Will digital distribution be the savior of independent film?

By almost any measure, Seth Caplan is a thriving indie producer. His feature debut, the wistful romance "In Search of a Midnight Kiss," was released last year by IFC and won an Independent Spirit Award. Caplan has since moved on to producing "The 2 Bobs," a comedy directed by longtime "Smallville" writer Tim McCanlies.

Yet for all his success, Caplan has made money on only one project: "Flatland: The Movie," a playful, 30-minute animated featurette based on Edwin Abbot's cult novella about math and dimensions. The film has never been to a film festival and wouldn't know a movie theater if one fell on its (2-D) head.

Instead, the producer and his partners Jeffrey Travis and Dano Johnson have sold "Flatland" mainly via Web streams and, to a lesser extent, on DVD, marketing it not with splashy print or television spots but with well-placed Google Ad Sense plugs. Since debuting online in fall 2006, Caplan says it has generated twice the profit of "Kiss" despite grossing a quarter of the revenue.


Film Business, Filmmaking, Internet TV

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