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Since then, the franchise continues to deliver heartfelt and. Growing up is hard to do. Multi-territory acquisitions are very case-by-case. In the U.
Our model in the domestic space does vary quite a bit from our global strategy so these are typically separate acquisitions if we are releasing in the U. Obviously much of the conversation nowadays is focused on new forms of distribution and consumer viewing habits. When we look at our global footprint in our international territories, we tend to partner with wide U.
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CAST : Cast is very important, especially in the home entertainment markets. There are certain talent that really have a massive social media following that has proven to transact. It just varies market to market on which ones are buyers or sellers markets. The participation of new players whether it be in the theatrical or SVOD space have tended to play a large role in how robust each market is over the past few years.
Especially reflected in the price of certain acquisitions. If we have prior relationships with filmmakers or producers, of course. Referrals, recommendations. We watch a lot of films. We read a lot. Digital releases have demonstrated the power of going direct to consumer through efficient digital marketing strategies. Typically North America, but recently have been acquiring multi-territory as our distribution reach has become more international. We also offer the option to filmmakers of doing a service deal with us, where the filmmaker pays the distribution and marketing expenses for their film.
We like to see films that have a cast with a large social media following. On our straight to VOD titles, we are open to any genre with or without name cast. CAST : Important, especially for dramas, but certain genres like action, comedy, and horror can also do well without a name cast. We take a look at the social media accounts not only for the film itself, but each cast member of the film. A bulk of marketing for our films is done through social media. We tell filmmakers to launch their social media for the film as soon as production starts, so by the time they are looking for distribution, they have a built in fan base already.
In , GDE launched their genre division Cranked Up Films, which specializes in high-concept horror, grounded sci-fi, psychological thrillers, and speculative fiction. We specialize in limited platform releases in addition to day-and-date releases. No titles are direct digital releases. Having released thousands of films, we have a very good sense of what type of films and docs work overall as well as for our specific VOD and home-video clients. CAST : It is very important. Name cast is what many of our VOD and home-video clients are predominantly looking for.
Strong cast helps films stand out in a very crowded marketplace. We love working with filmmakers who have nurtured and continue to grow a built-in audience for their films. A strong and engaged social following puts a film on the path to success, particularly in the transactional VOD window.
We are working on some filmmakers' fourth or fifth films. Gravitas' filmmakers and producers have been great advocates for Gravitas in the industry and have referred many of their friends and colleagues to us. Exhibitors are important partners and we prioritize theatrical so most of our films have a traditional day window. However, we want the right release strategy for each film and are excited to have a few day-and- date films on our schedule.
Also, do we love the film? Releasing a film properly takes a lot of time and energy so we want to be passionate about the film. Is the filmmaking exceptional?
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Positive reviews and word-of-mouth are critical for independent films to succeed. Are we on the same page as the filmmaker? CAST : Recognizable, talented actors are valuable, but the quality of the film is most important. We really like working with first and second time filmmakers supporting them and building those relationships.
Building relationships with writers, directors, and creative producers in some ways is more important. If we can see the producers have engaged an audience already we will give the title meaningful consideration. For the general public we have a general email address on our website, which is the best way to get in touch with us.
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The breakdown between day-and-date and traditional releases fluctuate from year-to-year. TERM : The term is dependent on the deal, but we typically take anywhere between years. The scope of our brands as well as our ability to release films in a variety of ways has given us the flexibility to not only provide a platform for new, emerging voices, but to also be a home for internationally acclaimed and established directors.
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We accept submissions from filmmakers and producers as well, but on a case-by-case basis. TERM : All of our contracts are for three years, which renew automatically, unless the filmmaker terminates. Juno has a catalog of over films. It is headed to Rotterdam for its European premier. We prioritize cinematic films, especially for our theatrical releases, as opposed to journalistic docs or action films. We like to acquire films before their festival premiere in order to work with filmmakers to shape an effective festival strategy. That way we can launch in the US and build critical attention and then work our way out to Europe, Asia and Latin America.
However, if only North American rights are available we can work with that as well. Our films have been programmed at all of the above with the exception of Sundance and Cannes. Most filmmakers submit to us directly or are referred to us and we sort through the submissions. We also work closely with agents, especially in Europe. We like to find the hidden gems. We also occasionally acquire worldwide rights.
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The release plan is decided title by title, there is no quota for windowing. Our sales division, Magnolia Pictures International, also takes on titles that Magnolia may not be distributing domestically. Generally, beyond strength of storytelling and filmmaking, we're always looking for unique voices. Among the things we look for in an acquisition prospect is an identifiable audience that we are confident we can reach and motivate through a creative and cost-effective marketing campaign.
Other factors we consider are originality, critical reaction, festival history, and our passion to share the artist's vision with an appreciative audience. CAST : Cast and above-the-line talent are factors we consider, but because we release many foreign films, we don't limit ourselves to American names.
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Instead, we pay careful attention to films programmed in major festivals as well as those represented by sales agents we trust. That's not to say that everything will have a traditional window. It's to say that the first question we ask ourselves is: What's the best way to maximize the theatrical distribution of this film? It's still the best way to see movies and we're committed to living in a world where people leave their house every once in a while. Having said that, we are also big believers in innovation and flexibility.
With only 10 films on our slate, we can tackle each one individually to customize the best strategy for that film. TERM : An important part of the model for any one-stop-shop, all rights distribution company is to create a library with long term value. If I can describe it to a room full of non-film industry people and it generates conversation, that's a good start.
CAST : From a theatrical standpoint, it's only one of many things that can be a draw. The minute you limit yourself to one of these things, you're being myopic. But for ancillary reasons, it's important for determining value. If we love something, we will build the social media numbers. And we scour festival lineups all over the world for hidden gems and directors who we might want to work with. It's a triumvirate of one-of-a-kind experiences: two time capsules from the 20th century and one bridge into the 21st.
I'm also really proud of our Best Makeup-shortlisted sexy troll film Border , which everyone in Hollywood seems to want a link for. As for territories, we're always taking at least U.
We work with established auteurs as often as up-and-coming filmmakers, and we're always looking to expand our brand and push ourselves to release content that energizes and impassions audiences. Healthy, organic social engagement from a cast can be a major marketing boon and a reliable means to communicate with and excite audiences about an upcoming release, but there are myriad other factors that determine whether or not we acquire a film. Genre festivals like Fantastic Fest and Fantasia always consistently exhibit exciting content that we're eager to get our eyes on, and markets like AFM and IFP are great opportunities for us to get in early with projects still in their development stages.
For fiction films, it's always easier to take on films with great star power, major festival buzz, and high exposure, but at the end of the day, as simple as it sounds, we are just looking for well told stories that will educate and entertain. Stories that audiences will go out of their way to see and discuss with their friends at the water cooler the next morning. It's hard to fake good social media engagement these days. We have released well over films and know all the tricks. If your social media is just filled with mindless promotion of the umpteenth festival you were in and all your great achievements, it's more or less a yawn to look any further.
We hope to average around 10 titles per year for the first few years, then scale up, as needed. We are currently making inroads to theatrical partners for future releases. TERM : 7 years, but negotiable. We are interested in longterm partnerships, and the success of our filmmakers is as important to us as our success. CAST: Always helps, but just one piece of the puzzle. Quality, execution, a terrific edit and many other factors can compensate for lack of cast.
The bar is higher than ever, but no single element guarantees success, including cast.
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