A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Forget about Black Friday, Come to the Star Co-op and have a bright Saturday and Sunday!

Are you looking for local? It's at the STAR Co-op.

The Sturbridge Area Cooperative (STAR Co-op) will have its monthly Farmer/Artisan Market Event featuring local produce, crafts and art, baked goods, and all kinds of cool things going on locally at the Sturbridge Marketplace at the Falls, 559 Main Street, First Floor.

This month it will be held for two days instead of one. So come down on Saturday the 28th and Sunday, the 29th.

There will be things you can't get at the big box stores. All kinds of arts and crafts and food.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sturbridge Times Magazine, Late Shameless Self Promotion-November Edition

Again, we are late bringing out our monthly Shameless Self Promotion posting. Fortunately the web problem is solved and one can access the magazine online by clicking the link to the right.

For years, I've seen the sign Food Books from Route 84 and finally went there. It is a fun place. I write about it on page 4.

Getting away from the subject of books, but staying with food is a piece about Giovanello's/Rom's takeout. Some family members went with me for a nice lunch. I loved Rom's, but I am going to like Dave Roscioli's new place even more.

The Rimscha Concert Series is back and its first evening was wonderful. Bass Gregory Sheppard was stalwart. Find out about the series on page 13.

There are ghosts in Sturbridge. They will do you no harm, but if you know the story, you will be haunted. See page 14.

My column is on page 20. There were some women I afflicted as a child yet to whom I owe a lot.

There are a lot of other fine articles in the issue. So if you have not received a copy in the mail, click to the right for the online version. If you like the print version, it is available all over. Click on the graphic below to find out where.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Financing independent film-Is Pirate My Film a scam, a dead end or does it work?

I originally put this up on Examiner.com. Filmmakers in this area of Massachusetts are always struggling to find funds. Here is another scheme.

If Indie filmmaking is lush in its ability to lure capital investment, It’s a secret to me. So when I hear of a novel method of fundraising, three questions arise. Is it a scam? Is it a dead end? Does it work? Did you notice the subtle order of the questions. My natural assumption is that of Finley Peter Dunne, “Trust your fellow man, but always cut the cards.”

Pirate My Film is the creation of Max Keiser, a man who opines on matters of economics and finance at maxkeiser.com. I may be wrong, but I would characterize his attitude as “the world is going to hell in a hand basket and boy are there a lot of people to blame.” To be honest, if I made a study of it, it is my guess that I would find it hard to gainsay your man.

So what is the big idea? Well, I’ll let the site speak for itself,

Pirate Myfilm - The Film Futures Market for Pirates

Some film makers want to have copies of their films pirated by millions. Some want to sell copies. In either case, producers can raise money for their projects on Pirate Myfilm by selling future copies today. When enough future copies have been reserved to fund a project a group-debit occurs and the funds are made available to the producer.

Producers also have the option of offering members who reserve future copies a piece of ad or retail sales. In addition to getting a copy of the film you might also get some money back. For example, if a producer has opted to share ad revenues of future pirated copies or a percentage of future retailed copies of the next "Saw" or "The Blair Witch Project" the producer and future copy buyers like yourself could make a bewitching pot of gold.

Keep in mind, nobody is debited until 100% of the future copies needed to fund the project have been reserved and you can cancel at any time. And keep checking your Pirate Myfilm account because producers can change any aspect of their projects - including the percentage of future revenue splits on ads and retailed copies - up until the group-debit.

It sounds logical but so does Zeno’s Arrow. Does it work? Well, I browsed through the projects listed. Keep in mind, this is beta, and membership is restricted, but most did not have any contributors yet. Some are substantially funded. For example, Max Keiser’s project Where’s Kenny Boy? is 85% funded. It is for a short documentary that posits Ken “Enron “ Lay is alive in Paraguay. I don’t know how true or plausible it is, but if you couldn’t make a Dan Brown type show on Kenron you are slow.

Eden 2015 which is Post Appocallyptic(sic). One Man's destiny to defeat evil forever, and Rein in the everlasting Kingdom of God. Paradise on Earth, is 0% funded.

Though one would say Pirate My Film has some potential, and an exchange market is a good idea, it is not enough. Users will have to do a lot of marketing on their own to take advantage of the efficiencies this model offers.

I don’t feel qualified to judge Pirate My Film. I hope some of the indie filmmakers can figure out if this is a viable method of movie financing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Yankee Spirits' Sturbridge Fall Wine Festival

This guy didn't look too happy even though his table had a nice malbec a pleasant montepulciano on offer

Yesterday, I attended the Yankee Spirits Fall Wine Festival at their store in Sturbridge. This was a good time. There were 200 wines to sample of which, due to taste and the discretion that comes with age, I only sampled a few.

I first experienced this event about ten years ago. I was just going into the store for a small purchase when I was asked if I was there for the wine tasting. In one of the few great decisions of my life, I said yes. It is a very good time and a chance to buy at a discount. I like it so much, I covered it for the Sturbridge Times Magazine. Click here and go to the link at the lower left for September 2007.

The most interesting comment was from a women who has a place in New Hampshire and said that the Yankee Spirits' pricing is better than the state liquor stores in the Granite State. The recession is hitting Massachusetts hard and Yankee, like most such establishments was not helped by the tax hike. Still, it shows what a company can do even in a less than optimum time. Being at the confluence of the Pike and Route 84 does not hurt. We have a natural advantage here with a great location.