Being the co-owner of Blood Moon Pictures we got very lucky when our latest anthology film Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories was picked up by Petri Entertainment for distribution through their new genre arm Dark Cuts. I recently spoke with Andy Palmer, one of the owners of Petri, about the purpose of creating a distribution side and also about his horror comedy The Funhouse Massacre that he directed. Andy and his producing partner Warner Davis are the epitome of what’s right about indie genre film making, so BMP is very fortunate to have partnered with them to produce other future projects and it was a fun interview to do.
PJ Starks: Tell us a little background about your company Petri Entertainment.
Andy Palmer: Petri was started back in 2013 by Warner Davis and myself. I had been fortunate enough to be asked by my good friend Daric Loo to produce his film Awaken, and I knew I would need a lot of help from the business side of things, and Warner had been helping myself and fellow producers Levi Ellsworth and Jeremy Parr on another project, so he was my first call. We really clicked on that film and decided to partner up and form Petri moving forward. We’ve since done four more features together.
PJ Starks: From a distribution stand point, what sets your company apart from the rest of the pack?
Andy Palmer: As a filmmaker, I’ve always told every distribution company we’ve sold our films to, that we are looking for a partnership. Someone that we stand a fair chance of recouping with, so that we can go out, make another movie, and come right back to them. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet. Even if our films were profitable, we’ve always felt very ostracized from the process once we deliver the film. So our goal is to work side by side with filmmakers and go through the process together. We’re seeking filmmakers that know how to market themselves and their films, so we can combine forces, our resources and theirs, to put the films out to the largest audience possible, while not wasting money on costly marketing. We know the audience we’re trying to reach, and we want to collaborate as much as possible, maximize the filmmakers recoupment, so when they have their next film ready, we are their first call.
PJ Starks: Dark Cuts is your new genre arm dedicated to releasing horror and niche indie fare. How did this come about?
Andy Palmer: Pretty much out of the frustration I described above. We wanted a company that invested in filmmakers, we couldn’t find it, so we decided to create our own. We’ve developed amazing relationships with bloggers, podcasters, magazines, horror conventions, etc. And Warner has spent a tremendous amount of time, establishing relationships with VOD platforms and physical media outlets as well. We wanted to create a place where filmmakers could bring us their finished films, but also, potentially develop original projects with them as well, through Petri Entertainment.
PJ Starks: What is the future of Dark Cuts? Do you have any projects on the horizon that you guys are excited about releasing?
Andy Palmer: The future is looking really freaking fun. Besides The Wicked One, which is out now, we have Karate Kill and Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories out this summer, and this fall, we have some genre bending action and comedy films being released.
PJ Starks: Because the landscape has changed so much I know a lot of indie filmmakers that are struggling as to whether or not they ought to self distribute a project or choose a company to help them? Can you explain the difference and give some options that you guys offer that self distribution doesn’t?
Andy Palmer: The thing I think a lot of first time filmmakers are often not aware of are the hard costs associated with delivering a film to distributors. You can make a feature for $5000, but deliverables, have hard costs. Audio mix, color correction, artwork and the trailer that help sell your film, all are expensive, pretty much any way you slice it. And then you have to market the film somehow. You can not just dump your title on VOD and expect it to make any money, you have to drive the audience there. If you are the type of filmmaker that has the talent and the resources to do all of that on your own, then I think self distribution is a great way to go. But what we can offer, is a partner that helps the filmmakers, get through the QC (Quality Control), trailer and artwork process as well as a concise marketing strategy, that will help them get their film to the market quickly, and drive as many fans to the film as we can.
PJ Starks: You’re the team behind the fun slice and dice horror comedy The Funhouse Massacre. Are there plans for a follow up and can you give us any tasty tid bits?
Andy Palmer: We love The Funhouse Massacre and the way that fans have rallied behind it, and embraced the characters and the mayhem has been everything I’ve ever wanted to get out of becoming a filmmaker. When I get tagged in an instagram post with someone cosplaying Dollface, I just can’t believe it. We have a great script for a part two, but time will tell. We are still in the recoupment process for the first one and we’ll see at the end of the day where we land. But I would direct the sequel in a heart beat.
PJ Starks: You guys recently partnered with our production company Blood Moon Pictures to help produce the third and final Volumes of Blood installment. Are you guys excited about this collaboration and what are you looking forward to most about working on the project?
Andy Palmer: We had the opportunity to hang out with you guys at Horrorhound earlier this spring and it was really during that weekend, that we felt we wanted to be a part of VOB3. The passion that you(PJ) and Eric bring to the project and the love you guys have for the genre, really mirrors ours in a lot of ways. You have created something special with the series and that’s a tribute to how much you hustle to market your films as well. We want to be a part of that excitement, and selfishly, I want to climb in the directors chair and direct a segment of the madness.