What We Do:

Sub-Genre is a strategic consulting company focusing on business development projects in the entertainment and cultural industries. Sub-Genre is also the film production and distribution company of Brian Newman, who serves as executive producer and/or producer on several films.

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About

About

Learn more about Sub-Genre Media and Brian Newman
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Services / Clients

Learn more about what we do. Explore current and past clients.
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Films

Films

Brian serves as Executive Producer, Producer and Advisor on several films. See the films he has produced and consulted on.
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Blog / News

Get updates and read Brian's blog about film and new media.
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Come see DamNation for Free in a Patagonia Store

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Please join us for screenings nationwide at Patagonia retail stores.
Check 
www.damnationfilm.com/screenings for details and times.

“Ed Abbey would have shit his pants.  This film changes everything, everything.”   – Katie Lee
  [Her response to the question "What would have Ed Abbey thought about DamNation?]

After a great theatrical run, fest screenings and a tour, we’re excited to launch our DamNation online this week! On Thursday, June 5th, we screen in 23 Patagonia retail stores nationwide and on Friday, June 6th, we release the film (in the US) for digital viewing through Vimeo and at www.damnationfilm.com. The film will be $5.99 to rent and $9.99 to buy. If you have not seen the film yet, your wait is over! For all of you, please share the film with your family and friends, with your help, we can change the game for rivers in the US (and beyond!).

You’ve also got just a little while longer to enter our photo contest (on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter), and plenty of time to add your name to our petition with over 25,000 signatures calling on Obama to “Crackdown on Deadbeat Dams.” If you live in NYC, I hope to see you at the Patagonia SoHo store screening. If not, join another screening, or buy the film!

Film Fest Experimentation – Cork VoDo Edition

CFF Final Logo MasterI always say that film festivals need to innovate and experiment more, and James Mullighan at the Cork Film Festival has done just that. From his press release:

… Cork Film Festival releases its 2013 edition highlights on pioneering video on demand platform VODO on a pay what you want basis. Vodo.net/cork …
… Three week project sees seven garlanded shorts and seven full feature films released by Ireland’s oldest film festival in a global first for film festivals …
… Features include Kathy Leichter’s Here one Day, Tony Palmer’s reissued 1974 Leonard Cohen biopic Bird on a Wire, and the Dublin Filmbase filmmaking MA production How To Be Happy, starring Brian Gleeson …
… Lion’s share of takings go straight to indie filmmakers’ pockets, with Fest’s take going directly into the pot for its new feature film Spirit of the Festival Award …
Mid Cannes Film Festival, attended by Cork Film Festival’s Creative Director James Mullighan and Head of Programme and Editorial Don O’Mahoney, the Festival launches its very first video on demand initiative, with seven shorts and seven features being retailed on a pay what you want basis, alongside bonus content.
Innovative platform VODO, which careful curates themed bundles of content, is working with a film Festival for the first time. Vodo.net/cork.
The initiative has three tiers: Pay What you Want (four shorts and one feature, including Made in Cork prize winner Yvonne’ Keane’s Stolen, and Filmbase Ireland’s How to be Happy, starring Brian Gleeson); Beat the Average (three features and three shorts, including biopic of writer / chess master John Healy Barbaric Genius, and Cork Fest 2013 opening night short Mechanic, starring Syl Fox); and Beat the Premium (including Tony Palmer’s recently reissued 1974 Leonard Cohen doc Bird on a Wire, and John Kastner’s prize winner mental health sensational doc Not Criminally Responsible).
“We’ve been working with Jamie King and the team at VODO since straight after the Fest last year”, said James Mullighan, Creative Director, Cork Film Festival.
“In this day of screeching web noise, I really admire the platform’s loving, carefully curated approach to films and more. They were the ideal choice to launch this experiment in distribution. I am hopeful it will be popular with the thousands and thousands of fans of the Cork Film Festival in Ireland, Europe and amongst the global Irish diaspora, who fondly wish they could attend the Festival, but cannot. I’m grateful to and proud of the independent directors and producers who lit up our Festival in November last year to trust Jamie and I with their babies”.
Once payment handling costs have been deducted, VODO – who levy no extra charges other than their 25% sales fee – hand all the proceeds to Cork Film Festival. The Festival sends 70% of that straight to the filmmakers, ringfencing 5% for its new €1,500 feature film Gradam Spiorad na Féile / Spirit of the Festival Award, which takes a bow during the Festival’s 59th Edition, 7-16 November.
“Cork’s Bundle shows a real engagement with online culture and experimentation in the transmedia sphere”, commented Jamie King, CEO and Founder of VODO, which has recently successfully promoted Not Safe for Work and Big Brother bundles.
“When you let customers set the price for themselves,’ says VODO’s Jamie King, ‘they can turn out to be surprisingly generous. The average price paid for the Cork Bundle is currently $11.20. That’s a win both for audiences and the filmmakers.”
“I had a wonderful time when I was honoured to be invited to Cork last November as filmmaker in residence”, remembered Tony Palmer, celebrated British music film biographer and documentarian, whose Leonard Cohen film Bird on a Wire played at the Festival, as well as his new Benjamin Britten feature Nocturne, and his entire 7 hour, 46 minute dramatic reconstruction of the life of composer Richard Wagner, the last film Richard Burton even made.
“The Cork Film Festival is going out on a limb to bring its films to a wider audience. This should be celebrated, and I’m delighted to be involved.
The bundle went live on Wednesday 14 May, the opening day of Cannes International Film Festival, and runs until Tuesday 3 June.

