THE STANDBYS Doc, Spotlighting Broadway Understudies, Out Now on iTunes
Three Broadway understudies (Ben Crawford, Merwin Foard and Alena Watters) are profiled in Stephanie Riggs' documentary THE STANDBYS (Sunchaser Entertainment -- 76 minutes/NR). The DigiNext Films release, also featuring Broadway veterans and headliners Bebe Neuwirth and David Hyde Pierce, is available beginning today on Apple's iTunes platform for HD/SD purchase or rental. Fans of the movie can also purchase the original music soundtrack via iTunes, including individual tracks.
The unique and challenging lives of Broadway's Understudies and Standbys are revealed in this evocative and original behind-the-scenes documentary. Never-before-heard stories from industry insiders and celebrities reveal the unimaginable struggles these under-appreciated performers endure, and when these Standbys are finally given the chance of a lifetime, anything can -- and does -- happen.
Actress Alena Watters perhaps sums it up best -- "You get paid for the groan." What she means is that when a standby is announced over the PA system before a Broadway performance, ticket holders typically groan because they paid to see the top stars on the marquee, not one of the understudies.
THE STANDBYS Director/Producer Stephanie Riggs commented, "After being selected as a 2014 New York Times Critics' Pick and following our successful run in theaters across the country, I am thrilled that 'THE STANDBYS' will be now available to online audiences via iTunes through our relationship with the DigiNext team."
DigiNext Co-Founder Larry Meistrich stated, "Stephanie Riggs' THE STANDBYS is a prime example of DigiNext's unique, worldwide direct-to-consumer (DtoC) platform in action. Our team sources the work of talented and passionate -- yet undiscovered -- directors and producers at leading film festivals. We hand-pick the best 'movies that matter,' book theatrical runs for appreciative audiences and arrange engaging live Q&As with cast and crew.
"After our movies leave the big screen they become part of an end-to-end, turnkey sales strategy that underscores DigiNext's goal of maximizing the value of ancillary and downstream rights -- targeting popular digital platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, Netflix and others, ultimately reaching more than 70 countries. Our DtoC platform is truly a win-win-win for our filmmaker partners, global brands targeting pre-selected audiences and of course countless consumers who enjoy DigiNext's curated 'evergreen' titles whether they watch at a local neighborhood theater, or digitally during extended post-theatrical downstream runs."
Digiplex Founder, Chairman and CEO/DigiNext Co-Founder Bud Mayo added, "Carmike Cinemas' pending Digiplex acquisition includes the DigiNext JV as a key component of the Alternative Programming (AP) package being purchased. The future possibilities for DigiNext and AP in general, with the support of Carmike's forward-thinking senior management team, are truly exciting and limitless.
"As the nation's fourth largest exhibitor with a footprint approaching 3000 screens, assuming all goes according to plan our AP team will collaborate with their customer-centric theater-level associates, helping train them to adopt best practices for executing grassroots, hyper-local and social media outreach within their respective local communities. The goal is to help boost capacity utilization - especially during non-prime Monday through Thursday show-times -- capitalizing on this huge, untapped opportunity."
About DigiNext - The future of film distribution, DigiNext has developed a comprehensive worldwide, direct-to-consumer (DtoC) turnkey movie release platform. The platform showcases the talents of today's most talented and passionate directors and producers of independent features as well as issue-based documentaries, providing them with a unique and customized way to drive additional value and recognition of their work. DigiNext offers filmmakers a domestic theatrical release, plus a global, targeted reach to audiences in 70+ countries via electronic sell-through including digital downstream, DVD and other ancillary revenue opportunities. Brands and marketers also can reach pre-selected targeted audiences via DigiNext's end-to-end platform.