Filmmaker Jason Brubaker Gets Punched Out By LA Producers Over Video On Demand Sales Projections

When I published my article on leveraging VOD sales to finance your movie, I had no idea that a simple internet marketing formula for filmmakers would be such a polarizing issue. I can’t tell you how many Los Angeles based movie producers responded negatively through email.

One guy even told me my grammar sucked.

So to clarify, I was not trying to ruffle any feathers. I was simply applying a standard internet marketing ROI formula to a product available through video on demand. Nothing more.

All of this was based on the premise that selling movies on the internet is no different than selling any other downloadable product (where you are lucky if you convert 1%)

This is based on experience. I learned how to market and sell movies on the internet when our first feature did not garner a traditional distribution deal and we ended up selling on Amazon. Back then I personally knew a bunch of filmmakers in a similar situation – all had titles but no deal. Since that time, even more filmmakers have flooded the market with titles. Couple this with the decline of various DVD sales channels, and suddenly a crappy $25 backyard indie can now share virtual self space with $25M movies.

For those of us who produce features without any sort of pre-sales, instead of telling prospective investors “If we are lucky, we might get into festivals and garner a distribution deal.” We can finally reach our audience without asking permission. And to me, this makes the indie movie business like any other small business… Produce a product and then market, sell and distribute your product.

This said, I totally agree with one of the readers who said my equation for returning a 1M dollar budget was preposterous. He was right. Anybody who thinks you can magically generate the mass amount of sales needed to recoup even a 1M dollar investment without a substantial outlay of cash towards advertising is mis-guided. Which is what those formulas reveal.

I wasn’t trying to present an indie movie panacea. We are all trying to find profit in business competing with (what I think is the indie movie equivalent) of sweat shop labor produced goods. So in terms of the person who said I’m trying to seduce “starry eyed producers,” I would say that finally having non-discriminatory VOD sales channels like Amazon, and especially iTunes finally gives us producers something to get excited about.

Whether or not we can find the marketing formula to justify our budgets remains the ongoing challenge. I for one am working my butt off to find the balance between budget and the amount of marketing needed to recoup the money – and hopefully create an ongoing stream of revenue.

My model of moviemaking isn’t for everyone. In fact, many of you have great relationships with distributors and are still making money in DVD and theatrical. Awesome! But if you are a filmmaker still relying on the “Sundance Dream” to recoup your budget – or if you are a filmmaker with a title collecting dust in your bedroom closet, I hope my article offered a little optimism.

At the same time, feel free to share your own thoughts on VOD distribution.

And spelling an grammatical tips are welcome from filmmakers too.

Jon Reiss and Sheri Candler talk Movie Marketing and Distribution

Traditional independent filmmaking is changing. In years past, the independent movie business was defined by a filmmaker’s ability to find a script, locate movie investors, raise the necessary money, make the movie and (hopefully) land an awesome distribution deal – and then live happily ever after.

At least that was the dream.

But these days, the entire model of indie filmmaking has gone Topsy-Turvy. Nobody knows this better than Jon Reiss and Sheri Candler. Both are on the cutting edge of independent movie marketing and distribution.

Earlier this week, Sheri Candler and Jon Reiss stopped by Filmmaking Stuff to share some ideas on how filmmakers can think outside the box office. You can download This Filmmaking Stuff Podcast

Jon Reiss has produced and directed three features films and has been named one of “10 Digital Directors to Watch” by Daily Variety. Based on his experience, Jon Reiss wrote “Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution in the Digital Era.” This book has gained international acclaim. Check out: Think Outside The Box Office

Sheri Candler is an inbound marketing strategist who helps independent filmmakers build identities for themselves and their films. Through the use of online tools such as social networking, podcasts, blogs, online media publications and radio, she assists filmmakers in building an engaged and robust online community for their work that can be used to monetize effectively. To find out more about Sheri Candler’s independent movie marketing services, visit her website here: Sheri Candler Movie Marketing website.

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Please comment below…

Filmmaking Stuff News For 2011 Early

Picture I made for my goals article

Image via Wikipedia

Hi Filmmakers,

If this is your first time visiting Filmmaking Stuff, welcome! For those of you who have been a member of the Filmmaking Stuff community for some time, hello again! I’m writing you from my home in Laural Canyon. For those of you who don’t know this part of Los Angeles, I’m in the canyon between the Hollywood Hills, and within walking distance to Jim Morrison’s former house (which is for sale if any of you have an extra 1.6 Million).

I wanted to write YOU because our filmmaking community is growing like crazy. It seems many of you have told your friends about – and your friends have told their friends, and their friends have told their friends… So THANK YOU for spreading the word! The goal is to grow our community of modern moviemakers to at least 10,000 by December 2011.

Because our filmmaking community is growing so rapidly, you can tell I’m already planning my filmmaking stuff goals for 2011. I am looking for ways in which we can help each other increase our moviemaking business. Obviously our facebook and twitter pages provide at least one way to connect, but I think there is more we can do. Over the next few months, I will share some solutions. (And you’ll be the first to know.)

