Magazine article Screen International

"Movie Business Is in a Better Place Than Ever", Says SPC Boss

Magazine article Screen International

"Movie Business Is in a Better Place Than Ever", Says SPC Boss

Article excerpt

"The business is in a better place than it has ever been," according to Sony Pictures Classics co-founder Michael Barker.

Speaking on a heavyweight Zurich Summit panel about independent film financing and releasing, Blue Jasmine and Son Of Saul distributor Barker expressed optimism about the large number of revenue streams currently available to filmmakers and financiers.

"Right now, we have to pay attention to every revenue stream. Airlines are better, TV offers a different mosaic, there is DVD, streaming, international...there's a big future in China," he said.

Black Swan and Jackie producer Scott Franklin said he "saw more promise" in the market than a year ago: "I see more pre-buys than a year ago. There is more competition. It's promising and exciting."

Saturation

However, Barker cautioned that the US market continues to suffer from saturation.

"Audiences are overwhelmed by product," he said.

"The challenge of US distribution now is the glut of new material. Our job is to make films distinctive. It's very difficult. But distribution is more creative than ever in the 35 years I've been doing this," he said.

Cutting through to audiences requires distributors to rethink their release models.

"We all have to make a decision when we do these films: what kind of release does this film deserve?" asked Barker. "Does it require theatrical, does it require day and date?"

Lionsgate Motion Picture co-chairman Patrick Wachsberger called the US release calendar a "minefield", which necessitates more day and date releasing. …

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