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Ottawa 2009

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Ottawa 2009

Postby ZigOtto » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:12 pm

congrats to Paul and Sandra for their Honourable Mention :
GRAND PRIZE for Best Animated Feature :
Mary and Max, directed by Adam Elliot, Australia

“The film tells a simple and strong story about friendship, deep understanding of the human condition with all it’s defects. It is a perfect balance between tragedy and comedy.”

Honourable Mention:
My Dog Tulip, directed by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, USA

“The jury was profoundly touched by one particular film therefore would like to award an honourable mention. This film has an outstanding style and above all, the way in which it allows the audience to identify with the characters and the relationships.”




btw, I like very much the poster of the festival for this year, designed by Theodore Ushev .

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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby malcooning » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:52 pm

Congratulations Fierlingers!
good effort.


I also like the poster.
I feel it opens up a lot in the viewer.
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby Fabrice » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:04 pm

good job Paul and Sandra !!
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby Elodie » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:08 pm

That's really great for you, Paul and Sandra =)
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby Paul Fierlinger » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:17 pm

Thanks for your interest in our Ottawa fishing expedition. The way we see it is that watching a film within a film festival context is a totally different experience for the audience than catching one by one only when stumbling across them on the worldwide net or on TV. The festival audiences are exposed to a continuous chain of shorts and the shorts tend to be there, in most cases, because their makers see the festival circuit as their final and highest objective.

Therefore they are often sound driven -- sort of like being at a party where there is little conversation going on and lots of noise, or a circus where someone's act is trying to exceed the ones that precede and follow them, pandering to an audience that is there to take in the entire circus as a singular piece of entertainment.

Now, in the midst of this circus, come the feature films; each year a few more than in the previous year. We had quite a few wonderful people come up to us who felt the need not just to tell us that they liked our film but often in great length telling us exactly why they liked it. Some had already seen Tulip at Annecy and wanted to see it again. Tulip works well with people who prefer conversations to loud music. If you are one of those, you will understand that one doesn't go out to visit multiplex living rooms to participate in quite conversations -- one stays home, knowing that interesting people do drop by once in awhile.

Distributing Tulip is turning into a more complicated process than any of our producers had previously anticipated -- the audience is out there, not knowing there is a Tulip wanting to come in. To let all these good people know about her is like throwing a net among sharks with the expectations of hauling in only the nice fish without the sharks. Even the most prestigious festival awards can do nothing to make that happen. I'm not sure anymore that anything can do that.
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby malcooning » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:02 pm

Paul Fierlinger wrote:To let all these good people know about her is like throwing a net among sharks with the expectations of hauling in only the nice fish without the sharks. Even the most prestigious festival awards can do nothing to make that happen. I'm not sure anymore that anything can do that.

I also think this is really all you can do.
Especially considering the fact that there are indeed only a few fish whom you find nice, and the rest are sharks. You could have compromised, and made a film that appeals to sharks too (to make them less sharky). but it's not your game.
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby mox » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:08 am

Congratulations Paul and Sandra!

I went to see Mary and Max a couple of weeks ago, it's a very touching movie, for sure.

And looking forward to seeing Tulip, too!
Paul, do you know more about European screenings?
If I'm not mistaking you were talking about Gaumont months ago... but now you seem to be very pessimistic :(
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby Paul Fierlinger » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:34 pm

I have nothing to do with the selling and distribution of the film, which is not mine -- except that I have moneys coming to me once it does get into distribution. The problem is that no one is buying these days. Our greatest success was to be an official selection at the Toronto festival, which is now considered more important than Cannes and we have been selected for Pusan. Distributors are said to come to these two festivals with open checkbooks because almost all films selected are of distribution quality -- not anymore.

Only one film was bought at Toronto and even that went with little or no commitments on the distributor's part and no pre-buy. The problem seems to be piracy. If the film doesn't hold the promise of becoming a blockbuster, which makes zillions in it's first week, buyers are reluctant to reach into their pockets. Most independents have to resort to self-distribution and many Hollywood productions are beginning to do the same.

