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Sourcing non mainstream films... 10 Aug 2009 06:53 #32088

  • Paul_M
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Hi,

Can someone please tell me the procedure for finding good alternative films? Is there a site(s) where one can research what is available or coming?

What is the procedure for reviewing the films prior to committing to screen them?

Thank you,

Paul
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 10 Aug 2009 20:06 #32096

  • revrobor
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Boxoffice Magazine has a list of film distributors. I don't know if it's on their website but give it a try at www.boxoffice.com. Distributors do not alloy a "preview" ahead of showing. The print usually arrives a few days ahead of time but that may not help you.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Last Edit: 10 Aug 2009 20:08 by revrobor.
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 11 Aug 2009 05:26 #32100

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Thanks revrobor,

You say that Distributors do not allow previews, how then can you decide on which movies to show? Is there an indepth summary/review of each film? I'd say this wouldn't be an issue with blockbuster movies but for alternative films I would think that it would be important.

Thanks,

Paul
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 11 Aug 2009 17:26 #32103

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Paul_M wrote:
Thanks revrobor,

You say that Distributors do not allow previews, how then can you decide on which movies to show? Is there an indepth summary/review of each film? I'd say this wouldn't be an issue with blockbuster movies but for alternative films I would think that it would be important.

Thanks,

Paul

Look for exhibitor's comments on this site or www.film-tech.com or subscribe to Boxoffice or check www.imdb.com/
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 11 Aug 2009 19:52 #32105

  • slapintheface
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you need a film buyer that sees most of the films in advance.
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 12 Aug 2009 09:50 #32108

  • dnedrow
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A buyer, or a booker? I usually think of a buyer as someone who works for the distributor, while a booker works (hopefully) for the theatre.

Studio->Distributor(Buyer)->Exhibitor(Booker)

Given that supposition, do buyers ever actually talk to exhibitors?
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 12 Aug 2009 13:34 #32109

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Thanks folks,

So it is a Buyer or Booker that gets to see the movies before they are shown.

Is this person a 3rd party or is he/she employed by the theatre? If it is the later then it will probably be me in this role as it is a small operation.
So the question then is - How do I get to review the movies before leasing them?

Thanks,

Paul
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 12 Aug 2009 15:27 #32110

  • slapintheface
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you have it in reverse.......film buyer is for the theaters.........booker is for the studio........
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 12 Aug 2009 18:38 #32111

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I dunno slap. It may depend on what part of the country you're in. When I was managing a theatre in Iowa I used Frank Rash in Nebraska and he called himself a booker. I've always called the guy (or gal) who booked my films a "booker".
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 12 Aug 2009 20:01 #32112

In contracts with the studios they always ask for who is your theatre's Buyer/Booker, so I guess both terminlogies are correct.

Adam T. Holland
Fiske Theatre
Oak Grove, La.
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 12 Aug 2009 21:26 #32113

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My film buyer use that term and when I worked as a booker for an indie studio thats the title I had. Granted both are in NY.
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 13 Aug 2009 14:24 #32117

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For truly lesser known films the film distribs will gladly send you a dvd screener because they are desperate to get you to show their film. For films that have had a run in film festivals, etc. there are a zillion reviews. I think you'd get laughed at, or the well mannered version of laughing: a patient explanation, if yuo requested a screener for a bigger picture unless you are megabig. There very few if any screeners of new films as they do not wabnt them in the hands of the evil ones. And if all else fails: there's NetFlix! or Internet sites with ever film known to God. But my last point: If it's that obsure: why play it?

Booker-buyer? I book my theatres. I am the booker. I book for other theatres. (you can also be called a buyer by the distribs) The people I talk to at Sony, Weinstein, Miramax, Focus, etc. are called saleperson by their bosses. When they have a picture they want you to play and it is a stinker: you'll note that the job description of salesperson is accurate.
Michael Hurley
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 13 Aug 2009 14:35 #32118

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"the procedure for finding good alternative films?"

Staying on top of what is coming and what is out and what is GOOD is an art. The sources are easy: most of them will be distributed by whoever made the film. Some, if incredibally lucky, will be distributed by the last and few smaller distribs. They are not hard to find as you track down a film. If you can learn anything about a picture: you'll be able to find who is the distrib. When in doubt I usually go to IMDB.com and look at company credits.

Finding good movies is the easy part. getting people to see them? There's the rub me boyo!:woohoo:
Michael Hurley
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Re:Sourcing non mainstream films... 13 Aug 2009 14:36 #32119

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Getting back on topic: First I think it is important to define what we may mean by non-mainstream films. I am going to assume we are talking about prints that are less than 1000 locations and probably less than 500 locations.

Ways to reveiw the films: 1) Go to screenings that are for us (do not know how well they screen these type of films),
2) See the films as they play in other theaters away from you. Assuming that since you are new, you are probably not going to get a 300 location film on the break.
3) Research on the Internet. I have found that IMDB to be a good predictor. Rotten Tomatoes not so much.
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