A few years back traveling the festival circuit with a newly produced movie seemed to offer and air of excitement and promise for a great career making movies.
If you think about it, as a filmmaker, getting a movie financed and actually produced was (and still is) an incredible achievement. However, as you probably noticed – things are changing quite a bit in the world of distribution.
And while it would be nice to get a grandiose distribution deal, or even the validation of seeing your movie somewhere in the local Blockbuster, the reality is – this will probably not be a reality for many filmmakers.
However, if you’re ready to face the future of independent movie distribution, you’re in good shape. With the release of the iPad, and the new NetFlix application, we now have clear indication that Video On Demand has arrived in a majorly portable way. And while many of you will argue that the iPad is not the most ideal way to watch a movie – few of us can argue that the future of movie delivery has arrived.
Check out the following iPad clip featuring the NetFlix application:
So as movie distribution becomes more and more portable, what is a filmmaker to do? Here are five digital self distribution tips I have for you:
- Know your target market. Just because there are more tools that can instantly deliver your movie to millions of people doesn’t mean every one will like your movie. In fact, only a small percentage will. Your job is to find that small percentage and market accordingly.
- Build a fan base. Over time, having a few thousand people on your mailing list who like your work and are always up to date on your productions will help you sell more and more movies. Think of bands building a fan base. You have to do the same thing.
- Stick out from the crowd. As you can guess, the market will soon be flooded with a whole ton of movies. This doesn’t mean every movie is worth watching. In fact, you will have to figure out a way to make your movie better. What is your unique hook?
- Don’t be afraid to make people hate you. Seriously. There should be two types of audiences for your work. The audience that hates you and your work. And the audience that loves you and your work. Anybody in-between will not be profitable.
- Your website is a hub to help your prospective audience find your movie, buy your movie – or at least get on your mailing list. Make this easy for your prospective fan – or suffer the loss of independent movie revenue. And please, please, please ask for the order.
And in case you’re wondering how I learned this stuff – Like YOU, we got a few bad deals and a lot of rejection with our first feature. But thankfully, digital self distribution allowed us to find our audience (In an AWESOME way!)
As a result, our first feature is still selling like crazy over the internet – And believe me, waking up with an email that reads “You Got Money!” (without a middle-man) goes really well with coffee. In fact, it goes a lot better than the months I spent watching our first feature collect dust on a book shelf.
So, if YOU have a feature film that flat-lined, don’t worry! Your time to resurrect your title(s) is coming! Stay tuned – in a week or so, I will have a digital self distribution surprise for you. . .
ALSO: I am gearing up to share my digital self movie distribution tactics all over the country. So if you know of a workshop or a festival that could benefit from this kind of information, let me know.