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Up There (2010)

Still from Up There (2010).

Still from Up There (2010).

Watching the Beck’s Edison Bottle reminded me of a short doc I saw a while back at IFP’s Film Week – Up There is a twelve-minute short doc on the fading art of hand-painted billboard signs in New York.

It was written by the filmmaker and funded by Stella Artois, but they’re never mentioned in the film.  Instead, they’re the subject of the handpainted sign we see the painters working on.  This is branded content as truly valuable content in its own right, where the filmmaker rather than the brand crafts the message, and both come away happy.  When I saw the makers of this doc interviewed at IFP, you could see the funding model opening up whole mental vistas of possibility for all the starting doc filmmakers in the audience, but this is a tough gig to find, and the right funder and the right content is a tough match to make. Continue reading


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Spielberg: “There’s eventually going to be an implosion — or a big meltdown. There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen megabudget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm.”

Lucas: “I think eventually the ‘Lincoln’s will go away and they’re going to be on television.”

Spielberg: “As mine almost was… This close — ask HBO — this close.”

Lucas: “We’re talking ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Red Tails’ — we barely got them into theaters. You’re talking about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas can’t get their movie into a theater… The pathway to get into theaters is really getting smaller and smaller.”

(From Indiewire)