One of the toughest parts of getting business minded prospective investors to take you seriously is distribution. Like it or not, your film distribution strategy has a ripple effect on all other aspects of your movie production, including film finance…
At speaking events, people always ask me questions about DIY or Self-Distribution – usually wondering if these methods are better than handing over all rights for some middle-man to get them into the many VOD outlets. My response is always the same…
A few weeks back I gave a talk and was surprised that many of the filmmakers in attendance had never heard of crowdfunding. If you are one of those filmmakers, crowdfunding provides you with a “many to one” model. On the following sites, you create a campaign and then reach out to your network and ask for donations.
Most filmmaking business plans are stupid. Why? Because most filmmakers have no idea (especially first time filmmakers) how to project a return on investment. Don’t feel bad. It’s not your fault.
While it’s safe to provide projections – any investor with any business experience will understand that each project carries it’s own risk to reward ratio. Your goal as a filmmaker is to help mitigate these risks as best you can.
Because many traditional DVD distributors will add NO VALUE to your VOD strategy. They will simply get your movie into the marketplace and suck your profits for the extent of your contract. And since most traditional distributors do not understand the VOD market, they will grab any title they can and hope for the best.
So if you happen to be one of those filmmakers with tons of ideas, but no feature credits, I highly suggest you focus less on finding someone to do the heavy lifting and instead, focus on testing the market to gain a realistic approach to your projects.
The veterans of the movie industry tell us that all this distribution deal disappointment is a result of improved technology. They optimistically tell us that our lost DVD revenues will be recouped by Video On Demand. Some refer to this as simply a market correction, implying that someday, somewhere, someone will figure out how to once again pay the big bucks for movies. But this is a pipe-dream.
Sometimes I think filmmakers do things just because they believe it’s the way things HAVE to be done. That doesn’t necessary make it right. And admittedly, I’m not always right. But how I conduct my movie business works for me. And if you’re reading this, I assume you’re looking for some perspective just a little left of center. So here we go.