With the demise of traditional DVD distribution, you as a filmmaker are responsible for your audience. Why? Because your audience is your business – and without an audience you will have no movie business. Having an audience database for your movie is essential…
YOU are now responsible for marketing, promotion and distribution of your movie. And inline with this strategy, you must view regional and second tier festivals as an opportunity to build your audience list. But instead of handing out postcards to other filmmakers, your marketing strategy will be smarter.
“If you want to make a living making movies, you need to realize that your library and the subsequent audience you source (over your career) are your major assets. And, as a result, your most important filmmaking focus (aside from doing good work) is to acquire and keep a customer,” he emphasizes.
In years past, filmmakers only self distributed their movies when they had to. It wasn’t a choice! But these days, filmmakers can choose to self-distribute, because 9 times out of 10, making your title available on Amazon and iTunes and other popular VOD marketplaces can potentially pay more than a traditional deal. Because a deal that pays zero is not a deal. (Of course I’m expressing my opinion.)
While creating creating community around your title, building buzz and increasing your fan base is both challenging and fun, a lot of filmmakers have no idea how to get started. In this regard, one of your first steps is to determine if your movie is ready for the marketplace
While nobody wants to make movies for pocket change, many filmmakers still believe we can somehow continually produce unprofitable (movie) products and expect the money and the subsequent jobs to keep rolling in. And unlike years past, filmmakers can no longer approach investors with the cliche pitch: “Filmmaking is a risky investment – if we are lucky, we might win Sundance and get a deal.” Now, with transparent distribution options availabe to all filmmakers, that line of give-me-money reasoning is reckless, no longer applicable, and in my opinion, unethical.