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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New distribution - same old bean counters.

From the Hollywood Reporter. This is an interview with the film maker Ben Rekhi who released his feature on Google video.


But then Google Video told the filmmaker that their numbers were wrong. "They told me last week that there was a glitch in their accounting," he says. "A design flaw. They said they never misled me, that they were giving me estimates that were not accurate. What had been 3,000 downloads went down to 300. It was shocking and depressing. It was one-tenth of what I thought it was."

Rekhi is obviously disappointed. Yet the young filmmaker is glad he took the leap into the unknown. "Over time, Google will address these issues," he says. "It was exciting to work with Google to try and help indie filmmakers find a democratic distribution process. I feel like I made the right decision. I took a stand to hold on to my rights to the film, online, TV, foreign sales. Too long the power equation has been in the other court. Distributors put your back up against the wall and own your films for 20 years. That we can empower ourselves and circumvent that distribution method is amazing. People are looking for content. I only believe that the online distribution model will get bigger and better."


The cynic in me says that Google has therefore just become a distributor. A new distributor, on on-line one, but with the same old mentality. Exagerrating figures and paying up less than you expect. How could we have ever thought it would be any different?

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