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Old 02-16-2015, 03:13 PM   #1154
thirdwindowfilms thirdwindowfilms is offline
Third Window Films
Aug 2012

Originally Posted by Ghostdini View Post
If we look at their back catalogue, Third Window have been dealing almost exclusively with popular talent. Sion Sono, Tetsuya Nakashima, Miike, Tsukamoto - because it's the smart move and stands a better chance of regaining the money quicker than, say, Pluto will. Because nobody has heard of Shin Su-won and Pluto outside of the Festival circuit. Or fans of World cinema that pay attention to said festivals.

I'm happy that New Directors from Japan is out, and it was a wise decision to cap the pressing at 1,000. I think that's the wise move going forward on most releases to be honest, but again it depends on the price tag and contract at point of acquisition. Su-jin Lee’s film, Han Gong-Ju, will be a good indicator of interest in the more obscure side of Korean cinema in April, did well on the festival circuit but she’s a relative unknown – even in Korea.

Picking up a title by the likes of Lee Jung-beom, Jang Joon-hwan, Na Hong-jin or Lee Chang-dong may be more costly, but it's because they come with brand recognition and a fan base. I mean, most people know of films like A Man From Nowhere, The Chaser and Poetry because they were globally successful and you could find A Man From Nowhere and The Chaser in supermarkets because a bigger label took the punt, which can now be cashed-in by other labels - as Monster Pictures did with The Yellow Sea.
But I agree, it’s always a risk with world cinema. Especially in a market place a poor as the one in the UK. When a film like Snowpiecer hasn’t seen the light of day here, you know something is seriously wrong.

The Weight is truly unique, it’s a niche film to say the least but if you’re a fan of the darker side of cinema then you’ll have a finer appreciation of it. It deals with some pretty ‘weighty’ topics . Rough Play is much glossier, and from a script by Ki-duk Kim you’ll know what to expect. It gets lost in its own seriousness at times and is filled with unlikeable characters. It’s a scathing attack on the Korean film industry through Kim’s eyes when all’s said and done. Great performance from pop idol Lee Joon also.
Actually, to be fair many of those directors you have mentioned we were the first to release their titles in the West and at the time they were not bankable names and their film rights were incredibly cheap. For Sion Sono we paid almost nothing for Love Exposure and titles like Himizu and Cold Fish we were the first to release them so didn't pay very much. In fact we were actually the first in the world, and that includes Japan, to release Cold Fish on home video...

Same goes for Tetsuya Nakashima. We were the first to release both Memories of Matsuko and Confessions in the West and therefore picked them up before their prices rose. In fact, our sleeve designs for Confessions, Himizu and Love Exposure were used by nearly all other territories for their releases, with Confessions used in all Western releases (Spain, Italy, Germany, etc) and Himizu and Love Exposure not just used in Western territories, but even the Japanese video releases!!

Nowadays we cannot afford to release the latest films from directors like Sion Sono and Tetsuya Nakashima, but when we first started releasing them we picked them up for very cheap as they were not as well known in the West and therefore we were actually the ones who took risks on them before other distribution companies came in and escalated the prices to a point where we could no longer compete...

In fact it can be much harder with the bigger titles, as usually these are titles not just with higher price tags, but with releases in other territories with english subtitles, so many people on here will go to sites like Yesasia and buy the Korean or Hong Kong releases before we have the chance to release overseas, and it's not easy to convince a sales agent that this is the case...

The titles which do best for us are usually unknown ones as despite their unknown title which assumes there's a larger risk, the prices on them can usually be that 10 can be bought for the price of a Miike film or a big Korean blockbuster like FRIEND 2. Titles like SHADY and GREATFUL DEAD are perfect examples of quality films that have no other releases in the world, plus cost next to nothing to acquire so the risk is infinitely less. Most of our biggest sellers have been titles or thought of as hard-sell genres such as 'Fine, Totally Fine', 'Funuke: Show Some Love You Losers', 'Turtles are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers', 'Adrift in Tokyo', 'Fish Story', 'Sawako Decides', yet titles like LESSON OF EVIL which you'd imagine would have all the necessary box-office potential don't make money as they're much more expensive to license and have already found their audience due to releases overseas...
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Thanks given by:
darry (02-17-2015), Ghostdini (02-19-2015), Le Grande Blu (02-16-2015), ravenus (03-10-2015), Renophaston (02-28-2015), Sinthetic (02-16-2015)