Docs That Rock

iTunes now with “Music Movies”


Another short breather during holiday season – forgive me – so this week will be spent catching up on some worthy music doc news of the past few weeks.

This post..distribution! Don’t click away – this is worthy. If the medium is the message as McLuhan posited, then digital is going to mean changes to the form factor of all films, not just music docs. Most obvious thing will be length – why must all films run between 90 and 120 minutes if the majority won’t reach a movie theater? Less predictable will be funding for films…with no more indie theater or robust DVD market (music related DVD sales down 27 percent so far this year) but yet a potential bigger audience online, what will that do sales prices of films (in other words, what returns can a film’s investor can expect?) My thought that is that while the long term is hard to foresee, in the near-term, we’ll see a combo of very commercial projects (more Beatles) and a lot of single director/editor/producer labor of love flicks…and not so many in the middle.

To be a part of the distribution future, whether online films are a $1 or $10, Apple has now branded a new segment of its iTunes music store. Music Movies will include music documentaries, concert films, musicals and other music-related content, going up against SnagFilms, YouTube, Netflix (which has a big “on demand” section for subscribers, Amazon, etc.) Apple hasn’t yet figure out a great film player like the iPod (aside from its 27″ screens on new iMacs). But its coming. Music Movies is notable because like the music store, they’ll be a focus on exclusive content. The first two films to hit iTunes prior to their wide DVD or online release are the Kings of Leon Live at the O2 London (pictured above, out in November) and the just-released guitar hagiography It Might Get Loud (at iTunes now, goes wide December 22nd.) Director Davis Guggenheim told the Wall Street Journal:

I’m sort of suspicious of the fads, but when you can imagine that at ten o’clock on a Friday night, wanting to see a certain movie, specifically a rock and roll movie, you’re sort of following the instinct that you might have had in the ’70s in Greenwich Village, when you could walk out and go find films like this.

For now, both films are offered for download only (versus streaming) and for DVD prices ($12.99 and $14.99 respectively.) Other music doc titles for download at Apple include The Song Remains the Same, U2: Rattle and Hum, Buena Vista Social Club, Don’t Look Back, Neil Young: Heart of Gold and more.

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December 14, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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