Independent movie investors invest because they want a return on their money. Creating a business plan will provide your prospective investor with a road map on how his or her money will be spent and hopefully recouped. In the old filmmaking model this wasn’t easy. Because distribution was once discriminatory, many first time independent feature filmmakers had to hold their breath in hopes their movies would get into a film festival, buil buzz, and (hopefully) garner a great distribution deal, complete with a cash advance. But that is an outdated model.
Without a defined market or an established sales channel, it is difficult to justify financing, which makes it very difficult to pay cast and crew – which, by the way, makes it difficult to produce a movie. And assuming you can answer these questions, the problem is still economy of scale. If you can’t reach the masses (or reach enough people willing to pay for what you’re selling), how will you ever recoup your initial movie investment?
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.
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.
After posting the following ROI marketing formula, many people have written to tell me that my numbers are unrealistic. And for the gazillionith time – I get it! Everybody agrees that recouping a 1M dollar budget based on Pay Per Visit advertising alone is an outlandish proposition.
Earlier this week, I caught wind of an indie production company based in Australia called Rapidfire Productions. This is a production company that operates as a self sustaining modern moviemaking business. They develop movies, get money, make their movies and through their own distribution arm, the company reaches the masses.
Filmmaking is changing. Like it or not, if you want to make a living making movies, you need to learn about the business side of independent movie making. And if this is your first time on filmmaking stuff, you are reading step 4 of a 7 part series on how to sell your movie How To Sell Your Movie On iTunes, Amazon and Netflix For Maximum Profit.
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.