Aussie comedy The Heckler embraces on-demand cinema

21 August, 2015 by IF

The producers of Comedy feature film The Heckler have embraced new Australian on-demand cinema platform in a bid get their movie on the big screen. 

The new distribution model allows filmmakers to book any cinema, any time as long as there are enough people interested in watching that film at that session.  


The Heckler will now be launched in an initial round of on-demand cinema screenings and the team behind the movies are hoping that positive word-of-mouth fuels more screenings.

Writer/Producer Steve Mitchell said a traditional cinema release required a massive amount of advertising to succeed. 

"Films like ours can’t afford that and so we rely solely on word-of-mouth," he said. 

"And that takes time to build. By staging one-off event screenings at various locations over a longer period, we’re hoping to build momentum without spending a fortune on marketing.”

Anyone can request to ‘host’ one of Tugg’s listed films at their local cinema, but the screening only goes ahead if a minimum number of tickets are sold in advance. This way, nobody loses any money, plus the promoter (host) gets 5 per cent of the box office.

 Mitchell said the main difference with the model was that patrons booked their tickets in advance to guarantee the screening. 

"Which involves changing people’s behaviour from simply turning-up at the cinema and seeing what’s on," he said. 

"We’re also adding value to our screenings by combining them with either a Q and A or a live stand-up comedy intro (which was a great success during the Comedy Festival).”

Shot on location in Melbourne, The Heckler is about a stand-up comedian who has his body hijacked by the spirit of a jealous heckler and must find a way to reclaim it before the imposter ruins his career. The body-swap comedy received rave reviews from sold out Comedy Festival screenings and won an award at the LA Comedy Festival.

It marks the feature film debuts of local talents Kate Jenkinson ('Hiding', Offspring'), Emily Taheny ('Mad as Hell', 'It's a Date') and Simon Mallory ('Comedy Inc') and also stars CJ Fortuna ('Kinne'), Scott Harrison ('Charlie & Boots', 'The Hollowmen') and Dave Lawson ('Utopia') along with a host of other comedy performers including Tony Martin and Jeff Green.

The Heckler season launches with a live stand-up comedy intro at The Sun Theatre in Yarraville on September 7.