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This video from ReasonTV shows you an interview with Clay Epstein.
Tags:Clay Epstein Interview,catering movie audiences,clay epstein,Hellen,It Might Get Loud,recession proof films,Ted Balaker,libertarianism
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Making a Better Batman
Ted Balaker: Hi, I’m Ted Balaker with Reason.TV. Today, I’ll be speaking with Clay Epstein. Clay is a Consultant and VP of Sales and Acquisitions for the The Little Film Company which represents two new films appearing at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Helen, starring Ashley Judd is a woman battling depression, and It Might Get Loud, a rock talk that features Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge
So let’s talk about one of the films that you represent, the featured doc, It Might Get Loud. Tell me a little bit about that.
Clay Epstein: Yes. It’s been a lot of fun working on -- and it features Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, Jack White from the White Stripes and Rock and Tours and The Edge from U2. And the concept was to pay or much to the electric guitar and they chose three of the most influential and respected electric guitars that last through generations. So you watch this film and you get such a -- you gain such respect for how the three compliment each other, how they’re different, how they write music, how they use electric guitar differently, how they perform, what their guitar means to them. I mean it is a gift to the fans of rock music.
Ted Balaker: A lot of people think that, they say “Oh, the film industry that’s 01:18 improve because people are always going to want to escape their day to day. What do you say to that?
Clay Epstein: I say that the next Spiderman movie in the franchise and the next Batman movie in the franchise, the next James Bond movie in the franchise were such improved. It’s ever to improve. But any other movie outside of those big huge blockbusters we can watch at home with their surround sound on a nice big screen TV at our own time for a cheaper amount of money. So what’s now calling us to go to the cinema to watch these other films when it’s still is expensive to distribute the movies, to get them on the cinema and to advertise the movies, so you have to weight those costs against what’s it worth.
Ted Balaker: Are you saying that films that are kind of these outliers are little bit corkier, they’re not part of -- they’re not based on the comic book character. Those are the ones we might be seeing last off, is that fair to say?
Clay Epstein: I think so. I think we already are. We’ve grown in a marketplace where releasing you know small independent interesting filsm, alternative films outside of the main type of blockbuster films there was a business for them, and that business are shrunk tremendously so.
Ted Balaker: But if you do have and detest their films are still out there and you got this interesting concept that proactive versus reactive, can you explain what that means?
Clay Epstein: Sure. Well, it I though about this because my mother said to me there’s no interesting films for me, for my demographic and I said well, man I don’t like to argue with my mother but I said I’m not arguing with -- I’m not disagreeing but you -- there are movies for you but you have to go find them and this brought me to thinking about the proactive audience member compared to the reactive audience member. So one way to think of this is you want to go to the movie theatre. What are you going to see, I’m going to open up the paper, I’m going to turn on the TV and look at commercials and I’m going to go on to you know a cinema movie side of films.com or something similar and whatever is listed that’s my choice. But that’s not necessarily your only choice there might be some real independent cinemas around town., there might be movies that are self-distributed online that you have to go look for so being reactive is allowing the big huge monopolizing marketplace and distributors tell you what to watch, right? I’m being told what to watch, I can watch Dark Knights, Spiderman, movies similar to that. That’s what is being told to me, billboards, TV commercials, and nothing else exist but there is something else that exists but you have to go and find it. You have to go proactive to find it and it work for the music, it change the music business because before the internets and 04:11 and iTunes et cetera we were passive music listeners, you turn on the radio and whatever song was on the radio that’s what existed. And you go into a music store and whatever CDs they had is the only thing that existed.
Ted Balaker: Are there some common in the States that filmmakers would be filmmakers make?
Clay Epstein: There’s a lot unfortunately. The number one type of genre that new filmmakers like to do is the number one type of genre that audiences and distributors are negative to and that’s drama. But if someone ask my advice I would say well pick a genre and pick elements to put into your film satisfy your artistic visions at the same time have elements that an audience are friendly to. And that would be something along the thriller genre action is tough on a small budget but it’s been done successfully but so was comedy so was romance. And that I may have said somethings that seem a bit negative in the marketplace and in movies in the whole I am incredibly optimistic on the future of movies both studio and independent and a lot of studio films are being directed by filmmakers that came from the independent world. I mean The Dark Night director was an independent filmmaker.
Ted Balaker: Yeah, that’s very interesting because you see that and that probably -- it probably would have been successful regardless because of such --
Clay Epstein: But it’s much better, it’s a great movie.
Ted Balaker: Exactly, it’s just a better film.
Clay Epstein: It’s a great movie.
Ted Balaker: It was knowing right?
Clay Epstein: Yeah, Christopher, it’s a great film because it has a filmmaker that6 understands and came from the essence of intimacy and performance and creativity and he was resourceful and his talents crossed over to a bigger parchment perhaps but it worked and it worked wonderfully and if we had had the independent world we never would have had such as wonderful Batman movie. So I’ve -- you know I pay tribute and respect to both.