Journeyman Pictures MD Mark Stucke announced February 11 2020 that his company has acquired world rights (excluding The Netherlands and Flemish-speaking Belgium) to Frank Herrebout’s Fallen Astronaut, about the only piece of artwork ever left on the Moon.
Stucke intends to release the film internationally across TV and digital platforms on April 28 2020. “If you thought there was nothing more you could learn about the Moon landings, then you have to see Fallen Astronaut,” he commented.
Back in 1971, the Belgian artist Paul van Hoeydonck attended a dinner party where he met astronauts David Scott, Jim Irwin and Alfred Worden, who were soon to embark on that year’s Apollo 15 mission. The meeting had been arranged to discuss the possibility of Van Hoeydonck creating a small, modernist statuette of an astronaut that they could take onto their spacecraft and subsequently place on the Moon.
It all seemed beautiful and simple, but very soon confusion reigned as it became obvious that all parties, as well as NASA, had fundamentally different ideas about what had actually been agreed to…
“It was a dream come true, but then it became a complete nightmare for the artist,” says director Herrebout.
In January 2020, Journeyman’s Stucke spoke to Business Doc Europe and outlined his business strategy in partnering with the new online giants to attach the maximum number of eyeballs to the films he was looking to release.
“We simply realised that without the scale of the majors we would never have the reach to get the full potential out of the worldwide following interested in what we have to offer,” he said.
“To cut a long story short, we decided to work directly with Apple, Google and Amazon. We negotiated partnerships with them and developed an expertise at promoting our releases into the consumer space.”
“We also knew we’d have to become like linear TV, with a strict timetable and something new always on offer. We release a documentary every week so the consumer knows that at a particular time every Friday we will show and promote a powerful headline film, and two or three from the archive.”
The change in modus operandi was backed up with investment within social media outreach to guarantee an audience for the platforms, including a designated YouTube channel that has, to date, attracted 1.3 million subscribers.
“When we have the right product [allied with] a strong demographic and a well promoted street date we can reach millions and millions,” Stucke told BDE.