciding with a domestic DVD release, and followed by a worldwide release on DVD, TV, VOD etc. “That said, we don't have an advertising budget and we're up against the scores of studio films and hundreds, if not thousands, of other independent films being released each month. It ain't gonna be easy. But in a sense, we've already won, as the vast majority of independent films don't get picked up for distribution at all. Now our job is to raise awareness and try to get as many people as possible to rent and buy our film, and with any luck, we'll make enough money to shoot another one. “

(Plaintalker is aware of the many creative film entrepreneurs out there and welcomes more stories.)

--Bernice Paglia


Post a Comment

<< Home