EXCLUSIVE: Will direct-to-consumer distribution make indie filmmaking more sustainable? Leeden Media will be the first lab rats in Vimeo‘s new On Demand program when it self-releases Neil LaBute‘s Some Girl(s) day and date in NY/LA and digitally June 28. The low-budget comedy-drama directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer (Party Girl) stars Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Jennifer Morrison, Mia Maestro, Zoe Kazan, and Emily Watson and premiered in March at SXSW, where Vimeo announced its bold new distribution venture. The program, offering creators marketing control and the ability to set their own prices, streaming periods, region parameters, and an enticing 90/10 profit split, had filmmakers salivating. Leeden Media partners and producers Patty West and Chris Schwartz even turned down traditional distribution offers to try their luck going DIY. “Foreign sales agents said the film might make it out in a year or two”, West told Deadline. “Domestic reps said maybe 2014. The timeline usually takes so long to get to the audience”, but through Vimeo the pic will make it to viewers just about four months after its SXSW world premiere. Leeden Media hopes to reach fans via social media, capitalizing on the Twitter and online followings of stars like Bell (1M followers) and Morrison (186K). “What we’re doing is scary but it gives us the power to completely control how we’re marketing the movie, and we know the movie the best”, said Schwartz. “Plus we’ll still own the movie”, he added. With Vimeo’s 90/10 split filmmakers can charge less per pop than on iTunes’ rival digital platform. Some Girl(s) will be available for purchase for $10 with extras and $5 for streaming rental on Vimeo and on the film’s website. A handful of titles are already selling on Vimeo On Demand for between $2-$9, including Academy Award-nominated director Don Hertzfeldt’s animated short It’s Such A Beautiful Day.
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