VOL. 132 | NO. 58 | Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Music+Arts Studio Expands Independent Film Distribution
By Andy Meek
Music+Arts Studio in Cooper-Young wants to work with more filmmakers. The studio, which began distributing films with Mike McCarthy’s “Cigarette Girl” in 2014 and has released two short films since then, is now expanding its digital distribution for independent filmmakers.
Music+Arts Studio owner Ward Archer, right, and studio manager Daniel Lynn scrub through film footage in the facility’s control room. The studio recently expanded its digital distribution for independent films.
(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)
The expansion is built around the online service Vimeo’s video-on-demand platform, which the studio believes is “a great home base” for releasing independent films because of the service’s customizable landing page and limited fees.
Music+Arts, which was launched about a decade ago, is now opening up submissions to all independent filmmakers to host their work on the studio’s page. The studio says it will use its resources to promote the films in a “no strings attached” deal without any fees.
It’s a no-term, non-exclusive service, and the filmmaker can ask to pull the film from the site at any time.
“There are just so many great short films,” said Music+Arts owner Ward Archer. “I just think there’s not a lot of opportunity for people to see shorts. They aren’t really marketed that well. To me, going forward in the world we’re living in, asking somebody to watch an hour-and-a-half-long feature film, it’s a big ask.”
Music+Arts’ efforts along these lines started with McCarthy’s “Cigarette Girl.” According to a description from the studio, it’s set in 2035 when smoking has been outlawed except in the dystopian, dangerous nicotine-stained Smoking Section.
A recording studio, of course, is like anything else, better off when it’s not standing still, looking for differentiation and something new to offer the people it works with. And if its more traditional work with musicians offers any indication, filmmakers who take advantage of the studio’s new film-based services will likely end up pleased.
Memphis band Southern Avenue – which was at Music+Arts in recent days for some recording work – borrows its name from a prominent street in the city and its sound from the city’s soul, blues and gospel traditions.
“We love Music+Arts,” said the band’s guitarist Ori Naftaly, who added that the band mixed and overdubbed its debut there. “Some of our best moments as a band was spent in that studio. The staff is always awesome and helpful. We feel at home there.”
Likewise, Chris Dunn – guitarist with local band Summer Avenue – feels the same way. He’s been recording with his band at Music+Arts since September 2016.
“The studio has really felt like home to us,” he said. “The environment is great. Focused, comfortable and fun. Kevin (Cubbins), Daniel (Lynn) and Ward have done so much to help us create. Couldn’t ask for a more inviting place.”