From Variety: 'Indie Films Crave Great Reviews'
The Web has affected the film biz in many subtle ways, but it hasn't yet replaced the branding that occurs via theatrical booking and critical reviews. A local movie critic with a following drives people to see indie movies in a way that nothing else does -- at least so far.
Those points were brought up during two panel sessions at the recent Seattle Film Festival.
The most heated debate at the indie digital distribution panel was between Amazon Unbox exec Roy Price and two filmmakers in the audience who argued that "Who Killed the Electric Car?" was only an Unbox hit because it had already played in theaters.
Price insisted it would have been just as big a hit without a theatrical release. He believes passionately in the future of Internet DVD sales and downloads and early believers building a movie into an Internet hit via social networking, viral marketing on sites like MySpace, and an ardent fanbase. "Movies don't need theaters to succeed on the Internet," he declared.
The example of a success so far that they cite: 'Four Eyed Monsters,' of course.