By Margaret A. McGurk
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Now that Jim Amatulli's $1.6 million gamble - a locally produced drama called Artworks - has found a commercial home, he is thinking about his next stab at risky business.
Port Chester, N.Y., distributor Panorama Entertainment has signed a deal to book the movie into a limited number of theaters, then most likely find a cable outlet for it. The 18-year-old firm handles small-scale independent films, including The Bread, My Sweet and Diamond Men.
"The plan is to do a limited theatrical release. We will have a premiere here in Cincinnati, probably in the fall," Amatulli said.
Overseas distribution will be overseen by Artist View Entertainment, a California firm that also handled The Bread, My Sweet.
Amatulli said he picked the firms over some competitors, because "I judge this more on personality and how they do business and how they're willing to talk about the things that are important."
In addition, both agreed to guarantee to actually book the film in a certain number of theaters. "So if they don't perform, I can get my film back." On the plus side, he said, "We don't have to make much for my investors to get their money back and make profits."
A veteran commercial and video producer, Amatulli said his experience with the local filmmaking community convinced him more can be done.
"We're going to make a market here in Cincinnati. The idea is to make more small movies, maybe two a year. This city couldn't handle more than that," he said.
Amatulli is drafting plans for an investment pool to finance new movies with a fund that could also attract co-production money from studios and negotiate advance rights sales to foreign markets, for example.
The enterprise amounts to a roll of the dice, he said.
"It's easy to write down 'I'm going to raise $10 million.' Getting it is something else. ... There are people out there who have the money to put into this. Do I know who they are? No."
Still, he said, he believes the investors will come through. "What other business - legal business - can generate the kind of profits in two years that a film can make? It's high risk, high reward."
TRISTATE ROLLER COASTER TOUR
Roller coaster craze a never-ending cycle
The tour: 46 coasters, 3 states, 6 days
RATE AND REVIEW THE 46 COASTERS
Map & information about the coaster parks
TEMPO COVER STORIES
Readers share memories of flight
More readers' memories, Take 2 |
Take 3 |
Take 4 |
Dayton flight celebration schedule
Independence Day events
Get to It: A guide to help make your day
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Mosaics decorate park pavilion
Dear music industry, low quality = low demand
A&E Top 10 lists
The Early Word
Locally produced movie gets outlet
Ionnides leads symphony through pleasing mix
Allman Brothers rite of summer worth keeping
Beyonce releases first solo disc
'CBS News' hits ratings low
CBS adds twist to 'Big Brother'
Children's author McCloskey dies