Ray Price: The Indie Film Maverick Who Streamed Before Streaming Was Cool! πŸŽ¬β€οΈπŸ“‘

TL;DR: Ray Price, indie film genius and innovative marketer, has passed away at 75. Known for backing groundbreaking filmmakers and pushing the envelope in digital streaming, his legacy is nothing short of iconic. πŸ’”πŸŽ₯✨

The cinematic world took a reflective pause to remember Ray Price, who gracefully departed this stage at 75 after confronting heart failure and cancer. His partner, Meg Madison, affirmed the news. But who was Ray, and why are film enthusiasts raising a toast to his cinematic journey? πŸ₯‚πŸ“½

Ray’s legacy was carved in the world of indie films. As the president of illustrious production houses like American Zoetrope and First Look Pictures, his impact is felt in every corner of the theater. Ever heard of directors like Tran Anh Hung and Gurinder Chadha? Yup, Ray was the wind beneath their wings! πŸ˜‡πŸŽ₯

One might ask, “What made Ray so special in the indie world?” Well, according to Eamonn Bowles of Magnolia Pictures, he was the “emblematic of a bygone age of independent film.” Unique, defiant, and always chasing new horizons. A rebel with a cause? Heck, yeah! πŸ€˜πŸš€

Back in the 70s, Ray managed the Rialto theater in Berkeley. And guess what? Under his leadership, the theater became famous for showcasing hidden gems by legends like Martin Scorsese and relaunching lost masterpieces. Ever heard of “Repo Man”? Ray literally dug it out from oblivion, designed a poster, and gave it a home in his theater. Now that’s commitment! 🎨🍿

Marti Mattox, Ray’s former assistant, and Bert Manzari, who co-founded an indie booking company with Price, painted a picture of a man who wasn’t just all about movies. Cognac, Armagnac, and “other delightfully decadent pursuits” also made the list! 🍷🎞

In the late 80s, after shifting to Los Angeles, Ray’s drive for promoting indie cinema soared. He brought movies like “Gas Food Lodging” and “One False Move” to the fore. And let’s not forget, he was a fierce champion for women filmmakers, people of color, and fresh talents! πŸ’ͺπŸ’₯

Now, here’s the juicy bit! 🍊 Ray was actually the FIRST to play a new feature film online. Way back in 1995, he streamed “Party Girl” on the internet. Talk about being ahead of the curve! πŸš€πŸ’»

His career spanned decades, seeing him join ventures like American Zoetrope and 2929 Entertainment, and continuing to market films like Rodrigo Reyes’ documentary β€œSansΓ³n and Me” right up to his final act.

Leaving behind a legacy, Ray is remembered by his loving partner Madison, family, and the entire cinema community. In remembrance, the Price family encourages donations to give.translifeline.org. πŸŒΉπŸ’•

So, as the curtains draw on Ray’s vibrant cinematic life, one question remains: In today’s fast-paced digital age, do we still have space for visionaries like Ray who dared to dream differently? πŸ€”πŸŒŒπŸŽ¬