Free Minds Film Podcast
Ted Balaker on Distributing Feature Documentary Can We Take a Joke?

Ted Balaker on Distributing Feature Documentary Can We Take a Joke?

October 31, 2016

Today we’re doing something a little bit different. We’re going to keep the conversation in-house, and talk with Ted Balaker, the co-founder of Korchula Productions. You’ve heard us talk a lot about our feature documentary Can We Take a Joke?, and we thought that for this final episode of our first season, we’d give you a little behind-the-scenes look at the making of the documentary and, more pertinent to the theme of this podcast, the distribution plan and the execution of that plan. Ted was the director of this film, and we just thought hearing that about that experience in our own words might be useful to those of you out there who are starting or even in the middle of your own projects.

Remember, you can keep track of all Korchula’s latest projects, including the Can We Take a Joke, by following us on Twitter and Facebook and at Korchula Productions dot com. You can also find our free Distribution Guide at freemindsfilm.com, where we go deep into the distribution topics we discuss on this podcast, including the topic we discuss today, the distribution of Can We Take a Joke.

Producer Rep Noor Ahmed on The Elements of a Commercial Film

Producer Rep Noor Ahmed on The Elements of a Commercial Film

October 24, 2016

Today we’re talking to Noor Ahmed, a producer’s representative at at the entertainment law firm READER AND (FIGE) LLP. His firm has been counsel on such films as Twilight, Don Jon, Thank You for Smoking, and Korchula’s very own Can We Take a Joke.


In this episode, you’ll learn, first of all, what a producer rep is, what value they can add if you bring them in early on in the development process, and how much you should expect to pay them. Noor also gives us his read of the market, which genres are hot commodities right now and which ones are just oversaturating the indie market or simply don’t make much money. And we’ll also touch on the question that haunts indie filmmakers: Should I submit to festivals? How many, and when can I stop and just focus on getting my movie to a general audience.

You can keep track of all Korchula’s latest projects like the feature narrative Little Pink House by following us on Twitter and Facebook and at Korchula Productions.com. You’ll also find our free Distribution Guide, where we share in-depth advice from experts across the industry about how to distribute a film, which you can download as a PDF at freemindsfilm.com.

Please rate and review this film at iTunes and on Google Play.

LA Studio’s Alex Saveliev on Balancing Your Inner Artist and Business Person

LA Studio’s Alex Saveliev on Balancing Your Inner Artist and Business Person

October 17, 2016

In this episode, you’ll learn from a industry professional what components distributors are looking for when deciding to acquire a film for domestic and worldwide distribution, and why those things are distinct. We’ll talk about film markets and film festivals, when to submit to which, and how filmmakers should prepare for those. And we talk about how you might appeal to foreign territories and how filmmakers can adapt to best position their films in a market where VOD reigns supreme.


You can keep track of all Korchula’s latest projects like the feature narrative Little Pink House by following us on Twitter and Facebook and at Korchula Productions.com. You’ll also find our free Distribution Guide, where we share in-depth advice from experts across the industry about how to distribute a film, which you can download as a PDF at freemindsfilm.com.

Please rate and review this film at iTunes and on Google Play.

Distribution Exec Griffin Gmelich on Gravitas Ventures and Getting Your Film Acquired

Distribution Exec Griffin Gmelich on Gravitas Ventures and Getting Your Film Acquired

October 10, 2016

Today we’re talking with Griffin Gmelich, Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Gravitas Ventures, one of North America’s largest distributors of independent films. Griffin joined Gravitas following three years at Hulu where he led film content acquisitions. Prior to Hulu, Griffin was the Head of Domestic Sales for Entertainment One, Vice President of Sales for Universal-Vivendi and held several positions at Warner Home Video in sales and communications.

In this episode, you’ll learn from a distribution veteran what to look for in a distributor and, perhaps even more importantly, what distributors are looking for in your film when they decide whether or not to acquire it. You’ll learn about the importance of artwork to a film’s marketability. And you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at Gravitas Ventures and Hulu and a glimpse at what the future of distribution might look like.

We hope you find our talk Griffin Gmelich informative and helpful as you plan your next movie, web series, or documentary.

Remember, you can keep track of all Korchula’s latest projects, including the feature film I directed called Little Pink House, by following us on Twitter and Facebook and at freemindsfilm.com, where you’ll also find our free Distribution Guide, where we share in-depth advice from experts across the industry about how to distribute a film. We want you to start thinking about distribution from the very beginning, so it’s a resource that I recommend you check out before you start your next film or video project.

We’ve also got a feature documentary out right now called Can We Take a Joke?, which you can stream on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, and most other major streaming platforms.

Economist and TV Writer Glen Whitman on Making It in the Industry as an Outsider

Economist and TV Writer Glen Whitman on Making It in the Industry as an Outsider

October 3, 2016

Today we’re talking to Glen Whitman, a television writer on the long-running Fox series Fringe, the El Rey series Matador, FX’s The Strain,  and he currently writes for The Blacklist: Redemption, the spinoff of the popular and long-running NBC series The Blacklist.


But what’s unusual about Glen is that he’s also a Professor of Economics at California State University, Northridge.

In this episode, you’ll hear Glen talk about moving from a intellectual and logically rigorous field like economics to an intuitive and creative one like TV writing. You’ll learn how cultivating skills or acquiring expertise in fields uncommon in the entertainment industry could help your career and, in a similar vein, you’ll hear about the value of an outsider’s perspective. We’ll also discuss the evolution of TV story structure in a changing technological landscape, such as how on-demand viewing affects the creative process in the writer’s room. And you’ll get a peek into what it’s like to work in Hollywood as someone who holds views in the political minority.

And remember to follow Korchula Productions on Facebook and Twitter, and for a highly detailed look at film distribution visit freemindsfilm.com and download our free distribution guide, which is packed full of real-world examples of distribution successes. Please rate and review this podcast on iTunes!

Kurt Kuenne on Making and Distributing an Indie Documentary

Kurt Kuenne on Making and Distributing an Indie Documentary

September 26, 2016

Today we’re talking with Kurt Kuenne, the filmmaker behind an incredibly powerful and personal documentary called Dear Zachary, which premiered at the Slamdance Film festival and was named one of the top 5 documentaries of 2008 by the National Board of Review.

And his latest film is Batkid Begins, which Kurt edited and co-wrote. The documentary is a heartwarming and entertaining look at how and why an entire city came together to make a 5-year-old leukemia patient’s dream of being a superhero come true for a day.

In this episode, you’ll learn from a working documentary filmmaker how to decide when you’re actually done with a project you’re passionate about and you’ve spent years putting together. You’ll hear Kurt’s experience on the festival circuit and learn how, why, and when you should submit your film to festivals. We’ll talk about what it takes to get an independent film in theaters, what the benefits of that are, and what it was like adapting Dear Zachary for air on MSNBC.

And, finally, the importance of time-management in filmmaking and finding the balance between taking the time to make your film great and moving with enough speed to make it to market.

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September 26, 2016

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