A recent dialog I had with a commenter on our site is blogworthy, so I thought I’d share:
The timing is perfect for the oppressors. This was intended to discredit your film, and will work to some degree, regardless of anything you do now. What else can you do, then, besides release the film with an annotation about Stan’s arrest? As a postscript, you may also want to interview Lisa about the charges. For everyone’s sake, please release the damned film soon. We’ve waited long enough and you’ll soon lose any momentum the film has acquired over the last few years. This new controversy could actually be used to the film’s advantage. An idea that I’ve heard mentioned several times in relation to ‘Extraordinary’ is for a user-pays system to be set up to recover costs, similar to the one set up for the Sirius documentary last year. This could be done fairly easily. A cable network may also pick it up.
Like you said, there’s a lot more going on than people know. There’s also a lot that we’ve had to deal with that relates to Stan’s story that isn’t necessarily pertinent to his story but have been obstacles nonetheless. As I mentioned in my comment to Dom (in this thread), there are people who don’t want this film to see the light of day and they’ve expressed it quite clearly directly to Stan and indirectly to us. As for timing of the release, I feel like a broken record in sharing this, but one more time won’t hurt.
First and foremost, it will probably help to know that Stan is the subject of the film and we’re independent filmmakers. We have no connection to Stan and Stan has no connection to us when it comes to business purposes. His story came to us, it took more than two years to finalize an acceptable deal with him (a story in and of itself!) and another two years for pre-production, production and post-production. Now we’re in the next phase, which is distribution.
This may help you understand what’s been going on over the last few months. Several people who have reached out to us are wondering why the film premiered in November but nothing else has happened since. Regarding premieres in the world of film, there are two types of “World Premieres” — films that are run through the Hollywood studio system and independent films that debut at film festivals. Studio films are made with wide release premiere dates scheduled months if not years ahead of time. Independent films rely on festivals to hopefully land a distribution deal that will allow their films to achieve a wider release. We are not a studio film, so we went the film festival route in an effort to land a distribution opportunity. So, like thousands of independent films each year that have world premieres at film festivals, it doesn’t mean that the film will be made available for purchase immediately following. You make an independent film, you submit to festivals, you shop it to distribution companies and you hopefully make a connection and land a deal. If that channel doesn’t lead to distribution, the next best option is self-distribution, which is an expensive undertaking in and of itself.
Most festivals (including the ones we submitted to) require that your film be of premiere status (world, North American, regional or state) or it will not be considered. And most festivals will not accept films that are in current distribution, whether through self-distribution or a distribution company. Given that, we could not make the film available for distribution/purchase until we knew whether or not we would be accepted into two additional festivals, and we learned that we were not accepted in late January. While we were accepted to the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival and the film premiered in November, we had to wait until end of January to learn whether or not we were accepted into the other two festivals, which we submitted to back in the fall. We have decided not to enter any other festivals, so only after we learned our fate could we move forward with alternate distribution options. We attempted to go through the studios directly via a high-level connection, but three studios passed. We learned that in February, so we went all-in on a self-distribution model in mid-February and we were making progress when Stan’s arrest and allegations went down. A week later, more information came our way that was disturbing, but we decided to persevere.
Which brings us to now. We are working through the details and the financing required to deliver the film directly through a web resource. Reading back over this, I think this works well as a separate post, so I’ll post here in response to you and as a post.
Hopefully, this sheds some light on the journey to get us to today. It’s been a long journey for us — four and a half years — and much longer than we ever intended, but there are reasons why it has taken this long. And if we ever meet, I’d be more than happy to share some of them with you over a beer or two.
The good news is we are making the film available digitally soon. We are adding some content to address the latest events, but we are pushing forward. As soon as we have a launch date, we will post it. We will let the world know.
And we’re counting on all of you who have been patient, understanding and supportive to help us get the word out. We would like nothing more than for you to gather a few friends to watch it, and then have them do the same with their network. Our goal from the very beginning was to reach the widest audience possible vs. sell DVDs out of the trunk of our car.
At the end of it all, the most important element of the film is the message to humanity. It’s a simple one, but it’s also just what we need to hear at this particular moment in time.
Thanks for reading my ramble.