Right out of the gate, here is my first rant:
One of the frustrations in DVD distribution is the gatekeepers. These are the product buyers at all of the stores we shop at. They are the ones who determine, many times based on personal preferences, what products stock their shelves.
Lately, I have been receiving emails from people interested in my films stating that they cannot find my films on shelves at any stores. Well, now you know the reason why.
Every time I enter Amoeba Records in Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard, I do not find the DVD's of H.H. Holmes or Albert Fish. I spoke with my distributor and stated that the buyer is "focused on new release product and doesn’t appreciate the money in evergreen product." So I thought I would visit Amoeba and speak with the buyer myself as I have been a shopper at Amoeba since I arrived in LA three years ago. I walked upstairs to the video department and asked Eric if the buyer was in. He seemed very unhappy and was not interested in anything other than being yet another gatekeeper. He told me that the buyer was probably not in today and without even listening to me further stated that the consignment desk for product is downstairs. I asked him about the DVD stock of Holmes and Fish. He then went to the computer and looked both titles up and state that they stopped stocking Holmes because it stopped selling. No further information was provided. How long of a time period did it stop selling for? A week? A month? A year? They seem to stock many other serial killer documentaries, by prominent labels and distributors by the way, that are always in stock and never seem to sell as I am positive I know Amoeba's serial killer documentary section better than they do as everytime I shop there I take a look at the section to observe if the HHH and AF DVD's are in stock as well as what else is selling.
So I went downstairs and took my brand new shrink wrapped DVD's of Albert Fish and H.H. Holmes to the counter where Amoeba buys used product from customers. I sold each of the DVD's to the counter for $5.00 each. I then went upstairs and informed Eric of what I just done and that now I can revisit the store and observe whether or not the product stuck on the shelf or sold. He then snottily told me that their modern computer technology tracks it and has already proven that it does not sell.
So every week I must take DVD's of HH Holmes and Albert Fish to the used DVD counter and sell them to Amoeba. This is the only way to get them to stock my product. How sad.
These are the trails and tribulations I deal with on a daily basis in addition to breaking my back making my films.
Recently, myspace deleted the Albert Fish film account for no rhyme or reason. I was not even notified by mysapce of the account deletion. After contacting them numerous times, I received the same stock answers such as: "The profile in question has been deleted. We do not keep records of removed profiles or images. If it was removed by myspace, it was because of a violation of our terms and conditions - which can include a number of issue (inappropriate images, spam, cyber bullying, underage use, etc). Please review our terms for further assistance." Of course this explains nothing since there are no inappropriate images on the page and I have never spammed anyone as I do not believe in it. Thank you for supporting independent film myspace.
I am really thinking about pulling my films from youtube based on the new ruling that youtube must had over all of it's user information to Viacom. Read here: http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/07/judge-orders-yo.html
Now, there are many other sites to post videos on such as yahoo and aol.
I read the Daily Rotten news here: http://www.dailyrotten.com/ This sis a great source of news that you rarely see in the mass produced media outlets. Yes much is depressing, but hopefully some good can come from reading about these issues.