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Friday, February 19, 2010

Indie Film Uses Internet to Strike Gold

It's hard enough to get an audience. Imagine trying to gain a following as a filmmaker when your movie hasn't actually hit the big screens. Difficult? Certainly. Impossible? Not anymore. This winter, indie film "Strictly Sexual" became Hulu.com's most-watched movie of all time without ever having been in theaters.

How did they do it? The romantic comedy, which was written by Stevie Long and directed by Joel Viertel, doesn't boast any big-name actors. And Long said he'd never even heard of Hulu before his Facebook inbox started filling with messages from fans who said they'd watched the film and loved it. All he did was hand the movie over to a distribution company that then put it up on the site.

Despite the fact that it's never been theatrically released, "Strictly Sexual" is doing well for itself--the $100,000 budget movie has profited tenfold. For an indie film--or any film, really--this level of Internet success is unprecedented. So what happened? Was it the film's provocative title? Can the whole thing be chalked up to luck and good timing? Is it just a really, really good movie? In the end, it doesn't really matter. The story is one more example of how artists are not only contributing to the digital culture, but re-defining how business is done. Exciting!

Listen to the full story here.


--Mo Hickey

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