Over at indieWIRE, Anthony Kaufman has an excellent piece up on Michael Moore's proposal that theaters across America designate a night each week at "Doc Night at the Movies." Citing the dismal box office returns for docs in the past year (only Moore's Sicko, No End in Sight, and In the Shadow of the Moon grossed over a million dollars), Kaufman seems intrigued by Moore's proposal, if somewhat skeptical it would work. Kaufman raises some interesting points about the feasibility of a "Doc Night," including these questions:
- Who will select the documentaries that are chosen? And on what basis will they be chosen?
- Will the documentaries already have distributors or not? Or will there be a mix?
- Will participating filmmakers pay a fee? Or conversely, will they get a split of the ticket sales?
- If most multiplexes are film-only, and the majority of documentaries are finished in a high-definition digital format, how will they be screened? Will expensive projectors be rented? Or will filmmakers need to pay for costly film transfers?