Want to know what is and isn’t happening with Urban and the Shed Crew?. Well, even Perry can’t know all. But I have put a few facts together, with a bit of speculation, so who knows where this will lead?
I came across this entry for Urban and the Shed Crew on the website for The British Film Council
Notice the box on the far right, which says sales company. The company named is Breakaway Media and the representative named is Mark Austin. Breakaway Media is a small company (under 10 employees) with offices in L.A. and Paris. As you can see from the description, Breakaway bills itself as a boutique company specializing in distributing independent films internationally.
So, this is the company and Mark Austin is the person ( or perhaps was) responsible for finding distributors, i.e. selling, Urban and the Shed Crew.
Recently, CEO, Mark Austin made a presentation at the EFM ( same place and event as the Berlinale) trying to launch/sell a film by Clint Eastwood’s daughter, Alison, titled Battlecreek.
Breakaway is a relatively new company, established by Mark Austin in 2010. Since that time, I’ve been unable to find information on any independent film that he’s repped, though I’m sure there are some ( well, not sure).
He managed to get a screening for the Eastwood film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, but so far, I haven’t found any information to indicate that the film has a distributor; however, I’m betting that with Clint Eastwood’s pedigree behind it, the film will see the light of day.
Urban and the Shed Crew, I’m, not so sure about.
I don’t want to mislead you into thinking that Mark Austin, with a very slim reportable track record in selling Indie films, is an industry nobody.
Far from it. Austin has over 25 years experience with most of the big film studios – just not selling Indie films to international markets. He’s got a long profile on Linked In which indicates ( assuming some puffing up, which is usual) that he’s been involved in media distribution for some of the largest studios in Hollywood, including Sony, Disney, Capitol and Paramount.
From the looks of his resume on Linked In, at the same time that he’s president and/ or CEO, and maybe the only employee, of of Breakaway Media, he’s been and continues to be an independent contractor under personal services contracts to major studios for discrete tasks. Here are two examples:
There’s much more on his resume, listed on Linked In, and he’s certainly no lightweight, but he’s not making his money from Breakaway.
On the other hand, most of his experience, while it has been in foreign markets, has been concentrated on selling film libraries and other content, especially home entertainment and digital content to foreign outlets. An example of this would be selling the Disney library or part of it, to foreign TV networks or streaming sites.
His experience, as far as I can tell, is light in exactly that which he, through Breakaway, is trying to do for Urban and the Shed Crew – that is, to sell it and find international distributors. On the other hand, his contacts must be substantial and significant.
So, while it remains to be seen whether Mark Austin is the right person for Urban and the Shed Crew, or whether he’s even concentrating on it anymore, it seems more and more to me, the longer we hear nothing, that the problem lies with the film, and lack of interest in it, and not with the marketer.
Here’s hoping that maybe Mark Austin’s significant experience and network in home entertainment and digital media will result in at least, some platform DVD or streaming, to make Urban available to all of us.