Magazine article Filmmaker

In the Realm of the Possible

Magazine article Filmmaker

In the Realm of the Possible

Article excerpt

I catch Hal Hartley - whose third feature, Simple Men, was Filmmaker's very first cover back in 1992 - as he's spending the day creating bonus features for new DVD and Blu-ray box sets of the three films in his "Henry Fool Trilogy." As international distribution licenses expire and the rights to his titles revert back to Hartley, the director's company, Possible Films, is subtitling them and releasing them internationally - both digitally, through Cinedigm and Hartley's own website, and in these deluxe home video editions. "Sales agents aren't really that valuable to me now," says Hartley, "and the labor of [distribution] has become a lot less expensive. We can manufacture these disks ourselves and finance them through crowdfunding, which is also a very effective marketing tool." Hartley employs one full-time assistant and says the distribution arm of Possible is a self-sustaining one. "I could be more aggressive in marketing if I had more people," he says, "but that's not how I'm planning to support myself in the future. I'm putting most of my energy into episodic."

Hartley, whose last feature was the 2014 Fool film Ned Rifle, has been directing episodes of the Amazon series Red Oaks, cocreated by Greg Jacobs, who worked for Hartley on Simple Men and Amateur as a first assistant director. "They needed someone at the last minute to do one episode for the first season, and they called me in. It was a great experience, and then they had me do half the second season and two episodes in the third. …

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