Filmmaking Stuff News Updates – In Prep For 2011

1. Film Festivals:

I’m in the process of scheduling workshops and panel discussions at various film festivals around the world. My focus is showing filmmakers how to market and sell their movies, utilizing new methods in VOD distribution (and also how to leverage these sales channels to raise money from prospective investors.)

Why is this important to you? Because, before VOD, filmmakers had to find some sort of  middle man to market and sell their movies. But this has changed for the better. These days, you can finally make a movie and distribute your movie without asking permission – which means, you can finally pitch your movie project as a REAL business to investors. (Please stop putting stuff in your business plan about how you hope to get into Sundance and garner a dream distribution deal. 1995 is over. Investors don’t want to play the lottery. They want a business!)

So, if you know of a local film festival that would benefit from the “Maximize Your Movie Profits Without The Middle Man” workshop – feel free to tell them them about Jason Brubaker and Filmmaking Stuff. If I book a gig as a result of your efforts, you will get a copy of the entire Movie Maker Action Pack.

2. New Filmmaking Product:

Speaking of the Action Pack, two weeks ago I totally updated and silently released my latest product. I call it the Independent Produer’s Guide to Digital Self Distribution. It is a step-by-step action guide with some fill-in-the-blank type stuff.  Not surprisingly, this action guide is complementary to my workshop.

In truth, there are a lot of people out there that tell you that twitter and facebook is a great way to promote your movies. And while I agree that FB and Twitter are powerful tools, the other material never fully addresses (or solves) the real question: How do we make filmmaking a viable business? Hmmm?

If you have the same question, then you’re in luck. With the Indie Guide to Digital Self Distribution, I’ll show you how to market and sell your movie through video on demand and direct DVD sales – And I will also share how I lost over $100,000.00 with my first feature and how you can avoid my mistakes. Here is the link>>>

3. Modern Moviemaking Podcasts:

I started a FREE filmmaking podcast. Next time you open iTunes, search for Filmmaking Stuff. You’ll be able to subscribe to the Filmmaking Stuff, Filmmaking Podcast. In the coming months, I hope to interview a whole bunch of industry folks. I am going to focus on finding professionals willing to give away their secret sauce… I’ll keep you posted.

4. Modern Moviemaking Community, online:

Since publishing the modern moviemaking manifesto, some of you have written, requesting an online community where you can share ideas with other filmmakers involved in our movement. So I have taken the initial steps to creating the modern moviemaking community. If you want to be among the first to know about it (because it’s exclusive), make sure you get on the list.

5. Happy 2011. OK… I know I’m early.

For those of you who have gotten to know me, you already understand that I’m passionate and excited for the future of moviemaking. I have so many little projects lined up for 2011, I figure – Why wait? I’m eager to get moving and you should be too. Why? Because I believe the movie industry is changing fast! And it is vitally important that you stay on top of all the changes.

My suggestion? Read everything you can about finance, marketing, filmmaking and video on demand distribution. We are entering a new era.  This is the filmmaking equivalent of the automobile replacing the horse-drawn wagon. We are in the middle of a movement!


New Filmmaking Service For Video On Demand Movie Distribution

Jason Brubaker is a Los Angeles based producer and an expert in video on demand distribution.

LA Based Indie Producer Jason Brubaker

If you’re a filmmaker, I don’t need to tell you that the world of filmmaking is changing. And if you’re one of the many filmmakers with a feature film, but no ROI, then you probably already figured out that traditional distribution is no longer profitable.

My questions:

  1. Do you have a feature collecting dust?
  2. Or do you know someone who failed to garner a traditional distribution deal?

If so, then I want to help.

For those of you visiting Filmmaking Stuff for the first time, my name is Jason Brubaker. I’m an LA based indie producer and an expert in modern VOD distribution. In a nut-shell, I help filmmakers get their movies listed, seen (and selling) through popular VOD outlets, like iTunes.

To find out more about me, pick up this month’s Movie Maker Magazine. “The future of Movie Making 2010.” On page 38, you’ll see my article on how to market and sell your movie on the internet. You can also check out my other movie distribution articles here.

If you are interested in discussing ways I might help YOU get your movie seen and sold through various Video On Demand channels, please feel free to email me here: Jason(at)

Happy Filmmaking!

Jason Brubaker
Filmmaking Stuff

Filmmaking ROI: How Many VOD Downloads Does It Take..?

2006-01-28 Pu money

I have no idea how this chunk of wood relates to Filmmaking. But it looked neato. Image via Wikipedia

I always hated math. Then last year after finishing up one of our movies, we realized that most of our distribution offers sucked.

So in order to make back our money and (hopefully) make a profit, I had to learn some math. The actual equation was really quite simple – and a good case study for your own filmmaking projects.

Let’s suppose you go out and raise $100K for your movie. And let’s say you make your movie, but you do not garner a dream distribution deal. And for the sake of this article, let’s say the only way you can recoup your investment is by making $4.99 (after expenses) off of each VOD download sold.

Then here are my questions to you: How many VOD downloads must you sell to pay back your investors? How many VOD downloads must you sell to make a living as a professional filmmaker? And how will you plan your marketing to make this a reality?