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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Booking Films (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Booking Films
Dave Cutler
Master Film Handler

Posts: 277
From: Centennial, CO
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 09-11-2000 01:57 PM      Profile for Dave Cutler   Email Dave Cutler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Does anyone know what is involved in booking 35mm prints for a theatre? Do you have to use a booker or would I be able to do it myself by calling the Distributors? If I can, does anyone know who to call?

Thanx.

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Richard C. Wolfe
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Northampton, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 09-11-2000 03:27 PM      Profile for Richard C. Wolfe   Author's Homepage   Email Richard C. Wolfe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes...almost anyone can book 35mm film for commercial theatres. It isn't difficult... but do you really want to? Do you want to have to call virtually every distributor each week to find out what is available, what the terms are, set up the advertising co-op, work out settlements for film engagements completed and a miramid of other details. It will depend on whether you plan on doing this fulltime, or are trying to fit it in around another full time job or occupation. How many screens or locations will you be booking for will depend on how much time it will require. Are you going to be first run, sub run, discount or art? That can make a difference as well.

If you use a booker you will only need to make a few calls per week to him or her to complete all of the same. It depends which is more valuable to you...your time or your money.

Your competitive situation will also have a bearing on whether you should book for yourself or not. If you are going up against heavy competition...you might be better off using a booker at least in the beginning until you have your feet well on the ground.

I am a booker for numerous independent theatres in Pennsylvania. I do not book beyond the Philadelphia territory, but would be willing to help you and guide you to the
proper exchange and the people that you would need to deal with if you want to do it yourself.

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Dave Cutler
Master Film Handler

Posts: 277
From: Centennial, CO
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 09-11-2000 03:32 PM      Profile for Dave Cutler   Email Dave Cutler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I guess I should clarify. I am not looking to book current or new releases. I work at a Large Format theatre and we are looking into getting older films for Friday and Saturday night.

I already have a contact with Paramount, and sent a letter off to Fox today to get the ball rolling. Buena Vista tells me that they don't offer anything older than a couple of years, sounds to me like they only do current releases. Is there a way to get older films from Hollywood, Touchstone and Disney? Do I contact them directly?

Thanx for any help.


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Mike Spaeth
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1112
From: Hampton, GA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 09-11-2000 03:36 PM      Profile for Mike Spaeth   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Spaeth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dave - when I was setting up my midnight film series with my booker, I was informed that, basically, Buena Vista titles are not available for dark time shows (as Cinemark refers to them as). They just simply, as a company policy, do not release their prints for stuff like this. (Not surprisingly - given the way Disney releases videos for a short time, then pulls them from the shelves for 10 years or whatever.)

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7991
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-11-2000 07:40 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Booking a midnight series should be fairly easy to do by yourself, since you don't need the "buying power" that a real booker offers. The only hard parts are trying to figure out who owns what films and getting good prints. Older Disney stuff (animated features, etc.) are generally not available for theatrical bookings, although you can usually get them for something like a private theatre rental if you can make the claim that the screening is "non-theatrical" and book the film through a nontheatrical distributor like Swank Motion Pictures (you can get get either 16mm or 35mm prints; the 35mm prints are often shipped from the regular 35mm depots [Technicolor, ETS, etc.] even if you book through Swank et al.). Older titles for most other studios are available, usually distributed through their "classics" division or through a third party like Kit Parker. Good luck...this sort of thing can be a lot of fun.

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Chris Trainor
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 161
From: Greenville, RI, USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-11-2000 11:06 PM      Profile for Chris Trainor   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Trainor   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here's a question slightly off topic... (but kindof on topic)....

Anyone know if the Monty Python films are available for booking? Or Japanese Anime like Akira or Macross? Right now I've only been dealing with Paramounts older films and havn't had much time to research other stuff.... so I figured i'd ask here in case someone knew off the top of their head who the best contacts were for other film companies.

thanks
--Chris

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Jim Ziegler
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 753
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 09-12-2000 02:10 AM      Profile for Jim Ziegler   Email Jim Ziegler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From what I hear, Monty Python is availble and it costs an arm and a leg (which will be cut off with a herring)...

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 882
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-12-2000 06:59 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dave-

If you are looking to book art/alternative/revival films for your off periods, a fine place to start is the web page for the Film Forum, a great arthouse here in NYC. They very happily list all of the distributor and contact information for everything they run on their site, www.filmforum.com.

Years ago, when I booked this kind of stuff, I found that taking a look at what others were booking whould help me out quite a bit. Most of the calendar houses in the country are still producing monthly schedules that you can subscribe to for an idea of what's available. There were more of them back then, but you can still get calenders from : the NuArt in LA, the Facets Theater in Chicago, the Castro, Red Vic, and U.C. in San Francisco, and the Brattle in Boston to name a few. All of these theaters are booked by people who have a lot of cred with the studio rep divisions (especially the Castro's booker, Anita Monga. She comes up with incredible things, and can usually get new prints struck). I would often take a look at what these guys are running, then contact the sources and try to book the prints for later.

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 753
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 09-12-2000 10:40 AM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Same idea: Non-Theatrical Bookings for 35mm,
but in Canada. Any ideas? Love to see my XL's in action.

------------------
Dave Bird

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 882
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 09-12-2000 10:56 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For any non-theatrical, your best bet is Swank or Kit Parker Films. Swank usually handles major studio releases for institutional/college use, Kit Parker the same but they are shifting more toward revivals for specialized release. Both have extensive web sites and as far as I know deal with all North America.

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Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 645
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 02-17-2001 03:13 PM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
According to a recent story in the paper, our local distributor has movies as far back as 1921, the year Famous Players first opened their first theatre.

So, If/When I open my first theatre (see "Can A 13 Year Old Own A Theatre), I don't need a booker? I can just call myself and book films?

What do booker's usually get paid? If I have to pay them more then the projectionests ($23.50 per hour) I think I'll just book my self!


Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 645
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 02-17-2001 03:14 PM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
According to a recent story in the paper, our local distributor has movies as far back as 1921, the year Famous Players first opened their first theatre.

So, If/When I open my first theatre (see "Can A 13 Year Old Own A Theatre), I don't need a booker? I can just call myself and book films?

What do booker's usually get paid? If I have to pay them more then the projectionests ($23.50 per hour) I think I'll just book my self!

------------------
Andrew McCrea

"I'm Not Bad, I'm Just Drawn That Way!" - Jessica Rabbit

Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-17-2001 03:45 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We pay our booker somewhere around $50 per screen per week or $250 per week. To book our 5 screen art house in a competative market we feel this is money well spent. Booking is all about relationships and our booker has those and we do not.

Never work with a booker who recomends you pay a percentage of your gross to him. There are too many hands in your pocket as it is.

I have a couple of friends who book their own theatres in non competative zones. They are quite successful and save quite a bit of money.

Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)


Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 03-20-2001 03:45 PM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I picked up a pamphlet at Showest showing that Trans-Lux Has opened a film buying and booking service in LA. Phone 818 623 1015 Fax: 818 623 1023 E-mail tlccfilm@aol.com

Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5244
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 03-23-2001 08:04 PM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Use a booker. They have contacts and established relationships from years back.

------------------
Better Projection Pays!



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