By way of explaining Endeavor Content’s aim, Co-President Graham Taylor told the INTV conference here in Jerusalem today, “All we’re trying to do is make dreams come true.” He was being slightly cheeky at the close of a panel titled “Disruption in Film,” but added quite seriously, “Apathy and cynicism are the death of great art and great artists.”
The panel was moderated by power attorney and dealmaker Craig Emanuel, who is exiting firm Loeb & Loeb to join Paul Hastings. The panelists also included former Working Title President Liza Chasin, A24 co-founder David Fenkel and Keshet Films’ Mandy Tagger Brockey.
Emanuel noted that although INTV is a TV conference, having a discussion about film is “relevant because of the evolution of content,” which has blurred the “distinction of what constitutes film and what constitutes television.” He also pointed out that box office is down in the indie space and that 20-year-olds today are eschewing the multiplex in favor of other pasttimes.
Chasin recently exited Working Title after 26 years to establish 3dot Productions. Why make the move to go independent? “There was an opportunity brewing in the business which has a lot to do with non-traditional distribution. There are lots of new outlets where we can tell stories and make stories in various forms.”
For Fenkel, whose company has found great success since launching in 2012 with Spring Breakers, and despite the challenges facing indie distribution, “We saw a tremendous amount of opportunity and young filmmakers. … Digital marketing changed the game for releasing films.”
Taylor praised Fenkel, calling A24 “a nimble, flexible company that can pivot and be able to turn on the social and marketing and make people pay attention.”
Added Fenkel with regard to standing out, “Whether it’s film or television, you need good shit.” Echoed Chasin, “We’re all looking for where art meets commerce. We can’t take people’s money without the promise of paying something back. But the pressure is still getting people to leave their houses.”
Said Taylor: “As consumers we want to have the full breadth of experience. Part of it is the shared experience. But it’s a blend. There is nothing to suggest these things can’t all co-exist and eventually raise the bar.”
He sounded an optimistic tone: “There has never been more capital available globally and never more avenues in distribution to reach the consumer. It’s democratizing the process. Anybody can shoot a movie and get it out… What an amazing time to be in content.”