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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Selling Short Films: The YouTube/B-Side Strategy

Jack Truman is a Missouri filmmaker whose short, "Phone Sex Grandma," played at Slamdance in 2006. (It stars his mom, disturbingly enough.) Truman also had a documentary short shown at Slamdance this year.

Here's his distribution strategy for "Phone Sex Grandma": put it up for free on YouTube (an ad plays briefly on the bottom of the screen), and offer viewers the opportunity to buy the short at iPod definition or DVD definition -- in digital form, without DRM -- from B-Side Entertainment. (It may also be available somewhere on B-Side's site as a physical DVD you can order ... but I couldn't find that.)

The YouTube version of the nine-minute short is here. It's chock full of profanity ... which makes me wonder again whether Web video needs some sort of ratings system, a la G, PG, R, NC-17. This'd probably be rated R for language.

Update: Truman tells me that the ad revenue from YouTube goes to B-Side, not him.

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