Phil Peel

Film, video, photography, sound and story

Archive for the ‘Film Distribution’ Category

Cannes Film Festival

Posted by Phil On May - 19 - 2016

I had been warned by my co-producer Melissa that the Cannes Film Festival was mad, but the reality is   …it's mad.

Melissa at Cannes Film Festival


I'm now four days in and I'm just beginning to enjoy it. I've got over the jet lag.  


Jet lag? ..It's only one hour difference, I hear you say. Yes but Cannes happens at night so we've shifted to nocternal animals. Bed at 4 or 5 am and breakfast at 1pm.  (Assuming we haven't any morning meetings.)   Lunch at 6pm

Also  Cannes runs on alcohol, so all in all it's very unhealthy.  Burning sun and baking hot during the day, then chiling wind at night.   …and too much alcohol.  Steven Follows advice to me was to always drink lots of water …BUT the toilets are miles away.   ..and if you've got into a party you shouldn't have …not that we would do such a thing  ..then you have the problem that if you leave then you may not get back in.   but of course that doesn't apply to us. We would never do that as    We get inviations to everything!.   …Oh ..Did I mention that everthing in Cannes is about exaggeration.  




…and  crowds, heaving crowds, standstill gridlocked traffic. Celebrity madness.  Security checks, scores of identical black limousines. party after party.  ..and in almost everyone I'm bumping into the Brits. In the US pavilion, Argentinian, Greece, Russian, Canadian there are Brits.  It has been lovely to meet up with so many friends from the UK. David Wilkinson, Stephen Follows, Danny Stack, Tim Clague, Ben Richards and many others 

So I'm In the Greek pavilion for the Russian party. Melissa has disappeared off somewhere, I strike up a conversation with a friendly looking woman.  "Do you speak English?"  Yes she did   ..rather well …as she came from Dawlish in Devon. 


But it has been surprisingly succesfull.  A chance meeting in a wildly over the top charity fashion show in the  Charlton  Hotel.  In aid of Famine Relief or World Peace  or something like that.  ..go figure?  led to a long late night meeting onto another hour long meeting the following day with in depth discussions on International co-production on my next yet unwritten script..     with five completed feature scripts is the unwritten on that is attracting interstt.  Really does show that in screenwriting, concept is everthing

So they are expecting the finished script in six weeks.  during which I am going to the Edinburgh Film Festival and Toronto. no pressure.    



Netflix will be the no 1 US broadcaster in 2016

Posted by Phil On July - 1 - 2015


The subscription video-on-demand service Netflix is now the third biggest broadcaster in the U.S.  #filmmaking That’s according to data released today by online video advertising company Alphonso.   With Netflix’s current growth rate and its momentum, it will be the biggest broadcaster in the U.S. by next year.

The post has other bad news for traditional broadcasters: The audience for linear TV is down 15 percent year-over-year, which Alphonso calls the biggest decline ever in a single year for broadcast and pay TV.


Full details here

I don’t know whether you’ve ever have to submit a film to a festival.   Note I said “had to”

I automatically wrote this as a chore – something  necessary – but onerous.   …and that is because until recently you’ve had to use “Withoutabox“.  A website which is a complete pain to use.

Initially the concept seemed wonderful.  Before 2000,  when WAB  was set up, Film Festival applications all had to be done individually – by post.

So very few of the films I made ever got sent to many festivals, as it was just so time consuming sending off VHSs.  Remember those ?  I even bought a very  expensive multistandard PAL/NTSC VHS recorder simply so I could enter US festivals.

Then Withoutabox came along. The first website to allow filmmakers to upload their details and apply to multiple film festivals all from the same place.

Then it was bought apparently for $3million by IMDB, which had also been bought by Amazon.

btw IMDB was originally a voluntary run film buff listing.

This was pre World Wide Web. When the internet was text only. I remember in the 1990s downloading the entire IMDB lisiting from a USENET group called “rec.arts.movies”overnight onto floppy discs.

Later it was run on Cardiff University’s computer in South Wales.

Anyway I digress.  Though initially a great improvement, the Withoutabox system seems to have had no development for many years. Having to use it, is now unnecessarily difficult, time consuming and complicated.  For example : I’ve had a problem with my login address. I’ve filled in their support service. Two weeks later – still no response. This is a service I’m paying for. Not a free site.

The festivals were also unhappy as Withoutabox charged them thousands to use the service. Even more if festival entry was free to filmmakers.

But until recently it was the only way. Why?

Believe it or not Amazon had managed to patent the concept of using the internet to  apply for festivals!

” In 2001 Withoutabox had been  granted the monopoly on using the internet to administer film festival submissions”     …and Amazon have many lawyers, who defended their monopoly.”

But things are changing. More and more festivals are now using FilmFreeway or Reelport amongst others.

Stephen Follows wrote about Withoutabox’s patent  on his fascinating blog  back in 2013, but I’ve only just come across it.  So I thought I would share it for you.

Here’s the Link..

12 Key Traits of the “Indie-Friendly” Director

Posted by Phil On January - 15 - 2014

by Mynette Louise   ( Mynette serves as an advisor to IFP, the Sundance Institute, and A3 Asian American Artists Foundation, and has been a consultant for international sales agent Visit Films.)

Here’s a few off her list

Fast writer
Editing experience
Vast knowledge of film
Technically adept

“Not every director is suited for low-budget indie filmmaking, and that’s OK if you’re Terrence Malick or David Fincher. But chances are, you’re not…or not yet, anyway. I get a fair number of calls from biggish directors and producers who are having trouble raising money for their films and want to explore how to make them on the super-cheap. I’ve entertained some of these requests, collecting funny anecdotes along the way, like the director who wanted to fly in stars from another country and rent large trailers for them, but forego unions and production insurance…

Here’s the rest