Way back when studios sent out screeners on VHS tape that would display a text of “For Review Purposes Only” every few minutes, this was for a time when reviews showed up in newspapers and magazines. The necessity for screencaps did not exist because the technology did not exist, at a user level. Reviewers would be provided with stills their publications could use for promotional purposes. The downside to that system was the expense. For big studios this was a write-off as they could produce presskits in bulk. It was an expense often outside the capabilities of many indie filmmakers, especially those at the grassroots level.
Today’s digital media and internet have changed that. Screeners can be downloaded with no expense up front such as discs or tapes. And screeners can now be used for screencaps and stills can be hosted online and downloaded by reviewers for use in their reviews. A lot of what was the province of big studios can now be done by the independent filmmaker. Continue reading “The Value of Screeners”