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An Interview with Filmmaker Mike Binder (Part 2 of 2)

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Comedy auteur Mike Binder discusses his body of work and his 2001 film The Search for John Gissing, available for the first time on DVD through The FreeBird. Read part one of this interview.

With John Gissing, you are doing the self-distribution thing. How does that work for you? You are on the Internet. I saw an ad on MySpace. You are probably doing this out of necessity because you have the product sitting around.

What it is is fans of Alan Rickman or just the film itself will email and tell me they want it out there. At the same time, I wanted to see what it’s like to distribute my own movie through a website. Just press the DVD and ship it out when the orders came in, with the idea that one day when the TVs are all connected to the Internet, that maybe I can make a movie just for that or make my own movie, distribute it in theatres and then sell it on home video. Why not just shove a little wire through the ground. I want a pipeline one day, but let’s do it a little bit at a time and build a business.

So you’re just trying to learn about it right now.

Yeah. Word of mouth. This is the ultimate example of the "long tail."

How many people are recognizing what you are doing? You’ve just come off two critically acclaimed films in The Upside of Anger and then Reign Over Me. Now you have Gissing going back a little bit, trying to get people to reconnect. Do you think people are making the connection with the work you have out there in theatres?

It’s just a word of mouth thing and I’m just trying to see if we can get it written up on Internet sites. When I say the long tail, when people like it, then they do their own blogs. Google search for John Gissing. You can see that people put up their own blog entries once people see it. That’s the beauty of what’s to come.

Can people only get it on…

Just on The FreeBird.

Is it going to be on, NetFlix, or those kinds of places? Are they interested?

They haven’t come to us, but right now I’m happy to have it just the way it is.

And you’re doing it on your own terms. It’s a good comedy. I don’t think people are used to seeing a comedy like that anymore. You are pretty classical with the style of the comedy.

That’s what we tried to do. I wanted to do a throwback to Neil Simon or Blake Edwards, just a whole different kind of energy when comedies weren’t that goofy and they weren’t quite arty, they were just people.

The Search for John Gissing is now available on DVD through The FreeBird. For more information on Mike Binder's films visit his website.

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