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POP INTERVIEW: Gary Delfiner of Screen Media Ventures & Popcornflix

Gary Delfiner is the senior vice president of digital distribution for Screen Media Ventures, the largest indie distributor taking film to television platforms as well and its new web distribution service, Popcornflix. With an app available, you can now watch your favorite films anywhere!

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Gary Delfiner is the senior vice president of digital distribution for Screen Media Ventures, the largest indie distributor taking film to television platforms as well and creator of the fantastic web distribution service, Popcornflix. With an app available, you can now watch your favorite films anywhere!

gary delfiner

Gary Delfiner

Much is made in our culture of the filmmaking process. Your career is about what happens when that gets finished. What does it take to broker deals with companies and production studios on all levels?
The short answer is understanding the changing face of the distribution model. With the rapid deployment of digital distribution and the effect that digital has had on the way films are distributed, making ANY deal is contingent on a working knowledge of the various platforms and revenue deals. Distribution is now “King.” “Content is, obviously, important but the deals are dictated by the windows. The windows are rapidly changing.

What, in your definition, makes a film jump out at you enough to distribute it?
Is it well made and is there a market for that film on ANY or all of the old and new platforms?

In your experience, what does it require after taking on a film for it to succeed at festivals and in theaters? Do you also study things so they will succeed across all platforms, so say, a film may do well in theaters but you see it being perfection for HBO ratings?
Screen Media Ventures, LLC, focuses on the distribution aspect rather than film-producing. It is a leading global independent motion picture distribution company with a broad distribution network that includes US and international theatrical, home video, television, cable and new media distribution, with one of the largest independently owned motion picture libraries.

What about international moviegoers? Have you found that their taste differs any? What do they like and dislike?
I don’t really know about international movie goers but I do know about digital platform movie viewers. They are no different than the viewers in the USA. They want to watch what they want to watch when they want to watch it. That is the “mantra” of the new digital model.

How do you market a film for success overseas?
The concept of marketing is changing. With so many digital outlets, it is dependent on the device or platform. If it is a connected TV platform, for example, the marketing needs to be coordinated with the specific set top box or TV manufacturer through their content marketing team.

When you see something like ticket sale numbers are down – the stock market equivalent for film companies – how do you get people back in to watch more movies? How do you scramble to analyze what works and what doesn’t?
I am not an expert in this area as Popcornflix provides free streaming content.

With your side project, Popcornflix, why are you giving away movies for free when other companies like Netflix charge a monthly membership fee?
Popocornflix is key initiative for this company. It is among the fastest growing ad supported free movie streaming sites worldwide. The movies are “free” to the viewer but generate revenue through advertising revenue which is shared with the film owners. It is an entirely different model then Netflix.

The problem with home movie services of all sizes is often, they don’t carry every single movie someone may want to watch. You may find that only HBO holds the rights to it, and you need to subscribe to HBO on your home plan if you have Netflix, while Netflix doesn’t have what you’re looking for elsewhere but some things another service may not have. How are you trying to solve this issue with Popcornflix now and in the near future so everyone will have everything they might want to watch?
There is pragmatically no way that one platform can have all choices. That is probably the “good news.” For Popcornflix, our goal is to provide quality feature length films that will appeal to viewers and LOTS of it. We currently have approximately 600 films and add more each day and month. I think that viewers, including myself, will have a myriad of platforms from which they get the majority of their movies. It is no different than my watching Downton Abbey on PBS and Madmen on AMC. I think choice is a good thing.

What are you working on right now in terms of deals? What can people expect from your companies this year?
In the near future, viewers will see Popcornflix available on their Android phones and tablets, and on more connected TV platforms. In addition, we just launched Frightpix which is all Horror films. That is another trend that we are looking at developing. More niche channels which will have different films than Popcornflix.

Celebrities

Lee Daniels Speaks Out On The ‘Pain, Anger, Sadness And Frustration’ Surrounding The Jussie Smollett Scandal

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Although never mentioned by name, it’s clear that Empire creator, Lee Daniels, is still processing “the freaking roller coaster” Jussie Smollett has put him through.

