This memo seeks to summarize the distribution plan for the movie The Story of Computer Graphics and commit to writing the shared understandings of those involved.
The primary goal of the distribution is to educate a broad audience about the history and impact of computer graphics. The secondary goal is to use it as a tool to generate enthusiasm and interest in the ACM SIGGRAPH organization and its affiliated professional chapters. A tertiary goal is to secure recompense for the organization's expenses in the making of the film when reasonable.
The intent of the group is for the movie to have three forms of distribution:
1) via film festivals and events sponsored by professional chapters; 2)
via Television/Cable Broadcast; and, 3) via direct sale on video.
Each of these is discussed separately; the first form in the most detail.
Whether an event is showing the film via 35mm film or HDTV videotape, the event will be expected to cover shipping costs for the return of the print/tape, and any expenditures for the appropriate projection equipment. We generally do not intend for the film to be shown in low-fidelity formats (e.g., NTSC tape) during the festival/event run, although specific cases may warrant exceptions.
For a period of approximately one year (August 99-August 2000), the film will only be shown through this distribution channel, primarily because the value of the film in this channel drops significantly if it has been distributed via broadcast or videotape.
For a requested showing to be approved, four conditions must be met:
Inquiries that come in from outside should be directed to Carl Machover for questions. Joan Collins-Carey will send the group a standard set of questions regarding desired format, venue, and so forth. Once this information is available, the showing can be mailed out to the movie-producers group for evaluation. The movie-producers group is also responsible for checking if there is a professional chapter in the area of the showing via the online chapter directory. If there is a chapter, the chair of the chapter and the Director for Professional Chapters will be contacted via email for their evaluation as well.
If the showing originates within the group (a film festival that one of us wants to see the film submitted to, or a professional chapter event), it should be mailed to the group similarly.
Joan Collins Carey will keep the master schedules for the prints and HD tapes of the film. When a request is sent out, she will check the calendar and respond within a week as to whether a copy of the film/tape is available (and 'pencil in' the request under discussion).
After a week, the final decision can be made, with the Director for Communications responsible for verifying the final decision.
At that point, Joan Collins Carey will enter the showing onto the calendar for the appropriate print or tape, and will periodically ask Q Ltd. as appropriate to update the web page on siggraph.org to include the new showing. In the first year of the event run, we will contract Silas Entertainment to handle shipping and receiving of the tapes and prints; they will work from Joan's schedule of where the tapes/prints are supposed to be.
Event-related showings will not, of course, end with when other presentations
begin; they will continue as long as there is interest. However, as the
interest dies down after the film becomes available on video, we will most
likely move the handling of the tapes and prints to ACM.
We are receiving a proposal from Ablaze Entertainment to agent the film
to these channels worldwide (except Japan where we have pre-existing contacts).
The level of advance funding required for the agenting activity is very
low, and will be covered by an NSF grant. We hope to see broadcast
events scheduled in fall 2000.
Prerelease letterboxed VHS NTSC versions are available only for internal,
marketing and distribution uses.