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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.

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Can’t Go Out? Here’s Six Ways You Can See The World Right From Your Very Own Home

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Turns out there are plenty of ways to beat the boredom blues!

Countries around the world are being asked to practice social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. Most businesses, attractions, theaters and museums have been closed down to help prevent the spread of the virus. Just last night here in the U.S., it was announced that the self-quarantine guidelines are to remain in place until April 30th of this year. Another month at home doesn’t have to mean another month of carb-loading and channel flipping though! There are actually quite a few ways to keep your brain stimulated during these unprecedented, sedentary times. Below you will find six ways to experience the world from your very own house…and don’t worry, I wouldn’t put anything on this list that would require changing out of your comfy sweats.

Virtually experience the happiest place on Earth.

Safe to say we can all use a little happiness during these troubling times so why not turn to the home of happiness itself, DisneyWorld. YouTube channel, Virtual Disney World, offers dozens of 360 degree videos that allow you to virtually experience DisneyWorld attractions, shows, hotels, monorails, trains, boats, park areas and more. These videos are fully immersive meaning you simply pan your VR-headset, phone or tablet in any direction to experience all of the excitement happening around you. Now, you can relive the magic you’ve loved your whole life anytime from anywhere! *Giant turkey leg smell not included….unless you’re actually cooking turkey legs while watching these videos, in which case I applaud your commitment.

Tour a national park on Google Earth.

Take a hike…well sort of. Hiking is a fun activity that can be done alone or with very few others, remember we are in socially distant times, but making your way to a trail might be a challenge these days. Public transportation schedules have been drastically altered and even if they weren’t, a crowded train or a bus just sounds like the breeding ground for some heinous germs right now. You could try to carpool but again…germs! You can avoid any viral risk by simply checking out one of the 30+ virtual hikes on Google Earth. Last year, Google Earth released virtual tours of some of the most beautiful parks in the country. Grand Canyon National Park, Redwood National Park, Everglades National Park and so many others are featured in this exciting experience. On your “hike” you will see some of the most breathtaking trails and views these parks have to offer. Best part? You don’t need bug spray.

Google Earth

Check out some of NYC’s finest street art.

It’s hard to feel particularly cultured when you’re wiping the crumbs from your second lunch off your overly worn pajamas. With that being said, we should not let our love for the arts fade like our flannels have. Instead, check out some of New York’s coolest street art via Google Arts and Culture. Their online experience 9 Amazing Street Art Murals In New York provides a fully immersive, virtual tour of some amazing art. In this tour you will see stunning artwork from prolific artists such as Eduardo Kobra, Keith Haring, Banksy and more. No need for a MetroCard to see these murals which is great because now you can put that $2.75 towards your next Seamless order.

Sing along while streaming your favorite Broadway shows.

Broadway has taught us all how defy gravity but now it’s helping us defy boredom too! Theater has been the perfect vehicle for escapism since it’s inception and now you can escape without even leaving your home! BroadwayHD is a streaming service that began broadcasting beloved Broadway shows back in 2015. With over 300 shows in their catalog, you can belt along to all of your favorite shows without having to worry about being escorted out of a theater. The platform is currently offering a free 7-day trial along with a very affordable $8.99/month plan. A one-year subscription is still cheaper than tickets to just one broadway show!

BroadwayHD

Virtually wander through some of the most impressive museums.

Staring at the same four walls of your apartment for weeks on end definitely won’t keep your mind stimulated, trust me I know. Combat the brain laze by learning about some of the world’s most fascinating arts and histories. Many of the world’s finest museums are offering virtual tours that provide users with a fully immersive experience. Never made it to that dream trip to Paris? Tour the Lourve from your couch! Embarrassed by how out of breath you were when you finally climbed all of those stairs getting into The Met? Skip the stairs and see it all online! Never perfected that English accent? That’s ok, no one will hear you on this virtual tour of The National Gallery in London! There are dozens of museums providing these tours and you can find most of them through a quick internet search. I listed a few below because this is the most brain stimulation I plan on having today.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Musei Vaticani, Vatican City

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Natural History Museum, London

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Go to a house party.

NOT LITERALLY!!! We all know with the social distancing guidelines the last thing we should do is host a house party. To remedy our social urges is the new digital platform called HouseParty, which allows users to throw virtual parties with their friends. Like on many other live-streaming apps, HouseParty allows you and your friends to simultaneously FaceTime. What makes this app special, however, is its gaming feature. With HouseParty you and your friends can choose from a variety of party games to play all while maintaining a safe distance. The app is available for iOS, Android, macOS, and Chrome and is truly putting a new twist on classic pajama parties.

HouseParty Icon

Be sure to try something new today otherwise you might just go crazy. We are living in unprecedented times so we might as well try some unprecedented ways of entertaining ourselves. Stay safe out there and stay socially distant…only physically of course!

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Foodies Rejoice! You Can Build Your Breakfast With This New Lego Waffle Maker

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Kickstarter

Finally an excuse to play with your food.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but maybe it can be the most fun too? Well there is a new kitchen gadget in the works that would definitely bring creativity to your morning routine. The Building Brick Waffle Maker turns ordinary waffle batter into interlocking building blocks so you can construct your own carb castle. The waffle maker makes 14 bricks at a time so there are plenty of pieces to play with. The company behind the maker also produces construction plates that make for the perfect base for your waffle creation.

Kickstarter

If you’re hankering for a waffle brick you might have to wait just a little bit longer sadly. The maker launched on Kickstarter with a goal of raising $7,500. At the time of writing this, the Kickstarter is up to a whopping $77,000! That’s a lot of legos! According to the site, pledging $50 will get you one waffle maker, $75 will get you one waffle maker and two construction plates, $95 will get you two waffle makers, and $100 will get you one waffle maker and four construction plates – all of which will be delivered in August 2020.

Maybe it’s time to Leggo the Eggo and start making waffle creations at home!

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VIDEO: “Quarantine With Me” Is The Perfect Song For Social Distancing

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“You can put your hand in mine…once you washed it for the recommended 20 seconds time” is just the first line of this comically informative, coronavirus-themed ballad.

They say “necessity is the mother of invention.” Well, you may not have known you needed a coronavirus-themed ballad but once you hear it, your quarantine will never be the same.  David Sikabwe, a 22-year-old student at UT Austin, took to Twitter to give a little corona-concert with a charming song he wrote entitled “Quarantine With Me.” The song is oddly beautiful while still chock filled with good information about staying healthy during the global pandemic.

When speaking with Mashable, Sikabwe said the reasoning behind writing the song was sort of random:

“The song was really just a random idea I had. There are a lot of songs written about staying home with someone you care about like ‘Nothing’ by Bruno Mars an ‘Do You Wanna Do Nothing with Me’ by Lawrence. I figured that sentiment had a special significance with the looming specter of this disease.”

Hope this song helps bring some levity to your quarantine. Be sure to share with friends…FROM A SAFE DISTANCE!

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