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August 5, 2020

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Artist View's Scott J. Jones Reflects on 30 Years of Building Relationships in the Industry

***Image***When Scott J. Jones launched Artist View Entertainment back in September 1991, he did so with the aim to establish a fair alternative for independents working in the movie business and has since worked to cultivate the lasting relationships that form the bedrock of much of its dealings today. "I wanted to build a company that was based on repeat business," says Jones. "Where we sit in the business is, we know the people who make the movies and we know the people who buy the movies. Producers are pretty resilient, and if it's their passion, they continuously find ways to get their next movie made and the next one after that. My idea was, if I could be a safe home for them always to know they've got their distribution in place, that would make my life easier! From one movie to the next, you also hope that their films get better, so the idea was that as their movies got better, we got better product. We wanted to build slowly but surely in that way."
 
Indeed, Artist View has solidified its reputation with much repeat business. "We have so many customers who have come back over the years; it's probably the thing that I'm most proud of," Jones says. "I have represented ten or more projects from at least eight to ten different production companies."
 
He acknowledges that there are a lot of producers who don't want to have anything to do with the market side of things, and that's where Artist View comes in. "It's hard after you've spent all that time producing something to have somebody tell you, I know you think it's worth this much, but it's worth less than half of that," says Jones. "It hasn't been easy, but it's worked. Who would have thought? My original plan was, let's see how this goes for one year [laughs]."
 
Every year has been a milestone, he says, but earning clients' ongoing business has been an important element in Artist View's survival. While the company has never had any "big home runs," it has made it work by hitting "a lot of singles and doubles," according to Jones. And it has done so on the back of a diverse catalog. “Our ‘niche’ is…we don’t have one,” he says.
 
"We've always had a wide variety of product and genres. To be nimble is to say, I can see that the video business is shrinking and stores are closing, but I see this big uptick in the TV business. We realized that we had to get to know a different marketplace and get ourselves embedded in the TV marketplace so that we could be considered a serious player in that world. You have to pay your dues to become a vendor for a lot of broadcasters."
 
Current slate highlights include Saving Paradise, a new acquisition that hits the market just in time for the holidays. The film has a timely storyline, dealing with the importance of small business, determination, love and an inspirational Christmas ending. To Your Last Death is an award-winning animated horror film that is being recognized on the film festival circuit. In it, a supernatural game-master allows Miriam to go back in time and become the sole survivor in a deadly game set up by her angry, revenge-filled father. If she plays the game correctly, she and her siblings will survive, but first, she must endure the worst night of her life. There's also Here Awhile, starring Pitch Perfect's Anna Camp in a dramatic and powerful role.
 
"The business has become more sophisticated," says Jones, "and it's also become more niche-driven. If you look at SYFY, Lifetime and Hallmark, they are looking for a very specific type of programming for their channels. I bought for a video-store chain for ten years, and I realized that you constantly have to have different things available because there are a lot of different tastes in the world.
 
"Why would I want Artist View to be known as 'the sci-fi distributor' or the 'family movie distributor' when you could have a certain number of years when one genre could be in vogue and then nobody wants it anymore," he continues. "Part of our longevity is in having a diverse catalog."
 
In the absence of physical markets to attend at the moment, Artist View is focused on increasing its presence in the world of social media and making strategic announcements to the marketplace as it acquires new content. The plan for the year ahead is consistent with the strategy that has gotten Artist View to where it is today. "We will continue to acquire and represent films that we feel have a place in today's world," says Jones. "We are also developing projects at a pitch and fully completed script level that we will be presenting to key accounts who prebuy projects." He adds that production represents "a nice new challenge" at this point in his career.
 
The core idea in looking ahead is to keep very close to the original business plan of representing titles on behalf of different producers, "which always will be the foundation of the company," says Jones. "After 30 years of doing this, and building relationships, it seems like now especially is a good time to work on developing scripts and different pitches. It may be the way to help the company grow into a whole other division."

See Artist View’s Summer 2020 Showcase here.

More from Artist View Entertainment


Saving Paradise

***Video***(Romantic drama, 1x90 min.) Just in time for the holidays, this romantic adventure embraces the struggles of small business, determination and love. Starring William Moseley, Johanna Braddy, Paul Dooley, Bill Cobbs and James Eckhouse.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


Break Even

***Video***(Action, 1x90 min.) Four friends find 50 million in cash while exploring a remote island, only to learn it was left by the DEA for the cartel in a rogue deal. Starring Tasya Teles, Ivan Sergei, Steve Guttenberg, James Callis and Joanna Pacula.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


Here Awhile

***Video***(Drama, 1x87 min.) While dealing with terminal illness, Anna returns home to reconnect with her estranged brother as she considers putting to use the Death with Dignity Act. Starring Anna Camp, Steven Strait and Joe Lo Truglio.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


Acquainted

***Video***(Romantic adventure, 1x90 min.) After high school acquaintances reconnect and start spending time together, they begin to question their own long-term relationships. Starring Giacomo Gianniotti, Laysla De Oliveira, Adelaide Kane and Rachel Skarsten.
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100 Days to Live

***Video***(Thriller, 1x90 min.) When a serial killer abducts a young woman’s fiancé, she must race against the clock to discover the identity of the killer, and more importantly—his motive. Starring Colin Egglesfield, Gideon Emery, Heidi Johanningmeier, Yancey Arias and Chris Johnson.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


To Your Last Death

***Video***(Animated horror, 1x90 min.) In a deadly game, Miriam must survive both her father’s need for revenge and the Gamemaster’s ever-changing rules in order to save her siblings. Starring Morena Baccarin, Ray Wise, Dani Lennon and William Shatner.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


Soundwave

***Video***(Sci-fi thriller, 1x90 min.) A teenage boy's life spirals into chaos when a criminal syndicate discovers he has invented a device that can replay conversations that occurred in the past. Starring Hunter Doohan, Katie Owsley and Paul Tassone.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


Grace

***Video***(Drama, 1x100 min.) A quirky drama with comedic overtones in the vein of Ladybird meets Good Will Hunting. Starring Tate Donovan, Katie Cassidy, Matthew Lillard, Debby Ryan, Mircea Monroe, Missi Pyle and Hugo Armstrong.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


30 and Single

***Video***(Romantic comedy, 1x97 min.) Former high school friends drunkenly decide to make good on their promise to marry if they're both still single and 30. Starring Arturo Castro, Aya Cash, Josh Bremer, Mindy Sterling and Brian Doyle-Murray.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com


Axcellerator

***Video***(Action/sci-fi, 1x90 min.) When a car thief stumbles onto a teleportation device and the girl of his dreams, the invention of the century takes them on an adventure of a lifetime. Starring Ryan Wesen, Woody Keppel, Laura James, Maxwell Caulfield, Sean Young, John James and Sam J. Jones.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com

Visit Artist View Entertainment’s Screening Room here


Artist View Contacts: Scott J. Jones, President; Jennifer Dillon, Director, Distribution Services; Rachel Jones, Sales & Acquisition Assistant.

 

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