“Making a Movie” is a series of columns that chronicles our attempt to make, market, and distribute a film with Stephen Tobolowsky in 2014.
A lot of people have asked me how we’re planning to distribute the film we’re making with Stephen Tobolowsky this year. The film is shaping up to be some hybrid between a documentary and a concert film, and it may only appeal to a very specific audience. But my personal hope is to go the film festival route and get picked up for distribution from there. If that doesn’t work, there are plenty of options for self-distribution, including Vimeo on Demand and VHX.
I’m always eager to learn from those who have traveled the path that I’m trying to go on myself. And by coincidence, I recently received an e-mail from Adam Roffman (the former program director of the excellent Independent Film Festival of Boston) mentioning that a film he produced, Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, was going to be airing on PBS this Friday. That film is a documentary about a really interesting figure whose brilliance deserved further exploration (sound familiar?).
After appearing at 20-some festivals, Plimpton! did a limited theatrical release with a small distributor called Laemmle-Zeller (owner of the Laemmle theater chain in LA). The film received a DVD distribution deal and was supposed to go onto DVD this past October, but in early September, they got an offer to air on PBS and thus delayed the DVD release. I wanted to know more about how a film like this gets made, seen, and distributed, so Adam connected me with the film’s director, Luke Poling, who chatted with me over e-mail. See his answers to my questions after the jump.
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