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Filmmaker-turned-author Jon Reiss has just released his new book, Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distributing and Marketing in the Digital Era, which aims to put the current independent film distribution crisis in better perspective. Having been through the wringer with his own documentary Bomb It, Reiss has done a lot of work to study the situation from many different angles and come up with ways for filmmakers to think creatively and proactively about getting their work seen. I was just in Cophenhagen at CPH:DOX, where Reiss presented his latest 10-point manifesto (read that speech over at indieWIRE).

Tonight—Tuesday, November 17, 2009—at 6pm at the IFC Center, Reiss will be in attendance for the inaugural installment of the Filmmaker Magazine-hosted series “A New World: A User’s Guide For Filmmakers And Audiences,” where he will speak about these issues and have copies of the book for sale. For specific details, go here.

For those of you not in NYC, don’t worry. You can buy Think Outside the Box Office right now at the book’s official website, which includes many bonus gifts if you buy it there. I look forward to reading it myself, because my natural instincts are to run flailing from anything involving self-promotion, outreach, marketing, and distribution. But to shun those concepts these days isn’t just silly. It’s suicidal. The main revelation I had while listening to Reiss talk in Copenhagen is that these post-film duties, which have always felt like brutal chores to someone like myself, should in fact be considered part of the fun, as creative a task as writing the screenplay itself. It will be fascinating to look back on 2009 in five or so years to see what happens. For now, all we’ve got is our instincts and Reiss’ book to help guide us along.

— Michael Tully

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Michael Tully is an award-winning writer/director whose films have garnered widespread critical acclaim, his projects having premiered at some of the most renowned film festivals across the globe. He is also the former (and founding) editor of this site. In 2006, Michael's first feature, COCAINE ANGEL, chronicling a tragic week in the life of a young drug addict, world premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film immediately solidified the director as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a reputation that was reinforced a year later when his follow-up feature, SILVER JEW, a documentary capturing the late David Berman's rare musical performances in Tel Aviv, world-premiered at SXSW and landed distribution with cult indie-music label Drag City. In 2011, Michael wrote, directed, and starred in his third feature, SEPTIEN, which debuted at the 27th annual Sundance Film Festival before being acquired by IFC Films' Sundance Selects banner. A few years later, in 2014, Michael returned to Sundance with the world premiere of his fourth feature, PING PONG SUMMER, an ‘80s set coming-of-age tale that was quickly picked up for theatrical distribution by Gravitas Ventures. In 2018, Michael wrote and directed the dread-inducing genre film DON'T LEAVE HOME, which has been described as "Get Out with Catholic guilt in the Irish countryside" (IndieWire). The film premiered at SXSW and was subsequently acquired by Cranked Up Films and Shudder.

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