Lastly is the film, The Huckster Clowns, directed by Gerry Cook and produced by Charlie Schmidt and Peter Hundrichs. The Huckster Clowns is in that all too familiar position of being unable to sell, so the filmmakers decide to self-distribute. How do you sell a film when the internet won’t be a thing for another ten years? In the case of The Huckster Clowns, you get an RV, plaster it like a billboard, and travel across the nations selling your film one city at a time.
Ironically, The Heck With Hollywood is a low-budget independent film unto itself. It’s shot primarily on video with minimal camera setups, lighting, and audio. Director Block finds compelling quirkiness in each of the three stories making it a fascinating watch. Jennifer Fox got a lot of festival love but questions the actual marketing work done by the distributor. Did Personal Foul suffer because of the distributor he chose or was the problem his movie? There’s a lot of finger-pointing at the end, and it’s pretty juicy.
“…a business decision that individual films and filmmakers have to make based on their current economics…”
Is The Heck With Hollywood dated? The question has to be asked, and the answer is yes. With the internet, filmmakers don’t have to travel across the country in a decorated RV. Self-distribution and self-promotion tools are available to anyone, and building a fan base is easier than ever. What hasn’t changed is the role and price of a distributor. There’s certainly more of distributors now and whether you use one or not is a business decision that individual films and filmmakers have to make based on their current economics, but the distribution game is relatively still the same.
If you’re an independent filmmaker, The Heck With Hollywood is a good watch. Though dated, you may still find yourself relating to the film’s subjects. Even though it’s 30 years old, looking at what your peers did “back in my day,” uncover an idea to promote your film today.
"…a lot of finger-pointing at the end, and it's pretty juicy."