Indie boy Yauch open for biz


Beastie Boy Adam Yauch is launching indie film distribution and international sales company Oscilloscope Pictures, a new arm of his music and film production outfit, Oscilloscope Laboratories. Former ThinkFilm vp David Fenkel is set to run the unit.

Yauch and Fenkel plan to acquire narrative and documentary features from festivals for release in the U.S. and provide funds to complete and release unfinished films.

The pair, who worked on Yauch's Beastie Boys docu "Awesome! I Fuckin' Shot That!" at ThinkFilm, will complete all postproduction and marketing work from OL's downtown Manhattan production space. Fenkel's fellow ThinkFilm alumni Dan Berger is joining them in the venture.

"We're kind of winging it," said Yauch, who has recorded albums, produced "Awesome" and created ads out of the 8,000-square-foot office since 2002. He plans on releasing two to 10 films in the first year and, without any outside financial backing for the self-financed venture, hopes to make deals where the filmmakers share the risk.

"We're not looking to throw big (minimum guarantees) at filmmakers or have lawyers throw numbers at us demanding a big minimum P&A," Yauch said. "It's been the downfall of many distributors."

Instead, Yauch hopes to craft deals with "real backend participation" for the filmmakers and possibly outside film financing for marketing if the film warrants it.

OP will handle its own theatrical distribution and control all marketing materials in-house but likely will partner with an outside distribution company for home video releases.

Its first theatrical release, set to be announced within the next month, will hit theaters by summer.

Fenkel said many campaigns will incorporate an indie music label-style, DIY approach in keeping with the Beastie Boys' style of connecting with fans.