Distribution Platforms and How to Get There, a panel discussion on the good, the bad, and the ugly of distribution platforms and getting projects to distribution, with guests Elisabeth Haviland James, Evan Kidd, and Thomas Varnum; moderated by Eric Johnson
Saturday, May 12, 2–3 p.m.
Demonstration Gallery (lobby level). Bring your questions!
Elisabeth Haviland James is a producer, director, and film editor based in Durham, headquarters of her own company, Thornapple Films. Her credits include Overland (2018; writer, director), about falconers around the world and the stories that connect us across borders; Althea (2014; producer, editor), a feature documentary about pioneering tennis icon Althea Gibson that served as season opener for the American Masters series (PBS) in 2015; In So Many Words (2013; writer, director, editor, producer); The Loving Story (2011; producer, editor), which was short-listed for an Academy Award, won a Peabody Award and an Emmy, and was nominated for two additional Emmys; The Lord God Bird (2007; coproducer); and Brothers in Arms (2003; director of photography, editor). Elisabeth is a graduate of the MFA Documentary Film and Video program at Stanford University, where she produced and directed four award-winning short documentaries, and she earned a bachelor’s with honors from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She has since taught documentary filmmaking at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and is a former board member of the Southern Documentary Fund. Elisabeth is married to frequent collaborator, artist, and fellow filmmaker Revere La Noue.
Photo courtesy Elisabeth Haviland James
Evan Kidd fell in love with film at an early age and eventually combined that love with a passion for storytelling that has resulted in an award-winning career. He graduated from East Carolina University in 2014 after earning a degree with honors in Cinematic Arts and Media Production. Still in college, he directed Bad Tip (2013) and Spazz Out! (2014), a 35-minute documentary on Greenville’s annual Spazz Fest musical festival, as well as Displacement Welcomed (2014). After graduation, Kidd wrote and directed the narrative feature Son of Clowns (2016), which garnered multiple awards on the film festival circuit and distribution on Amazon’s Prime Video service. In 2017 Evan wrote, directed, and produced five episodes of Home Remedy, a television series that was distributed through Prime Video. Last year he was awarded a documentary research grant to shed light on the personal and environmental impacts of historic flooding in Baton Rouge during 2016; the result was his short documentary Flooded with You (2017). Evan has also directed a number of music videos in the last few years. From those lively, fast-paced ventures to documentary to narrative and corporate films, Evan’s understanding of all genres gives his work a diverse and impressive understanding of the medium.
Thomas Varnum is an entertainment and intellectual property attorney with the firm of Brooks Pierce in Wilmington. An avid proponent of the North Carolina film industry, he represents individuals and companies in entertainment projects that range from film and television to online videos to other media, helping convey creative ideas safely from inception to the screen. Thomas regularly works with independent producers, directors, and filmmakers—counseling them through pre-production, production, post-production, and distributionas well as writers, assisting with legalities related to contract negotiations and copyright and fair use issues. Thomas serves as an adjunct professor of entertainment law at Elon University School of Law and sits on the board for Cucalorus Film Festival, one of the Southeast’s largest independent film festivals.
Photography by Steve Exum, exumphoto.com
Eric Johnson hopes to use the mediums of film, television, and video to educate and inspire and to address some of our world’s most challenging issues. After an early interest in architecture tried to keep him from pursuing music, his true passion, Eric started his own business. Johnsound Productions produced albums for up-and-coming recording artists and involved him in composing, writing, and recording jingles. He later branched into music for advertising, soundtracks for non-broadcast corporate videos, and related projects for clients such as IBM, Caterpillar, Golden Corral, Nortel, McDonald’s, and Hardee’s. In January 2003, Eric joined Trailblazer Studios, where he used his experience and skills to guide the sound department from a small shop with local focus to a major player in the music and sound industry on a national level. Trailblazer has now worked on projects that resulted in productions screened at a number of festivals, including Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and the American Black Film Festival and in programs that have aired on PBS, HBO, the Discovery Channel, Amazon, Netflix, and HGTV and DIY Network, among others. Eric is a past-president of the Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS) and has served on the board of the Southern Documentary Fund and the Triangle Advisory Board of Full Frame.
For a complete list of other events and meet-and-greet opportunities,
visit our main Longleaf 2018 Registration and Ticket Information page.
Thank you for your support!