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Neither Fish Nor Fowl.

Some filmmakers I know from a mailing list are releasing their movie through their own website.

Here's the announcement.

This post is not (just) about pimping a friend's project, though. See, the Daws brothers are smart guys and good filmmakers. I haven't seen their movie yet, but I assume it's good stuff. But they've had trouble finding a distributor.

Why, you ask? Well, mainstream distributors don't want their movie because it's a "religious" movie, and while those movies do well, not every company knows how to make money off them. The explicitly-Christian film market is it's own beast, depending on word of mouth through local churches and communities who get pool their money to rent theaters. Kirk Cameron has been doing very well with his independent films this way, but he's pretty much off the radar of the mainstream market.

But their movie isn't a Christian film. Not really. It's a straight thriller set in a church community. Here's the synopsis (cribbed from their website):

Church politics turn deadly after a new pastor and his wife challenge a sweet widow-woman’s control of the small country church to which they have just been called.

When they first told the list about this project, I thought it was a fantastic idea. There's a lot to chew on there, from the way people attribute worth to authority to the way women are treated as they age. Again, I haven't seen the film, but I'm interested.

And it premiered at the Rome International Film Festival where it won the Audience Award.

But it's not right for the Christian market. And the mainstream thriller markets won't touch it. So the guys have to sell copies from their website. Me, I'll be buying one this weekend, if I can get off my lazy ass long enough to order.

Which all leads me to this point: there's a lesson there, for someone (not me, obviously) about combining genres. Some genres don't combine well at all, and sometimes buyers are not entirely straight about how genres are defined. It seems that the Christian markets define their work by tone and theme ("This movie has Christian values."), while mainstreaam markets define Christian films by content ("This is a movie about Christians.")

And sometimes you're working in a genre without even realizing it.

Sorry if I'm rambling a bit there. Just thinking out loud.

The next post will be about last night's parent-teacher conference.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 21st, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
all right. You got my interest. I'll head over you bastard.
Nov. 21st, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
In your secret heart, you long for churchy movies.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
... that end in a bloodbath
Nov. 22nd, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
Well, yeah.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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    The creepiest part is that some of them are actually well meaning.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:08
    Yeah. It's godawful what people will do when they have authority and no fear about using it.
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