Net neutrality, Comcast, filmmakers, artists & those who represent them

Unless you’ve been doing nothing but watching movies and TV, which is what they want you to do, don’t you know – the FCC has proposed some rule changes that might seriously f–k up the internet as we know it, and simultaneously, Comcast wants to buy Time Warner and control even more of our viewing options and ways to get online. Both of these things are horribly bad ideas, and both should be opposed by anyone who cares about indie films, art, music and/or the internet (and innovation, and…). You would think the organizations/companies that represent or work with all of us would be up in arms, assisting the fight, but as far as I can tell, most are just passing the buck to the Future of Music Coalition (more on that below).

I don’t need to add much to the debate here (I’ve been writing about it since at least 2006), but I want to make sure I help spread the word. You can learn more about why this stuff matters elsewhere. Public Knowledge is a good resource on the Comcast deal, and Free Press and Fight for the Future are doing a great job on net neutrality. Fight for the Future have also launched a great #StopTheSlowLane campaign that I urge you to run on your blogs/websites. Fred Wilson has a great post on why this matters to start-ups and VC’s. Dan Aronson of Fandor wrote about why this matters for filmmakers at IndieWire. The Washington Post has a great article on why this matters for indie films, and she links to some others on the issue. Probably the best article on it came out today from Astra Taylor who sums it up well:

Artists need to take note: Net neutrality may be the biggest media and communications policy battle ever waged, and the stakes could not be higher for independent voices. Unlike the old days when different mediums had discrete distribution channels, we are now utterly dependent on one network for everything: we read books and articles, watch television and films and listen to music online, just as we study, work and socialize there. The network underpinning all of this must be neutral and nondiscriminatory if we are to make good on the remarkable democratic potential of the Internet. Creators need to join the fight to defend this fundamental attribute of the digital ecosystem before it’s too late.

Further to that, if Comcast is allowed to take over Time Warner, it will limit competition in the space, lead to higher prices and less choice. We all know this, in spite of their arguments to the contrary. But even worse, and why the merger really matters, is that they’ll have more control over how most of us access the internet. The combination of these two things leads to some scary possible scenarios, as described in the links above, and here from The Wrap.

As I said, I don’t need to add much here, but I know some people who should, all of whom claim to help independent filmmakers and none of whom seem to be doing anything or very little about these issues. I don’t just mean the big dogs in the room, I also mean the smaller actors – regional film fests, arthouses, video start-ups and everyone else who has a bigger vehicle than I have in which to carry the message to a bigger population should be devoting their home page, their film screen and any other tools they have to spreading the word. I am friends with the leaders and staff of many of these nonprofits and companies, and I know they’re busy, have potential sponsor conflicts, boards who must approve political matters and/or just don’t understand the issue themselves, but it’s no excuse. Every organization and company that purports to represent indie filmmakers (and artists generally) should take action now. There’s still time and you can get the widget here. You can even use it as a filmmaker, or blogger with a small audience like me. I’m going to install it now…with some tech support.