On to Something

April 1, 2005


A group of tv professionals in the U.K. isn’t buying the line that the industry is a passion, more than a business. Tired of accepting long hours and little pay because they were ‘lucky to have the job,’ members of TV-Wrap are lobbying for the enforcement of better working conditions, including minimum wage and holiday pay. An online petition rallying support for the cause begins, ‘We the undersigned believe that the continuing and cynical abuse of media workers contravenes both the spirit and the letter of the law, and furthermore is having and will continue to have a damaging effect on programmes within this very important sector.’ So far it has collected 1,394 signatures.
DVD: Film Baby

Web-based DVD distributor Film Baby is far from slick, but we like its filmmaker-friendly policies. Launched mid-February, Film Baby will store and ship finished DVDs from its office in Pennsauken, U.S. to anywhere in the world. It charges filmmakers a flat US$4 per sale (filmmakers set the price for their titles) and gives the complete contact information of the buyer to the filmmaker. Each DVD title has a customized web page, which can link to the filmmaker’s own site and be edited at any time. Checks are cut once a week.

So far the site has 228 films. Among the 50 or so docs offered is Jason Rosette’s award-winning BookWars. Rosette says only one copy has sold through Film Baby, but since he also sells the title off his own site,, he has nothing to lose by waiting to see if sales improve.
Book: Nick Broomfield: Documenting Icons

He pissed off Courtney Love, trailed after Margaret Thatcher and introduced us to Aileen Wuornos long before Hollywood adapted her tragic story. Too often compared to Michael Moore, Broomfield has been capturing people and personas for more than 25 years, dispelling the myths that surround them in a style all his own. In March, independent U.K. publisher Faber and Faber released Nick Broomfield: Documenting Icons. The book survey’s Broomfield’s career and features the filmmaker’s frank commentary. A six-movie DVD set from Metrodome is being sold under the same title.

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