There's been a lot of talk recently about the glut of indie films being distributed and the increased competition for screens and audiences. But through an innovative release strategy via Philadelphia-based digital distributor Specticast, the new documentary "As the Palaces Burn," about heavy metal band Lamb of God, will screen in over 400 theaters around the world (find out where the film is screening here).
The idea is to turn the documentary about about Lamb of God and the band's front singer Randy Blythe's manslaughter trial in the Czech Republic into a special event. The film itself follows the bizarre odyssey of Lamb of God's world tour-turned-courtroom drama with exclusive courtroom footage and candid interviews from the trial and its aftermath.
Although the doc received rave reviews out of IDFA (including from our own Eric Kohn), it didn't land any traditional distribution offers. But "As The Palaces Burn" director Don Argott was sure the audience was out there (the band has nearly four million Facebook fans, to start).
"A film like this, because there's a build-in audience with the Lamb of God fan base, it screams for a theatrical release," Argott told Indiewire. "We had reached out to a number of contacts that we had made throughout the years and gave them an advance look to see if they'd be interested in distributing it. Across the board, everybody liked the film, but heavy metal and the subject matter scares a lot of distributors because they don't know how to market it."
While searching for nontraditional distributors, they connected with SpectiCast, the Philadelphia based company that has had success with the "alternative content" screening model.
The privately held company markets and distributes 2D and 3D programs, including concert films from artists including The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, programs from cultural arts organizations such as The Paris Opera Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra and specialty film programs including "SpooktiCast" horror genre program, the Women's Edge Film Series and more.
"As The Palaces Burn" is more of a narrative documentary than a concert film, but SpectiCast is confident that the film will work with the same model.