When news of our first feature went viral, thousands of raving fans flooded our website. At the time we were Ill-equipped to handle the influx. We had no lead capture system in place and our social media strategy was non-existent. And because we were so focused on landing a dream distribution deal, we had no idea we were missing opportunity.
Like many filmmakers, we were stuck in the old distribution paradigm. We thought we had to wait for permission to sell our movie. We thought self-distribution was too challenging. And in all this debate, we wasted valuable time and lost hundreds of sales. We learned some tough lessons in the process. But thankfully, times have changed.
Video on demand has created a gazillion ways to sell your movie. And as an entrepreneurial filmmaker, you know the importance of sourcing your own audience. You also know that social media engagement is essential. And if you have done a good job, thousands of people are eagerly awaiting the release of your movie.
Encoding And Delivery Burns Valuable Time
For all the technological advancements, modern film distribution is strangely still inefficient. For example, in order to get your movie onto iTunes, you will need to go through an iTunes approved aggregator. At this point, you have two options. You can either work with an aggregtor directly. Or you will need to work with a sales agent, distributor or a distribution service who has a relationship with the aggregator.
The aggregator will then compile and deliver your movie source file and assets (artwork, closed captions, metadata, et al) to an iTunes approved encoding house. Once there, your movie will go through a process whereby each frame of your movie is carefully scrutinized to make sure it passes quality control. If there are technical hiccups, the encoding team will evaluate and determine the likelihood of a repair in-house.
If the encoders determine your movie can be repaired in-house, they will place your movie in a queue. A technician will then work to repair the source file. And assuming the repair is successful, your movie will once again reenter the encoding process. If all goes well, your movie will be audited for an eventual delivery to iTunes. And once your movie gets to iTunes, Apple will conduct their own quality control and review. This can take an additional three to six weeks depending on their capacity.
Get Your Movie To Market Fast
The truth is, nobody cares about your movie more than you. Even your most enthusiastic fans are dealing with a gazillion other life distractions. And the longer you wait to get your movie seen and selling, the more you run the risk of losing touch with your audience. So the real question is, how will you get your movie to market fast?