While the White Stripes have been known for their unique musical style, perhaps now they will also be known for their distribution tactics. Their recent documentary Under Great Northern Lights has been screening in a number of international film festivals, and now the band is putting the charge to their fans to host their own screenings as the DVD releases March 16.
Since forming in 1997, Jack and Meg White, an American rock duo, have released six studio albums, and achieved international acclaim. In 2003 Jack and Meg made their motion picture debut in one of the vignettes for Jim Jarmusch’s film Coffee and Cigarettes, in a segment titled “Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil”.
Having first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2009, The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights documents the band playing to crowds in towns of all sizes across the Great White North. The goal was to play a show in every province and territory in Canada. “Having never done a tour of Canada, Meg and I thought it was high time to go whole hog…from the ocean to the permafrost” says Jack White. “We wanted to play out of the way towns that don’t usually get shows…the shows are better, it’s better for the people, it’s a better experience, it’s way more unique, something interesting is going to happen…hopefully.”
With filmmaker Emmett Malloy along for the ride to document the journey, the film follows the group as they perform in a variety of settings, from traditional venues to matinee gigs at unusual locations such as a bowling alley, a boat and even on a city bus , ultimately culminating in a momentous 10th Anniversary show at the historic Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.
The film combines a captivating mix of live footage and poignant off-stage moments. Along the way, the two siblings have conversations about their ten years performing together, reflecting and reminiscing about how they first started out, shows where no one in the audience knew who they were, and how they ended up making their mark on the music world.
March 16th, audiences across the country will have the opportunity to host their own screenings of the documentary, and the chance to “Be a Part of the Tour” by purchasing a special screening kit from the band’s b-side website, and turning a favorite room, a local hangout, or any other location of their choice into their own premiere event. Events are allowed to be public or private, and hosts are able to keep any admission proceeds for themselves. Kits must be ordered by March 10, and include the film, popcorn, and peppermint candy. The band is offering prizes for the most creative screenings; they just that the parties are thrown on March 16, which they have deemed as White Stripes Day.
For a list of public Under Great Northern Lights screenings, click here.
The see the film’s trailer, click here.
What do you think of this distribution model?