So you've taken advantage of inexpensive digital video cameras and desktop editing software. You've got a nifty film, filled with once-unattainable production effects, all produced as cheaply and quickly as promised by the avatars of the information age. Now, it's time to get your film to an audience. What next? Unfortunately, the system of theatrical distribution is still stuck in the rut of the last century, but with the rapid expansion of broadband Internet, filmmakers are now choosing to distribute their films online.
On Feb. 4, Carrboro's Banzai Entertainment will officially release Fight Circle, a feature-length Tarheel martial arts movie. Although one might hesitate over the words "Tarheel martial arts movie," Donald Whittier, the film's writer and director, is an expert tae kwan do practitioner who operates a training studio in Carrboro. Inspired by a short film he saw by Sam Hargrave, Whittier decided to write a feature starring the same actress, Anna Henke--who holds a third-degree black belt. With of budget of less than $20,000, production took place over the course of a month last June, in locations within 40 miles of Chapel Hill.
Visitors to the film's website will be able to view a trailer. To view the entire film, viewers must pay $7, which will grant them 25 "tickets." Each ticket will permit viewers to watch one of Fight Circle's nine chapters, which means the film can be watched nearly three times for less than the cost of a ticket at the multiplex. The film is designed to be viewed episodically since it will be streamed, as opposed to being sold as a download.
Fight Circle (www.fightcircle.com) will be uploaded to the Internet on Feb. 4, at exactly 2:04 p.m.