I bet you’re thinking, “Boy, it must’ve been exciting getting the call from the distributor saying the film was finally being released! I can’t wait to get that call for my film!” Yeah, it would’ve been great, except I got no call. In fact, nobody got a call. I heard about it from my friend
Mike Fury. The reason producers never get the call is because they’re at the end of a long chain of command, which starts with the distributor (in this case, “High Fliers Films”, which is incorrectly credited as “studio”), then the sub-sales agent for the region, followed by the sales agent (Fantastic Films here), and then the producers… and then yours truly. Then I write a blog post.
The funny thing is that nobody even heard anything from the sales agent in over two years, which happens to be completely normal. They may have sold the rights to High Fliers five years ago, and High Fliers might have been just sitting on it until the right time to release it came about, or they just needed to pull something from their vaults to fill a genre hole. Bottom line is this: the modern state of home distribution is a snarled knot of crazy, where producers and sales agents both struggle to make enough cash to cover costs. This isn’t “independent filmmaking” anymore: this is atomized, free-radical art that floats in the fog of film markets until it’s needed (or maybe when enough of us have market value, like Bill Oberst Jr.), when it’s snatched from the ether and shoved through a pipeline, and it suddenly winds up on Amazon. By then nobody knows who the hell made it – but we don’t care. After six years,
Dogs of Chinatown is released, even if it’s in just one country. Celebration time!
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