Digital technology and the Internet have contributed to the ease of making movies but also to the ease of pirating them. It has become a dilemma; a large amount of very good movies for niche markets are now being made, which many had commented upon at Ottawa and Toronto. These are creations of artists with talent and intelligent sensitivities who would never before find producers to support their screenplays because each film cost lots of money. But now good films can be made for much less but now no one is buying them because each one is made for a select audience.

Don't you just hate thieves, including those who buy cracked software, which inhibits the faster development of upgrades and technology in general? How can I be optimistic when presented with this picture? I never had to think of such things before; I thought I have nothing to worry about because who's going to pirate Tulip? I never made the connection that pirates have destroyed the entire distribution network for everyone.
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby malcooning » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:13 am

Paul Fierlinger wrote:Don't you just hate thieves, including those who buy cracked software, which inhibits the faster development of upgrades and technology in general? How can I be optimistic when presented with this picture? I never had to think of such things before; I thought I have nothing to worry about because who's going to pirate Tulip? I never made the connection that pirates have destroyed the entire distribution network for everyone.


George Lucas probably foresaw this, and made sure to create physical, sell-able merchandise :)

Anyhow, it is a damn thing piracy, but we have to accept that it is like that. It does not come at all from people's low morality levels, and the word thieving has grown a big beard. The fact that there is ever-growing availability and accessibility to pirated copies creates a situation in which the felony act is not being done by the viewers themselves. The audience itself is only accepting the new reality, and follows along. To insist on not doing so is to turn the back on technology. At the moment that the big bubble of money exploded at the face of the music industry, it was obvious no other creative industry would, for the time being, succeed commercially. So in order to keep afloat, fresh and inventive ways are constantly spun out, and so the provision of self-distribution gets a serious face-lift. I find myself less and less frustrated with the destructive outcomes piracy and more envious with those who come up with a new way of bringing their film to the audiences, and with those who tweak their approaches into simple and contemporary distribution efficiencies.

Saying all this, it's often not our job to worry like this.
we only want to draw.
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby Paul Fierlinger » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:11 pm

I brought this up only to document that it is a bit futile of independent animators to seek a feature film production as the epitome and golden prize of all their life's efforts.

Every TV special Sandra and I have made has brought us the exact same equivalent in dollars as has the making of Tulip -- so far. On top of that, if Tulip won't find any distribution whatsoever, or even if it gets into most Art Theaters for a short run, the film will never be seen by anything close to the number of people who have seen our other works on TV. Home video or Pay per View? You don't have to make a theatrical feature for that either.

We must share 50 % of what we earn from our private sales with PBS, after the film has run its course on TV. This might sound like a lot, but we own much less of Tulip so think about that... The only ones who make out on a movie deal is the producer and distributor. I hold nothing against them -- they all work hard for the money and they have high overhead costs too, but why then is making a feature film thought of as such a big deal by many animators, including myself?

I just have more doubts now about our goals, and that is what I felt I should share with others here. I certainly agree with you though that there are new venues to look into and we have been doing this for quite some time now. Particularly animators have many advantages and attractive new venues when compared to what live action filmmakers have at their disposal.
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby malcooning » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:55 pm

how do you think this will affect your current production?
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby Paul Fierlinger » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:10 am

Funny you ask. I just got an e-mail from my producer saying that he's dropping it. He promises that Tulip will be in distribution in April.
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby Fabrice » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:49 pm

I just got an e-mail from my producer saying that he's dropping it


:?: :?: :?: :!: Do you mean he is stopping everything about slocum ?
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby Paul Fierlinger » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:07 pm

That's right and I saw it coming. But we own everything we have done so far and we have plans to continue with the project on our own, turning it into a full blown children's film with several possible venues in our sites.
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Re: Ottawa 2009

Postby Fabrice » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:43 pm

:shock: oh nooo !!!! :x

Money seems to be the only rule ... :|
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