As you all probably know, a company called E.D. Distribution, based in Paris, has been my major distributor in France and French-speaking territories since 1999 or so - they've released all of my feature films throughout France to great success -
In New York, hardly anyone knows me, however when I walk down the street in Paris, everyone says, "Bonjour Monsieur Plympton!"
E.D. Distribution is very excited about the potential success for our (Jim Lujan and me) new feature film "Revengeance". However, they decided to change the title to something more French, "La Vengeresse".
So, two weeks ago I flew over to Paris to do a bunch of interviews and appearances at theaters. It was a new kind of strategy - because in the past, I'd meet with the press a few weeks before the premiere. But this time, they decided to do the press interviews as the film was being released.
There were two problems with the release - first, the weather was spectacularly gorgeous - who wants to go to a cinema when it's a great day to sit in a café and talk about Jean-Paul Sartre? And secondly, since the interviews and reviews appeared just as the film was being released, the early turnout for the film was a bit disappointing. However, at each appearance I noticed the crowds got a little larger and more enthusiastic. In fact, at the last few shows there were lines around the block and full houses with rapturous applause. So apparently E.D.'s release strategy was working. Vive la France!
Near the end of the trip, I also stopped at the Pivaut school in Nantes, France to give a Master Class, where I screened my shorts and talked to the students about animation and how I manage to survive as an independent filmmaker. The students were great, they asked a lot of good questions and I had a fun time!
Why is it that the French appreciate my humor, art and storytelling so much, while in the U.S., which represents a much larger audience it's like pulling teeth for me to get any kind of decent distribution? Does anybody have an answer?