movie news: Watch Terry Gilliam’s new short film, The Wholly Family, here!

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The Wholly Family, Terry GilliamAs you can imagine, I get a lot of e-mails about movies. I read them, but earlier today I got one that really caught my eye, the subject line was “Terry Gilliam needs your help!”. Does he? Well who am I to say no?!

It turns out that he needs our help to distribute his new short film via a platform called Distrify. I’d never heard of it before so I decided to look into it.

What I found was that Distrify is a way for independent film-makers to make money distributing their films online. It’s a type of Direct to Fan (D2F) model and as far as I can tell, the big difference between Distrify and other most distribution models is that it incentivises the social aspect of watching films. The concept was dreamt up by film producers Peter Gerard and Andy Greene and they got funding in late 2010, so it’s a pretty new company and it looks like one worth supporting.

The gist of it is that, a film-maker makes his film available through Distrify for a fee and starts to shout about it around the place. When a person comes across the film they are given various options… The basic model is that they can watch the trailer and immediately rent the film and/or buy it, though other options are available. The difference with Distrify then is that, when a person shares the film, they are able to make a commission on anyone else who buys or rents it.

Course, you might share a film out of the goodness of your heart, but I think that being offered a commission makes you far more likely to do it. Plus, I’m sure there are plenty of independent film-makers out there who are pretty unlikely to get their films into a multiplex and are tired of putting their films up for free on YouTube and Vimeo. Plus if no-one’s linking to them over there, then no-one’s even going to be watching them. Distrify seems to be a way that a film-maker’s’ friends and fans can help in rewarding the hard work put into making films, while being helped a little themselves.

So that’s what I’m doing here. Terry Gilliam is one of my favourite film directors and he’s chosen to distribute his new short film The Wholly Family, about an American family in Naples, in this manner. For only €1.99, you can see his film in HD through the player below. You too can also share it via Facebook / Twitter or by e-mail.

Just in case you’re wondering, I’m not being paid for this nor was I even asked to write about Distrify. I just think it sounds like a good deal for both audiences and film-makers. Mind you, I don’t make movies and I don’t know anything about film distribution… undoubtedly Distrify take a commission on the films sold and I have no idea how that compares to anywhere else. I also don’t know if there is a minimum price you have to set for renting/buying which I imagine would be very important.

If you’re interested in using it, I can’t help you with any questions but I’m sure they’ll be able to help if you get in touch with the Distrify guys on their oddly old school looking website,

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