bluemark films

On Demand Weekly (ODW) continues our Filmmaker Spotlight series focusing on filmmakers distributing their film via Video On Demand (VOD). I recently spoke with Chris Smith (AMERICAN MOVIE), the director of COLLAPSE, FilmBuff (On Demand)’s new documentary (available on VOD December 6th).

ODW was interested in the making of the film and his perspective on VOD as an entertainment option.


On Demand Weekly: Your film opens with a card stating you met the subject for COLLAPSE, Michael Ruppert, for another project. How soon after meeting him did you know you had the makings of a documentary around Ruppert and did you have to convince him to do the film?
Chris Smith:
It was about two or three weeks after our initial meeting that we wrote to Michael pitching him this idea.  He was pretty much onboard once he read the treatment.

ODW: There are lots of people with strong points of view on the film's main topic. Why Michael Ruppert?

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VOD Spotlight:  John SlossJanuary 12, 2010

VOD Spotlight:  John Sloss


John Sloss is the founder of Cinetic Media and Cinetic Rights Management, which launched the Cable On Demand channel, FilmBuff in 2009. On Demand Weekly interviewed Sloss regarding his first foray into Video On Demand and what he hopes FilmBuff will accomplish.
On Demand Weekly: You've had a notable career in helping independent films find their way to the big screen with other film distributors. What prompted you to create FilmBuff?
John Sloss: TV is the greatest impulse medium and I believe Cable VOD (Video On Demand) is a sleeping giant. With the crisis in the independent distribution market, I saw that even though distribution was challenged, VOD offers filmmakers a way to make real money. And, for audiences, the whole idea behind FilmBuff is to offer exclusive film selections culled from the very best new releases, festival winners and box-office sensations..
ODW: What makes for a successful VOD release?
JS:  Two things: what the content is and what you do with it. The content has to be high-quality, relevant programming. Relevant is a big deal for us. Since VOD is such a time-sensitive medium, that is films are only up for 90-120 days, we take seriously the goal of curating great content that is appropriate for that time period.
For example, Boondock Saints 2 is coming into the VOD window; we programmed the original film to appear alongside it. Another example is day-and-date films where the VOD window has attention drawn to it by the simultaneous theatrical release. Then, once you have the content, it comes down to what you do with it. We have a highly specialized internal marketing team who focuses solely on driving awareness for each of our VOD releases.
ODW: What was your most successful VOD release in 2009?
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