By Brian Brooks
More change recently hit the indie biz with two key departures at IndiePix. Ryan Harrington, who joined the company last summer to spearhead the newly launched IndiePix Studios, the production and filmmaker relations arm of the online consumer film website, left in what he described as an “amicable parting.” The company’s documentary acquisitions point person, Danielle DiGiacomo, also announced her exit in an email to industry colleagues last month, saying, “after four-plus wonderful years at IndiePix,” she had decided to “pursue other exciting ventures.”
Harrington, who joined the company after working at A&E Indie Films and the Tribeca Film Institute’s Gucci Fund, said he was not authorized to speak about rumors that have swirled among some filmmakers and groups that have worked with IndiePix. indieWIRE had received word of an alleged communication breakdown and delayed payments to filmmakers. Emails have circulated among insiders and numerous individuals have contacted indieWIRE to express concern about the financial well-being of the company, but when pressed for details none would speak on the record or provide additional insight.
Yesterday, indieWIRE spoke with IndiePix head Bob Alexander about the changes at the company and its future as well as rumors of a breakdown in communication and payments to its filmmakers. “It is of course a problem, the filmmakers need to get paid, so we’re trying to figure that out,” said Alexander adding that, as per its agreements with filmmakers, IndiePix can only pay when they’re paid by their customers. “We’ve set up [a system] for each individual filmmaker showing each unit transaction for each project. It’s a highly transparent system that perhaps we haven’t successfully communicated to everyone that [it’s available].”
With the departure of Harrington and DiGiacomo, Alexander said its IndiePix Studios venture will continue, with himself and director of acquisitions Jason Tyrrell and COO Sally Ploured pursuing new projects. “We do have a significant new project to be announced, most likely in August, [and] we may have one or two others,” added Alexander. “We’re positioned for a substantial step forward in the second half of this year - we’re expecting a significant uptick.” Alexander said IndiePix will continue its sponsorship next year of the annual Cinema Eye Honors as part of a three year agreement with the event which recognizes documentary achievement.