The House of the Devil and V/H/S both came out on VOD before they hit theaters. How do you feel about that model? Especially with something like The House of the Devil that you shot on 16mm film.
I think it’s fine. I think at first, maybe five years ago, I was like, “I don’t know about this idea.” But V/H/S is my third movie with Magnolia Pictures; I’ve had a fantastic experience with them, and it’s their model to do this pre-release on VOD. And really, The House of the Devil did so well in that first month on VOD that there was no argument that I could make that this wasn’t a good idea. It was showing results as being a very great idea.
Well, it exposes your films to a much wider audience. People that would never get the chance to see an independent film like that can now watch it in their living room.
It’s the sad nature of independent film and the age where we’re at theatrically. I’m here in Savannah, and there’s not an independent movie theater here that’s showing V/H/S. If I wanted to see The House of the Devil, tough shit; I’d have to drive five hours to Atlanta. My other option is to pay ten bucks and watch it, hopefully, on my 50-inch plasma TV with my $200 Best Buy sound system. It’s become conceivable that for not too much money, you can have a decent home watching experience. The hardest thing about accepting VOD as a filmmaker is that you spend a year of your life meticulously crafting these technical aspects of a movie to be seen on a big screen, in the dark, with loud sounds. So when someone’s like, “Oh, I’m watched it on my phone…” The ulcers that I got over the last year trying to do this right and spending all the time and money to do, and then you watch it on your phone? It’s just really defeating. But paying to watch it on VOD supports the movie and supports the company releasing the movie, which makes it seem like it’s important. If the movies seems like a good investment, then more movies like that will get made, which is great for me. But if you live somewhere with an indie scene, then yeah, you should probably go see it in the theater because that’s how it was meant to be seen. That opportunity is getting smaller and smaller by the minute so you should embrace that.