Monday, 6 February 2012

32 S´Not Fair

Image by amaci /
The other day I got an email from an architecture student at the University of Maine. He wanted to know where he could get a copy of “Frank & Alvar” (about architects Frank Gehry and Alvar Aalto). Before I answered him I went online. Got a jolt when I found one site, Films for Humanities & Science, selling “Frank & Alvar” DVDs for 99.95. Although it was our production, LMP never made a penny on that distribution deal.

It happened like this: when the Finnish Broadcasting Company (who commissioned the program) closed their distribution department they went to NordicWorld. So did we. We signed a contract and never heard from them. After two years we asked to see a rundown of sales. Nada. But when we decided to cancel the contract they said they had sold the DVD rights to FfH&S and a couple of other places. But with expenses and all there wasn´t enough left over to pay us. Mm-hmm.

After that I went online and checked “Chasing Esa-Pekka” (51´). There are approx 20 sites. And people have downloaded different versions including a couple of truncated shorts. But we have no control over these pirate version. On the other hand, LMP had to pay composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen 15,000 Euros for the right to use his music even if the doc was about him. And 6,000 Euros to the BBC for one minute of his piano concerto that they filmed.

The same thing happened to one of our home-mades: “Posh Poor & Middleclass BRITS”. It appeared in the OXDOX film festival and was picked up by a distributor: Journeyman Pictures. I was thrilled, because this was a doc I shot and Eki edited. Now it has about ten sites. And commercials before the video begins. But again LMP has received no revenue.  Although it´s had about 8,000 hits, that´s not enough to get paid. Eki and I finally decided the more people that see the docs the better. And let it go at that. But the reality is, we had no choice.

Lesson 35: Docs on the internet have a life of their own

Next week: 33 Blah Blah Blah

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