From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Creating Change, Not Just Movies

June 17, 2005 3:28 PM

Robert responded to criticism today in Alternet that a film can't possible change Wal-Mart:

I am in complete agreement with those who say a film will not change Wal-Mart. It won't: You will change Wal-Mart.

Let me explain. We at Brave New Films have consciously chosen a different model to make and distribute films, in order to create change, not just movies. If you go to our website, you will find, six months in advance of the film's release, a list of groups, churchs, students, teachers, ministers, etc., that we have enlisted to act as a kind of Warner Bros. Studios for the movie.

We are avoiding the traditional (and most financially lucrative) path of releasing the movie in theaters, charging $10, releasing to cable and finally to DVD. Instead, we are committed to having you be the ones who get the movie into your home, your school, your work place, your synagogue and interacting with those you invite.

More from the archive in Movies, Wal-Mart.

Creating Change, Not Just Movies (06.17.2005)

Next Entry: Authenticity (06.18.2005)
Previous Entry: The capitalist case against Wal-Mart (06.17.2005)

Read the 4 comments.


and that's why I had my friends over to watch outfoxed and uncovered. I also freely loan them to other people who've heard me discussing them, I certainly hope you don't mind that ;-).

Sun Jun 19 2005 3:01 PM

Mike Ackerman:

Jim, do you think releasing a movie in theatres is necessarily more lucrative than straight-to-video? Seems more like a business decision, based on the projected market appeal of the movie.

I'm curious about the possibility of movies released to video which THEN go to theatres.

Sun Jun 19 2005 3:01 PM

Jim Gilliam:

"I'm curious about the possibility of movies released to video which THEN go to theatres."

This is what happened with both Uncovered and Outfoxed. The theatrical run after DVD's were already available (and we were actively encouraging people to host screenings and house parties for free) wasn't particularly successful from a box office perspective (they made a few hundred thousand each), although I don't think it's because the model is necessarily wrong, I think it was more a variety of tactical decisions, theatre placement, etc.

But the theatrical runs were VERY successful from an earned media perspective. There were lots of reviews, and lots of people heard about the films (and the issues) that never saw either of the films, or would have heard about the issues otherwise. Which again, is what these films are all about.

As for whether straight-to-DVD or theatrical, then DVD is more lucrative... depends, obviously on the interest in the film. The classic model wasn't available to us when we were making uncovered and outfoxed... No one would put those films into theaters until they were proven on DVD. And they were proven so well, people were clamoring to put them in theaters.. But because of the previous films, the interest in the Wal-Mart film should be substantial enough to make it easy putting it in theatres first (we're turning down advances), and then on DVD to maximize revenue (and it *would* be more lucrative, that's why Hollywood does it that way).

Disney is doing well making lower-budget sequels (or prequels) to their animated hits and sending them straight to DVD, but that's just because they're keeping their costs down by only doing animation suitable for the small screen, and because the market for those DVDs (parents buying to use as babysitters for their kids who watch them over and over) is so strong.

Bottom line. We've consciously made the decision that our films are about changing people's minds and motivating people to take action. So we're distributing them to optimize for those goals.

Sun Jun 19 2005 10:25 PM

Mike Ackerman:

Speaking of Outfoxed ...

Don't you think that newspapers unfairly dignify FOXNews by using that whole name in the TV listings? If "C-SPAN" is good enough, why not petition newspapers to list it as "FOX-N"?

It sure as heck ain't news.

Mon Jun 27 2005 12:10 PM

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