Kevin Smith and SmodCast Pictures Partner With Distributor Phase 4; They Want to Release Your Indie Movies
Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 by Russ Fischer
Kevin Smith made big waves at Sundance last year when he showed up at the fest with his horror film Red State, the distribution rights to which he said he’d sell at auction. But the auction was mostly an act, and Smith sold the Red State distro rights to himself. That left a lot of people angry, but the move turned out well for Smith: he took Red State on the road and recouped his costs on the film. Red State had a small ‘traditional’ theatrical run and a good VOD and digital release thanks in part to a deal with Lionsgate.
Smith said that he wanted to apply the same sort of roadshow distribution model to other indie films, and today, on the one-year anniversary of his Red State debut, he has announced a new deal for his label SModcast Pictures. The label which will work with Phase 4, which released Red State in Canada, to distribute up to twelve films a year in the US and Canada, with up to four of those films getting the roadshow treatment used for Red State.
Read on for more details.
The press release announcing the deal is below. Twelve films a year seems like a lot, but since the movies are small indies that SModcast and Phase 4 don’t have to pay for, maybe they’ll be able to hit that target.
I do wonder how the roadshows will be handled — will they have the high ticket price that went with the Red State live shows, thanks to Kevin Smith’s presence at each show? That puts Smith on the road for a good chunk of time each year, and asks fans to fork out a lot of money to see him several times during the calendar year. That seems unlikely, but again, maybe they’ve got the market research to suggest it will work.
Oh, and if you’ve got a film that you’d like to be released by SModcast, you can contact Smith and the label directly. The director and budding indie mogul says in a blog post today:
I honestly cannot wait to start finding flicks to take out on the road. Live action, animation, big budget, micro-budget, comedy, drama, horror – I want you to send ‘em all to SMacquisitions@phase4films.com! Come join the circus!
Here’s that press release.
Park City, UT (January 23, 2012) – Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the company has entered into an exclusive distribution deal with SModcast Pictures, the production company founded and run by filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Red State). Through the deal, Phase 4 obtains exclusive rights in the U.S. and Canada to exhibit and distribute up to twelve films per year under the newly created “Kevin Smith and SModcast Pictures Presents” label. Phase 4 will release four of these films theatrically each year, which will include a live tour with Kevin Smith, similar to that of Red State, with the remainder of films being released via all other traditional and digital platforms.
“We had a terrific experience working with Kevin and his team on Red State in Canada, and are thrilled to be embarking on this new venture with him. This label will connect filmmakers and producers with a rabid audience of movie fans that only Kevin Smith can deliver,” said Meyerowitz.
Phase 4 and Kevin Smith will consider movies from all budget levels to release under the label, to form a handpicked collection of unique independent films that resonate with Smith’s and SModcast’s audience. The selected films and filmmakers will also be promoted via Kevin’s vast social and traditional media reach, which includes almost 2,000,000 Twitter followers and nearly 700,000 Facebook friends. Phase 4 and SModCo plan to include an interactive component as well, allowing fans the opportunity to vote for the movie tour to come to their city.
“I had the most fun I’ve ever had in my entire career touring Red State last year,” said Smith. “Watching the movie with an enthusiastic audience and then doing a longer Q&A than the flick itself, jumping on the tour bus and waking up in another city where we’d do it all over again – it felt less like boring ol’ film exhibition and more like punk rock. We learned (and made) lots touring Red State, so now, SModcast Pictures wants to put that experience to good use for other films and filmmakers on smaller road shows for their flicks. We’ll do four or five cities per film, where I’ll intro the movie and do a Q&A with the filmmakers after the screening. At SModcast Pictures, we aim to be the Island of Misfit Toys for flicks!”