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GreenCine Movie Talk
Independent
Talk about the world of independent film.
42

Ironweed - sound good>?
Topic by: ELaferty
Posted: November 22, 2005 - 3:45 PM PST
Last Reply: March 10, 2006 - 2:22 PM PST

author topic: Ironweed - sound good>?
ELaferty
post #1  on November 22, 2005 - 3:45 PM PST  
Hiya

Me'd like to discuss whether or not this Ironweed subscription service sounds good or not.

I wish they gave a better idea of what kinds of movies there will be.

Any thoughts?
Folks know more than I do?

thks

EL
pooja
post #2  on November 22, 2005 - 4:55 PM PST  
Perhaps it would help if people had a better idea what you were talking about...

How Ironweed works.

Ironweed FAQ

It sounds interesting but it probably will have limited appeal... People who have a vested interest in keeping up with new trends, journalists, schools, etc... $15 a month is a LOT more expensive than a magazine, and all you get is one feature and a few shorts. If I was a filmmaker I could probably find a way to write off the subscription on my taxes, but it's still $180 per year... That's a lot to satisfy your "curious"-ity...
woozy
post #3  on November 22, 2005 - 10:12 PM PST  
Wow. That sounds just like Film Movement which artifex and I have been discussing. Upshot seems to be that we don't really get it.

I wonder why they couch it is such confusing terms and try to make it sound so unusual and great deal. What's wrong with saying simply they are selling you DVDs for $15 dollars each. Only you have no say in what you are buying.

The thing that bugs me is, if they really want people to watch these films, they should simply sell them. Not force people to subscribe. I don't want to *own* a library of a bunch of films I don't know much about but I might want to rent them, but that's impossible because they only sell them to subscribers.

This is a weird reversal of product, consumer, and currency. The way things *should* be is we the viewers be the consumer, movies and content the product, and money the currency. Instead this is we the viewers and our money are the product, Ironweed is the consumer, and the movie and content are the currency. I *really* don't like being played this way and I *really* *really* don't like the idea of of "content" being viewed as a generic pile of sludge to be dished out.
kohnfused1
post #4  on November 23, 2005 - 9:31 AM PST  
> On November 22, 2005 - 3:45 PM PST ELaferty wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Hiya
>
> Me'd like to discuss whether or not this Ironweed subscription service sounds good or not.

> ---------------------------------

Is this like Iron Chef on the mj?
artifex
post #5  on November 23, 2005 - 3:42 PM PST  
> On November 23, 2005 - 9:31 AM PST kohnfused1 wrote:
> Is this like Iron Chef on the mj?

GC had a referral ad for it in the latest newsletter.
artifex
post #6  on November 23, 2005 - 4:22 PM PST  
> On November 22, 2005 - 10:12 PM PST woozy wrote:
> The thing that bugs me is, if they really want people to watch these films, they should simply sell them. Not force people to subscribe. I don't want to *own* a library of a bunch of films I don't know much about but I might want to rent them, but that's impossible because they only sell them to subscribers.

Yah. Thing is, there are fixed costs in mastering DVDs, (I've heard $100K for a good film transfer and basic menu, etc., though it may be a lot cheaper now) as well as quantity discounts depending on volume. If you know you're going to order 20,000 DVDs every month, you can maybe cut a deal based on 240,000 a year, instead of that smaller number. And I think they know that a lot of films they want us to take a chance on are ones that would be money-losing if they just print 20,000 copies and pray, or even worse, pay for a tiny amount of marketing :)

There are many movies I'd never have seen before if I hadn't been a sponsor of my local film festival, which buys me a few cards every month to private screenings. A few of these movies never publicly screened in Dallas, and I felt privileged to attend. Some others, I felt were a total waste of time.

