Movie Maker Challenge 2012

The other week, I began working on a project with some very successful people. And here is what I realized: Successful people don’t wait for everything to be perfect. They get an idea and test and idea – then they implement fast and adjust as they go.

So in the spirit of your own filmmaking success, I am going to offer you a Movie Maker Challenge for 2012 – Yeah, it might seem too early to set goals, but I think you’ll be OK. And my challenge is this – over the next 12 months, put together a movie project.

How? Plan the following commitments:

  1. Get a movie script.
  2. Break your movie script down.
  3. Budget your movie, including marketing.
  4. Put together a business plan.
  5. Create a marketing plan.

If you go through this process, you will know how many units you will need to sell to recoup your budget. Additionally, you will know how much this will cost in terms of time, effort and marketing.

And… If you complete this exercise, you will be ahead of 95% of the other people who call themselves filmmakers. You might actually learn something in the process…

Time is ticking. Take Action: Make Your Movie NOW!


Meet Prospective Film Investors

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.

If you can not create a marketing, sales and distribution plan for your movie (that you control), your project becomes very risky.

Fortunately there are two developments that have helped in this arena.

Firstly, through companies like distribber (Disclosure: They pay me to promote) you now have the ability to get your movie into the marketplace. This allows you to create a business plan and marketing strategy with a fully accessible sales channel. (This is huge!)

Secondly, sites like Kickstarter and Indie GoGo allow you to crowdfund. With crowdfunding, you can test your concept long before you get into the marketplace. This will help you determine if your movie has a market – long before you dive into your project both feet first.

When you have a sales channel and a proven concept, having conversations with prospective investors will be much easier.

If you would like more information on movie marketing, check out these filmmaking tools.

Movie Marketing

As a filmmaker, you must realize that movie marketing is essential to your success. And while I’m sure you “know” this, you probably aren’t doing anything about it.

In an effort to provide you with bite sized steps you can take to accelerate your filmmaking success, I have listed the top ten things that all filmmakers must include in their movie marketing:

  1. Definable hook.
  2. Great screenplay.
  3. Clearly definable target audience.
  4. Cost effective way to reach the target audience.
  5. Consistent branding (logos, fonts and colors) on movie marketing collateral.
  6. Awesome poster.
  7. Great Movie website that helps you “sell” your movie.
  8. Marketing plan included in your business plan.
  9. Team of people consisting of at least one internet nerd.
  10. The willingness to implement your own sales and marketing strategy.

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.

If the deal makes sense (meaning, you are happy with the deal), only you can decide if you should outsource your sales, marketing and distribution to some other middle-man.

But if the deal doesn’t make sense, wouldn’t it make sense for you to do what most traditional business owners do – add a movie marketing division to your production company! Then figure out how to create some movie marketing magic!

– – –

If you liked this article on modern movie marketing, you might also enjoy more info on how to market and sell your movie.

Filmmaking Seminar Los Angeles

For Los Angeles based fimmakers looking to take their show to business, I recommend checking out the next  Norman Berns workshop.  In this full-day, hands-on instruction, you will gain experience on the following:





Your day will begin with an overview of the basics. Then you’ll spend A FULL DAY working with YOUR script, YOUR schedule, YOUR plan, YOUR pitch. You’ll gain valuable insight needed to dissect the logic of a shooting schedule, review production budget cost savings and craft business plans to meet investors needs. And you’ll also discover how to allocate state film incentives correctly.

Oh. And as a highlight, I’m going to stop by and share some tips on how to market and sell your movie without the middleman. I’m told this one day event is filling up fast. So reserve your spot.

When: Monday, May 9th

Where: Showbiz Software Store

500 S. Sepulveda, Los Angeles

9am – 6pm

Crowdfunding and Independent Movie Distribution

A few weeks back I gave a talk and was surprised that many filmmakers in attendance had never heard of crowdfunding.

If you are one of those filmmakers, crowdfunding provides you with the ability to reach out to your social networks and solicit your contacts for financial sponsorship.

Crowdfunding and Independent Movie Distribution

In this “many to one” funding model, in exchange for donations, you provide various incentives. $5 dollars might get your sponsor a DVD. $500 dollars might get your sponsor an all expenses paid trip to the premier.

The other reason why I like crowdfunding is, it allows you to test a concept and source an audience from day one. In this regard, if your movie has a really sharp hook, you have the possibility of building buzz before you make your movie.

I have provided the following resources to help speed up your crowdfunding research:

Popular Crowdfunding Sites – Indie GoGo allows filmmakers to raise money and take whatever they get. Indie GoGo also owns a movie distribution arm called distribber. – This an all or nothing deal. Filmmakers either hit their goal, or they get nothing.

Distribution Tools

Assuming you are successful in your funding campaign, you will want to start thinking about your distribution strategy. To help with this, check out the following, popular distribution solutions: (my affiliate) – Owned by Indie GoGo, with a one-time upfront fee, this company allows filmmakers to access popular VOD marketplaces, in a non-exclusive deal.

Also, read this article from the Wall Street Journal – The SEC is considering lifting regulations on private offerings. In the very near future, filmmakers may be able to sell shares of ownership through crowdfunding. It’s still a long way away, but worth thinking about.

Hope these filmmaking resources help. While you’re here, sign up for my newsletter >>