Lee Daniels took to Instagram on Wednesday night to speak out about the Jussie Smollett scandal. The caption to the video states that Lee was “in [his] feelings last week,” alluding to the further developments surrounding the case. In the video, after brushing his teeth, Lee takes a moment to address the fact that Jussie is still appearing in new episodes of the hit show because they were filmed prior to “the incident.” In the wake of the allegations, the show has released a statement confirming the fact that Jussie has been written out of the last two episodes of the season. Lee’s pain and frustration stems from something deeper than character arcs as he told his followers “this is not what the show was made for. This show was made to bring America together to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets.”

On January 29th, Jussie made claims that he was the victim to a racially-motivated attack. After an extensive investigation, Chicago police believe that the alleged attack was fake. Since being charged, Jussie has pleaded not guilty on 16 felony counts for allegedly making false statements to police. Jussie also denies claims that he faked the ordeal due to his dissatisfaction with his salary. No word on whether Jussie will return to Empire next season as of yet.

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LISTEN: Lizzo And Missy Elliott’s ‘Tempo’ Serves Bass By The Pound

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Lizzo must have taken a page right out of Missy Elliott’s book because she definitely put her thang down, flipped it and reversed it with this new single!

One of music’s brightest, new stars has joined forces with a certified music legend to create a hot new single that will have everyone body-rollin’ at the club. Yes, Lizzo has been blowing up after the release of her two consecutive hits “Juice” and “Cuz I Love You,” and it seems she has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. The third single off of her upcoming album, Cuz I Love You, is entitled “Tempo” and features the one and only Missy Elliot.  Lizzo told Travis Mills on Apple Music Beats I that she first heard Missy’s verse via text message.

“She sent me a memoji of herself singing her verse, thats how I got the verse. I got a memoji of Missy like smiling and then she just started rapping, and I was like, ‘OMG what the hell’ so I had to hook it up to my speaker system. But it wasn’t even the actual track, it was like her going along in her studio.”

So Lizzo has Missy Elliott’s phone number?!? Jealous. The new single’s heavy bass will definitely make you want to move those hips. Crank up the volume…unless you’re in an office or library or something because the song is kinda NSFW…and click below to hear “Tempo”

Cuz I Love You drops on April 19th.

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Entertainment

The ‘Toy Story 4’ Trailer Just Dropped And It’s Surprisingly Deep

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The first Toy Story was all “You. Are. A. Toy!” But Toy Story 4  is like “Am I though?”

The first, full trailer for the highly anticipated sequel just dropped and of course it looks amazing. When we last saw Woody, Buzz and the gang, they had found a new home with Bonnie, the little girl who lived next door to their original owner, Andy. We thought the franchise was done. The torch had officially been passed. What more story was left for these toys? Well, it seems like the geniuses over at Disney/Pixar are taking these toys to infinity and beyond.

In the upcoming sequel, Bonnie has made a toy out of a spork and that toy becomes the most important to her. The spork, known as Forky, has an existential crisis and doesn’t know why he is alive. Same spork, same. As he runs away he tells Woody and the gang that he is “not a toy. [He] was made for soup, salad, maybe chili and then the trash.”  Of course Woody needs to bring Forky back to Bonnie because he can’t bare to see her sad so he and Buzz go on a journey to find Forky and that’s when the plot thickens! Woody finds his old flame, Bo Peep, inside of an antiques shop and reconnects with her. But this Bo ain’t the same no mo. She is fierce! She turned her hoop skirt into a cape and is kicking toy booty! Bo Peep has found happiness living at an amusement park which makes Woody wonder if he could be happy with “the lost toy life.”

Will Woody go back to Bonnie? Will Bo go back to Woody? Will Forky ever be happy as a toy? Does true happiness even exist?! I didn’t think this animated film would raise such weighted questions!

The highly anticipated film hits theaters on June 21st and I am sure it will be a blockbuster hit! Take a look at the full trailer below!

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