Monday, November 20, 2006

Going Around the Big Guys

After reading INDEPENDENT FILM DISTRIBUTION: HOW TO MAKE A SUCCESSFUL END RUN AROUND THE BIG GUYS, an eye-opening book by Phil Hall, I feel happy that my work involves reviewing indie films, not making and distributing them. There is so much to learn about this process, and the effort required seems gargantuan. Still, I salute those brave folks who continue to create movies outside the mainstream and who try to provide us with a variety of cinematic experiences. Some of my favorites -- including EL MARIACHI, MADE-UP, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE and THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN -- might never have made it to the screen without people willing to invest time and money in these movies outside the major studio system. Thanks to Hall and his new book, a comprehensive guide for aspiring indie filmmakers is now available.

In this enlightening follow-up to his THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UNDERGROUND MOVIES, Hall unravels the mysteries surrounding how to get attention for independent films. Drawing on his considerable experience in movie PR and as a film critic, the author offers valuable, up-to-date information in such critical areas as distribution options, helpful organizations and resources, marketing, film festival consideration, and what not to do. If I were making an independent film -- or had already completed one, this book would be my bible.

INDEPENDENT FILM DISTRIBUTION overflows with sound advice not only from Hall but also from candid indie filmmakers and distributors who share their experiences. This is a user-friendly guide as well as an entertaining read. Even so, Hall avoids promising success. “I cannot make any guarantees that this book will aim you to the stage of the Academy Award ceremony,” he writes. “But keep moving and keep trying, because you can never experience the sensation of accomplishment if you fail to chase your dreams.”

For more information about INDEPENDENT FILM DISTRIBUTION, published by Michael Wiese Productions, go to


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