What Ironweed has to do is generate in us a sense of trust that we'll be getting our money's worth. In this sense, they're coming in cheaper than FM, (if I remember FM's pricing) and they're throwing in shorts, too, so that makes the risk seem lower. But it's still a decision that I have to think about. We have no sense of the artistic director's eye for films, whether he or she is rescuing obscure films that deserve a place in memory, and so we have to ask, if these are movies that don't have distribution deals yet, what makes them unpalatable to the regular art house labels? Have they just been missed, or deemed politically sensitive, or have buyers already looked and seen serious problems with acting or cinematography, etc., that might ruin the storytelling? Some indies that get picked up do have scenes re-shot or are re-edited, so this is quite possible. On the other hand, we hear about all these successful films that almost didn't get released, so maybe there are a lot more that are just as good, but just haven't gotten that break?

I'd feel more confident about them if they said they'd sell a limited number of copies to non-members, at higher prices. That would let people go try their catalog, later, before buying into the subscription. It'd also be a way for them to hedge their bets, by stocking a lot of extras on the ones they are pretty sure will wind up hits.
GreenCineStaff
post #7  on November 23, 2005 - 5:14 PM PST  
Soon, here, you'll be able to rent one of their titles from us, to see what you think... For now you can request it...

woozy
post #8  on November 23, 2005 - 5:52 PM PST  
> What Ironweed has to do is generate in us a sense of trust that we'll be getting our money's worth. In this sense, they're coming in cheaper than FM, (if I remember FM's pricing)

FM (film movements) prices are $19.95 a month which is more than Ironweed at 14.95. FM sells individual disks to non subscribers for $29.95 which is kinda expensive and if you subscribe for a full year (rather than 3 months) its 14.95.

I don't know if Ironweed sells to non-subscribers or if they require a year subscription. They sound very comparable.

It seems a bit disturbing if the are saying "We can't make money selling these to you so we have to rope you into buying at least three without any control over which ones you get".


>> and they're throwing in shorts, too, so that makes the risk seem lower.

Film movement disks all have shorts.

> But it's still a decision that I have to think about...

What movies does Ironweed have? I'm going through the filmmovement films on net flix just for kicks.

If a film has limitted appeal to not make DVD printing viable without roping an audience of subscribers wouldn't it make sense to make deals with renters? Aren't rentals where all the money in DVDs are? Or are they?
pooja
post #9  on November 23, 2005 - 6:35 PM PST  
> On November 23, 2005 - 5:14 PM PST GreenCineStaff wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Soon, here, you'll be able to rent one of their titles from us, to see what you think... For now you can request it...

Wow, now GreenCine is staffed by the cast of Monty Python and the Holy Grail! Hey, Dingo, what comes after the spanking again?
artifex
post #10  on November 23, 2005 - 8:17 PM PST  
> On November 23, 2005 - 5:14 PM PST GreenCineStaff wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Soon, here, you'll be able to rent one of their titles from us, to see what you think... For now you can request it...

Interesting; one of the shorts is as long as the main film.
woozy
post #11  on November 24, 2005 - 9:36 AM PST  
> Interesting; one of the shorts is as long as the main film.
> ---------------------------------

I noticed that. But I wonder why a film about border crossings has an image of a horned minotaur on its cover.

Just kidding.

Well now that I've dragged this thread off topic, what other films does Ironweed have? (I assume it *doesn't* have that Jack Nichalson Meryl Streep adaptation of the William Kennedy Albany story.)

woozy
post #12  on November 24, 2005 - 9:58 AM PST  
> On November 24, 2005 - 9:36 AM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Well now that I've dragged this thread off topic, what other films does Ironweed have?

Okay. I did a little research (i.e. I actually went to their web site). They do "progressive media" mostly independent documentaries which which have limited but specific audiences and films which really won't get wide distribution. Power to them. I guess.

Actually I find this a little more reasonable than filmmovement's model as the subscriber has a better sense of what type of movies he's going to get. Film Movement has a general "award winning independant and foreign movies". Also Ironweed's subscription is cancel any time meaning they *are* selling the films individually but really hoping you'll stay for the ride. They say they won't offer back issue films but, I'm sure they'll have back issues for a while that they'll make deals for.
artifex
post #13  on March 10, 2006 - 2:22 PM PST  
I went to their website today, and they still have February's movies up. Anyone know if they shipped a March, or if they went under?

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