Paramount's New Indie Arm Plans Concurrent VOD & Theater Releases
by Ethan Anderton
July 30, 2013
With audiences becoming seemingly less interested in heading to the movie theaters with overpriced tickets and concessions, and big name directors like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas talking about a shift, even a fracture, in the distribution model Hollywood can't seem to break free from, there has to be a change on the horizon. More viewers are embracing Netflix, Red Box and VOD outlets for movies that otherwise are hard to find at local multiplexes, or don't have the cash for major distribution. Now Paramount Pictures is taking a step to bring independent movies to those audiences in a slightly more efficient way. More below!
The studio has just announced that Syrinthia Studer has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing and Acquisitions for Paramount Home Media Distribution with an eye for acquiring and releasing independent films from the festival circuit. In addition, Paramount has also picked up Jeff Deutchman, the acquisitions director from IFC Films, to take the position of Director of Acquisitions in what is essentially an-all new department. The idea behind this new approach is to focus on independent films and festival releases, which usually don't hit the big screen with a lot of pomp and circumstance, and partner with other distributors to release the film in theaters and on VOD simultaneously.
Deutchman will be heading to the Toronto International Film Festival in September to look for new films, but Paramount is already gearing up to kick off this new department with a day and date VOD and theatrical release of the Sundance selected film Adore (formerly known as Two Mothers) starring Robin Wright and Naomi Watts. Plus, Paramount Home Media is also working with Film Arcade on the theatrical release of the comedy A.C.O.D. starring Adam Scott (one of my favorite films from Sundance this year).
This is good news for indie filmmakers wanting their films to be seen by as many eyes as possible, and cinephiles who may not easily be able to find the more low key releases in their local theaters. This could be the start of a big shift in what kind of movies get a wide theatrical release as opposed to a small theatrical push following an earlier VOD release. Thoughts?