Movie Mom

Movie Mom


VOD: Bringing More Choices Home

posted by Nell Minow

Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday has a very good piece in today’s paper about video on demand.  Like Ann, I would much rather see a movie in a theater.  The experience of taking the actual journey to a special place away from the phone and other distractions of home and sharing those moments in the dark with others who are there at the same moment for the same purpose cannot be replicated by watching in your house while you do laundry and sort the mail.  But like Hornaday, I love the availability of small movies by VOD that would not otherwise reach local theaters.  As Morgan Spurlock told me when we spoke about his Comic-Con documentary:

With “Pom Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” we had so much press leading up to that film, and the week before the movie opened I was on Conan, Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, all within ten days and then the movie opened on 18 screens.  So the majority of the people in the United States couldn’t even see the movie. I’m a film-maker, and I have yet to have a movie show in my own home town in West Virginia where I grew up. There’s got to be a better way—especially when it comes to documentaries.

If you’re not making a big, giant, huge mainstream Hunger-Games-esque film that’s going out on 3000 screens, how do you start to compete with those movies? For me, the best way to compete is by collapsing the window, giving anyone across the country who wants to see this film access to it immediately. You know, there’s a great line in ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” “In today’s world, in today’s media landscape, there is a cultural decay rate of ideas that is about two weeks.” So you basically have two weeks to capitalize on whatever surge you have around your moment, your film, your music, whatever it is, get people to get excited about it, to see it, to consume it, to share it—because really soon, something else will jump in there—there’ll be another movie, there’ll be something else that’s the conversation driver. So, for me this weekend, I just wanted to make sure that anyone who wanted to see this film could see it.

And as Hornaday puts it:

[W]here low-budget independent films huddle for warmth against encroaching extinction, the simultaneous release of films in theaters and on VOD — rather than the traditional months-long window between the two — has proved to be a sustaining, even crucial survival strategy.



Previous Posts

How Do Movies Show Time Passing?
Someone once said that movies are "pieces of time." A few take place in "real time." Alfred Hitchcock's experiment, "Rope," unfolds in just the time it takes us to watch it, all in what appears to be one seamless shot. But others take place over days, weeks, years, even generations. Slavko Vorkap

posted 8:00:40am Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Boring TV Makes You Fat
A new study finds that boring television leads to mindless snacking and that leads to putting on pounds. So, watch programs that excite and engage you. Or, if the show is boring, turn off the television.

posted 8:00:05am Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Switched at Birth and the End of Life
I'm a big fan of ABC Family's Switched at Birth and have appreciated its complicated characters, honest and heartfelt relationships, and compelling storylines, as well as its unprecedented, in-depth portrayal of the deaf community. Last week's episode may have been the all-time best (SPOILER ALERT)

posted 3:59:49pm Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014
It's here!  San Diego Comic-Con begins Wednesday night in San Diego and I'll be there.  This is my favorite event of the year, a chance to find out what everyone will be watching, listening to, playing, and otherwise enjoying over the next few years.  As I always say, this is the Iowa caucuses of

posted 8:00:20am Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Wish I Was Here
My intention was to review Zach Braff's new film without mentioning the controversy he stirred up in funding it via Kickstarter.  My view was that what mattered was the movie itself, and the kerfluffle over how it was all paid for was beside the point.  But it turns out that it is the point.  "Sc

posted 7:21:07pm Jul. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.