One of the more inventive, and intelligent, new film distribution models comes from B-Side Entertainment, a revolutionary independent film distributor obsessed with catching films that fall off the festival circuit. For one of their latest releases, Two Days in April, the company is allowing fans to host their own screenings of the film, free of charge—and just in time for the Super Bowl.
According to Chris Hyams, B-Side founder and CEO, the idea stemmed from the fact that, after marketing costs, many films lose money on distribution. “If other movies lose money on exhibition, we should be willing to consider not trying to make any money at all,” states Hyams. “And if you are willing to give up trying to make money, you can actually get better results.” This logic, while seemingly backwards, appears to be working, as Two Days in April, a documentary that follows four college football players in their attempts to reach the NFL, is B-Side’s second film to utilize this grassroots approach.
The first film, Before the Music Dies, benefited greatly from the unorthodox technique. Says Hyams of this music-centric documentary, “Over the course of a year, the film screened more than 300 times in more than 270 markets across the US and Canada—far broader than an independently distributed documentary would ever typically play.”
In the end, remarks Hyams, this approach works because of the enthusiasm of the audiences. “People love the idea of being able to ‘host’ a movie premiere,” notes the CEO. “And a group of motivated individuals will do a better job of getting 150 people together on a Tuesday night in Lexington, Kentucky than most movie marketers can.”
For more information on Two Days in April and its screening options, visit www.twodaysinapril.com.