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INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS TURNING TO SPONSORED WEB DISTRIBUTION
by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor [November 9, 2011]
[HollywoodInvestigator.com] Independent filmmaker, J. Neil Schulman, has found an innovative way to generate revenue from his work. He's uploaded his first feature film, Lady Magdalene's, to YouTube, allowing people the world over to view it for free -- after watching a brief infomercial for sponsor Life Enhancement, a nutritional supplement company.
Schulman says that his plan "demonstrates a new distribution model for independent films, where a sponsor's sales revenues are shared with the producer." He hopes that his model will "create a digital media revenue stream, making independent filmmaking once again attractive to investors" by bypassing current distribution channels that are dominated by Big Media monopolies.
Schulman declined to give details about the revenue sharing setup, saying that that information was "proprietary." However, he's optimistic about the overall concept.
"Movie watchers are already used to seeing commercial messages before a movie starts on TV and in theaters," says Schulman. "A well done and entertaining infomercial is more likely to produce results than is traditional web banner advertising, which web surfers are used to ignoring."
The informercial features actress Mara Marini, who plays Nurse Gretchen in the film, interviewing Life Enhancement CEO Will Block. The informercial, like the film, are both produced by Schulman's Jesulu Productions.
Lady Magdalene's is an action comedy that won for Best Cutting Edge Film at the 2008 San Diego Black Film Festival, the Audience Choice award at the 2008 Cinema City International Film Festival at Universal Citywalk, and the "Special Jury Prize for Libertarian Ideals" at the 2011 FreedomFest's Anthem Film Festival in Las Vegas. The film stars Nichelle Nichols, best remembered as Lt. Uhura in the original Star Trek.
Life Enhancement is the exclusive distributor for nutritional supplement formulations created by best-selling authors, Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw.
Schulman's next directorial project is a film based on his 1979 novel, Alongside Night. The film is to be co-executive produced by Schulman, Block, and actor Kevin Sorbo, who, Schulman says, will also play the role of economist Dr. Martin Vreeland in the film.
Alongside Night is an economic thriller about the hyperinflationary collapse of the U.S. dollar and its resulting societal chaos. The novel has won praise from U.S. presidential candidate Ron Paul.
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