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By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

PHASE 4 FILMS MAKES THE MOVE TO VOD: VIDAL SASSOON AND BROTHERHOOD TO GO DAY AND DATE

Los Angeles, CA (February 10, 2011) – Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the company has officially entered the video-on-demand (VOD) space.  This new endeavor for Phase 4 launches officially with the day-and-date theatrical and VOD release of several films including: Craig Teper’s VIDAL SASSOON THE MOVIE, a revealing and inspirational portrait of the iconic hairdresser who changed the world with a pair of scissors; the SXSW Audience Award-winner BROTHERHOOD, directed by Will Cannon and starring Jon Foster and Lou Taylor Pucci; and the documentary IRANIUM from director Alex Traiman about the Iranian nuclear threat and the ideology fueling the Iranian regime.  In addition to theatrical openings in major cities, the films will be available on demand in more than thirty million homes via several of the largest cable providers in the United States.

“As an independent film company in the year 2011, being in the video-on-demand space is an integral aspect of connecting our films with audiences,” says Meyerowitz.  “We still stand behind the theatrical model and believe for many of our films that it will always make sense. We also acknowledge that more and more people are now watching films on VOD at home. We have Vidal Sassoon being interviewed in many high profile national outlets so it is only fair that people who watch the interviews and then want to go and see the film, can do so without having to wait weeks or even months on end for the film to arrive in their market.”

In addition to the above mentioned day-and-date theatrical and VOD titles premiering in the weeks ahead, Phase 4 is launching an extensive slate of exclusive VOD World Premieres, as well as day-and-date VOD/DVD titles launching in the coming months, including Emily Young’s VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Erika Christensen, based on the popular novel by Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), and the new Steve Austin starring action film KNOCKOUT.

VIDAL SASSOON THE MOVIE opens this Friday (February 11) in New York at the Village East and will simultaneously be available nationwide on demand.

BROTHERHOOD opens next Friday (February 18) in Dallas at the Angelika and will simultaneously be available nationwide on demand.

IRANIUM opened this week and is available nationwide on demand.

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About Phase 4 Films

Phase 4 distributes feature films and special interest content across all media in North America.  The company’s recent slate included Brigitte Berman’s documentary HUGH HEFNER: PLAYBOY, ACTIVIST AND REBEL; THE FREEBIE starring Dax Shepard; 50 DEAD MAN WALKING, starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess; and Matt Tyrnauer’s acclaimed VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR.  Phase 4 will soon release the SXSW Audience Award-winning film BROTHERHOOD, starring Jon Foster and Lou Taylor Pucci; and the feature documentary, VIDAL SASSOON THE MOVIE, director Craig Teper’s revealing, and inspirational portrait of the iconic hairdresser who changed the world with a pair of scissors.

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Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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