An Independent Film Analysis


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Jessica Northey created a an analysis of an Independent Film at Full Sail.

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An Independent Film Analysis

  1. 1. The Independent Film Jessica Northey | July 21, 2012Entertainment Media Distribution Susan Albershardt
  2. 2. Independent Film Analysis | “My Date With Drew” The documentary called “My Date With Drew” has a main character that had a “crush”on her since Drew Barrymore played in E.T. He was even a member of her fan club and had kepta photo of Drew. This is an analysis of an independent film that was created under a productionbudget of $50,000, weather or not the film found success, and how it was marketed anddistributed. The logos that flash on the screen before the film starts are from First Look Studiosand DEJ Productions. The territories are in the U.S. and the medium they are distributing is in atheatrical release, DVD and VOD formats. The names of the directors are Jon Gunn, BrianHerzlinger, and Brett Winn. (Berardinelli, 2005) Brian Herzlinger is also the writer, as he wasthe narrator as well as the main character. Lucky Crow Films and Rusty Bear Entertainmentproduced the documentary in association with DEJ Productions. It was released on August 5,2005, in theaters on April 3, 2004, and on DVD by January 3, 2006. The production budget was$1,110, the box office resulted in $181,041 the domestic market, and $81,729 in foreign markets.(“My date with,” 2005) The protagonist in this story is Brian Herzlinger as himself. He is a regular guy living inLos Angeles who is broke and won the $1,100 from winning a pilot game show. He works out adeal with his friends and family to help him pay his personal bills as he embarks on a journey tomake a documentary about a regular guy with big dreams, his dream is to ask Drew Barrymoreout on a date by using the six degrees of separation and his small production budget to make hischildhood dream come true. Naturally, Drew Barrymore is the antagonist in this story as she isdifficult to reach because at the time of the filming of the documentary, she was out of town. Thedocumentary invokes emotion where the viewers are routing for the nerdy, film guy to get thedate as he goes through a transformation to be the best version of himself during his quest for adate with Drew. The genre of this heartfelt documentary is comedy. (Gillespie, 2005) It is real   2
  3. 3. Independent Film Analysis | “My Date With Drew”life version of the 40-Year old Virgin movie when he wants to wax his hairy chest off for thefirst time. The film was a success because there was a good ending and it provided emotion ofexcitement and happiness of laughter. Mainly, the success is due to the enormous pay out ofreturns compared to the costs to produce the documentary. Currently, there is no informationreadily available for the total gross sales earned from VOD rentals or DVD sales/rentals. Theimpact of the distribution and marketing strategies were significant for an indie film. Their firstmove to market the trailer was to create a website and talk about it on their local radio station toask for their help in getting a date with Drew Barrymore. Their time of accomplishing his dreamin 30 days was coming near an end. Upon completion of the film, the crew entered into severalkey film festivals and went on to win many awards. It also received mostly positive feedbackfrom the press. In one film review, he gives the film 3 out of 4 stars. The review is lightheartedand positive. (Berardinelli, 2005) This documentary won many awards at film festivals, as follows: “Winner of the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival; the Best Documentary Award at the Vail Film Festival; and the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the New York Gen Art Film Festival, My Date With Drew also swept the 8th Annual Sonoma Valley Film Festival, bringing home the Audience Award for Best Lounge Feature, the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Film, and the Geller/Devonport Award for Best First Time Feature.” (“Brian herzlinger: The,” 2008) This is a very impressive awards list for this indie film with a low production budget.Most of the tasks the team accomplished were favors from people who gave him products or   3
  4. 4. Independent Film Analysis | “My Date With Drew”services for free just because they supported him in his journey and dreams. Overall thedocumentary provided emotion for the viewer. There was a feeling of being on the edge of yourseat to watch the story unfold. The documentary also has several stars in it as they used the six degrees of separationtechnique. The celebrities in the cast were: Corey Feldman, Drew Barrymore, Eric Roberts, JohnAugust, and Jon Gunn. (“My date with,” 2005) The film had a wide theatrical release. OnAugust 5, 2005, the film was released in 58 theaters with a total gross of $85,222 in 3 days. Thefilm was released again on August 12, 2005, in 38 theaters with a total gross of $121,532 in tendays. (“My date with,” ) Because this is a unique documentary for the big screen, it was difficultto ask for help from the big studios to distribute the film without some proof people would likethe film. He had offers to make the documentary a television series, but he was not interested insettling for anything less than a theatrical release. He found the distributors by going through thefilm festival circuit. After winning many awards, beating out films such as “NapoleonDynamite” and having a lot of patients, it was able to gain the attention of distributors. (Topel) The online version of Kerry David’s resume states that she was responsible for the viralmarketing and advertising for the documentary. “These tools included, but were not limited to contests, promotions, interviews, blogs with talent, guest books, v-logs, constant updates and innovative ideas bringing about an ownership of the project to the site members.” (David) This documentary is a ‘must see’ for anyone who has a dream they want to fulfill,especially the people who work in the film industry because of the massive financial successachieved on such a low budget. The protagonist in this story is a hero for all of the childlike,dreamers out there.   4
  5. 5. Independent Film Analysis | “My Date With Drew”References:Berardinelli, J. (2005). Review: My date with drew. Retrieved from herzlinger: The writer, director, & star of "my date with drew" – wolfman productions. (2008). Retrieved from, K. (n.d.). Resume – kerry david – film consultant. Retrieved from, E. (2005, August 05). my date with drew: A silly little love song of a movie. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved from c.htmlMy date with drew. (2005, August 14). Retrieved from date with drew - box office data. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.the-, F. (n.d.). Brian herzlinger talks about "my date with drew". Retrieved from     5