Indie Filmmaker Posts Movie On Youtube -- Free With Infomercial
Filmmaker J. Neil Schulman may have hit on a way to allow independent films to be viewed on the Internet free while generating revenue at the same time. Schulman has adapted a classic broadcast sales tool, per-inquiry (PI) advertising, to the web, posting his 2008 feature Lady Magdalene's , starring Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura of Star Trek fame), on YouTube. The movie is preceded by a brief infomercial for Life Enhancement, which markets health food supplements. Schulman will receive a percentage of each sale that results from the infomercial (which presumably cannot be bypassed). He himself produced the ad, which features one of the actors in Lady Magdalene's interviewing the CEO of Life Enhancement about its products. In a statement, Schulman said, "I believe movie watchers are already used to seeing commercial messages before a movie starts on TV and even in movie theaters. I also think a well-done and entertaining infomercial is much more likely to produce results than traditional web banner advertising." If the advertising method proves to be successful, it could provide independent filmmakers with an effective method to prevail over pirate video sites, whose principal attraction is that they're free.