Barney Oldfield, Angelika Film Executive
Barney Oldfield, Angelika Film Executive
Barney Oldfield was raised in New York City into a family long associated with the film business his
grandfather the founder of the first Hollywood studio and his uncle a partner at another.
Starting as a booking agent at small music agencies, Barney soon
became Director of Club Booking at Music Productions, a major New England agency, and Talent Coordinator for its On Stage television series. While
still a teenager, he became a General Partner and Director of College Booking at Sundance Music, where he developed major
concert packages and worked with record companies to introduce new artists into college markets.
Barney then entered Harvard College but managed to keep up his
ties with the entertainment business as weekly columnist for Houstons alternative newspaper the Southern Voice. In his senior year, he and his
roommate began Musician's Magazine in their dorm room, and after
graduation, they worked full time on their magazine, which quickly grew into a
successful national publication.
Two years later, they sold Musician's, and Barney moved to New York City and attended New York University SCE
Film, Video & Broadcasting. He became a Board Member and later Chairman of
Anthology Film Archive, New York's Center for Experimental and Independent Film. There
he was instrumental in bringing the Havana Film Festival to New York and became a member of its board.
After graduation in 1996, he drew on his booking agency experience and started
a personal management company that currently represents a number of successful teen actors.
In addition, he began the weekly NewFilmmakers series, which screens new independent films in New York and Los Angeles, and the Harvard Film Group, which has
over 1000 alumni members nationally.
Barney became General Manager of Angelika Entertainment Corporation and is responsible for its restructuring and daily operations
as well as for the use of the well-known Angelika trademark. In addition to film
projects, he developed and produced the successful MetroAngelika series and other television and Internet programming for
Cablevision and other clients.
|Scene from the film "Too Much Sleep"
Recently Barney produced the critically acclaimed feature Too
Much Sleep, nominated for the Independent Spirit Award, and the controversial Zero
Day feature, winner of Best Feature and Best Actor Awards at the 2003 Slamdunk Film Festival. He is currently developing the teen slasher sequel Maniac 2: Like
Father, Like Son and is producing the independent feature Another Deep Breath.
Barney lives in Los Angeles and New York. He is member of the Harvard Clubs in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles. He is also a member of the Union League Club in New York, the California Pioneers in San Francisco, and
the Friars Club in Beverly Hills.
Q & A with Mr.Oldfield
Film Addiction: Do you think it is a good thing or a bad thing that Hollywood it the
only outlet in which to make a successful film?
Barney Oldfield: Having grown up with it, I have no trouble with Hollywood. When we are talking
about Hollywood, we are talking about commercial cinema, the film business. And since the seventies, we are talking
about the large conglomerates that have absorbed Hollywood into their coporate structures. These are companies like
Viacom which owns Paramount and Time Warner which owns Warners. These companies are able to cross promote properties throughout
largeempires. Take Howard Stern, whose is broadcast on Viacom's Infinity Radio network and on Viacom's CBS Television
network, is published by Viacom's Simon Schuster, and whose films are produced by Viacom's Paramount and
hustled at Viacom's Blockbuster. I am sure he has some play on Viacom's MTV. And what you don't
own, we can license to someone who does. If you are Howard Stern, if you market 14-24 (teen), this is great; but
if you are not with the program, sadly, you wouldn't make it to the
big table. The test of a good is movie now is
if McDonalds can make a happy meal out of it.
FA: Honestly, do you see films more from the
dollars and cents prospective (how much it will make) or are you interested in the quality of film as well (the story).
BO: Unless you have a large trust fund or are getting checks from home,everyone in the business sees films as
dollars and cents. Anyone who doesn't wouldn't be around long. A film is a marketable product like toothpaste
or potato chips and always has been.
|Scene from the film "Zero Day"
FA What is your main duties/functions at Angelika Films?
BO: Keep the door open.
FA: You mentioned to me earlier that it has been a decade
or more since a movie was discovered at a film festival: Do you think this is because so called "independent films"
already have distribution before they hit the festivals? Are the major festivals more of a launch pad for films?
a film the most important person at a film festival is the now publicist. The filmmaker is just there for the walk
on. Film festivals are the most important part of the marketing for a niche market film. The people who attend
festivals and follow them, critics and urban hipsters,are key to art film marketing. That is why distributors work
their projects through the system and use them to launch their new product.
FA: I do agree with you that some "independent films" have served as the farm team for major
independent films. In a way you can think of films like Full Frontal as Steven Soderbergh going to the minors to rehab.
think you are right, except I would not even try to guess the motivation of an individual filmmaker. Many really
want to make serious films and you are not going to do that in the big room. I give credit to anyone who gives up
the cash and perks and makes a film he/she believes in, so much the more for the rest of us.
A Closer Look:
Too Much Sleep
Crawford (Marc Palmieri) is 24 years old, lives at home with his mother, and works nights as a security guard. On the bus
home one morning, while admiring a beautiful young woman named Kate (Nicol Zanzarella), Jack has his gun stolen. Desperate
to get it back, he enlists the help of a guy named Eddie (Pasquale Gaeta), who "used to work for the authorities," and here
begins the tale of a young man not only looking for his gun, but more importantly, trying to find himself.
"Through a series of mysterious leads and
not so coincidental coincidences, Jack is drawn deeper and deeper into the peculiar underworld of a sleepy American suburb,
unearthing a slew of oddball characters and a series of dead-end clues.
"The key to the film is the subtlety of both
the deadpan humor and the personal growth that Jack undergoes as his passivity evolves into confidence. While Kate serves
as the catalyst propelling him out of indifference and into maturity, Jack represents many of his generation who have a lot
going for themselves, but can't seem to find the drive to overcome their own disillusionment. David Maquiling's sly and witty
first film, Too Much Sleep is a modern folk tale about the inward journey we all must take when trying to figure out
what it's all about."
South by Southwest Film Festival