Why Filmmakers Fail At Film Festivals

Do you ever wonder why filmmakers fail at film festivals? I have been speaking at quite a few film festivals. And what I find is, many filmmakers are still stuck in an old paradigm that no longer exists. In the past, most filmmakers dreamed of getting their movies seen and sold at festivals, followed by a 3 picture deal. But the reality is, these types of deals are rare.

What is more likely to happen? Nothing.

The biggest reason filmmakers fail at film festivals is because they are waiting for someone else to give them permission to start marketing and selling their movie!

I know this type of filmmaking article is not as sexy as telling you: “You can do it!” Or “Go make a movie and get rich!” If you want that sort of thing, you should probably just ignore me and tune into the gazillion other  filmmaking websites that outright fib to you. I would rather see you make a movie and actually have a shot at quitting your day job.

The truth is, there are nearly 50,000 feature films made each year. Out of those titles, only a very small hand-full get picked up by a traditional distributor. And many of those traditional deals promise iTunes, Hulu and AmazonMarketplaces that you can access yourself!

So what can you do to create a solid plan for your own filmmaking success? That was a question asked of me by Nic Baisley at the First Glance Film Festival. Here is the video of my interview:

My ongoing goal is to help you help yourself.  Due to increased competition as well as the demise of retail distribution, the world of indie filmmaking has changed. There are a lot of movies competing for eyeballs out there. As a result, you have to change the way you make, market and sell movies.

Repeat after me: “My audience is my business. Without an audience, I have no business. As a serious filmmaker, I am responsible for sourcing my own audience.”

Also – if you know a film festival director, ask him or her to invite Jason Brubaker to speak.


Film Festival Workshop

Do you know of any film festivals seeking someone to put on a film festival workshop? If so, please send them a link to this page.

Over the next year, I am hitting the road. I’m going from city to city to spread the word about modern movie distribution tactics and how YOU can benefit. I am doing this because the independent movie market is saturated with competition. And as a result, finding a traditional distribution deal for your movie (that actually pays money) is increasingly challenging.

After failing to garner a traditional distribution deal for my first feature film, I had to figure out how to market and sell my movie through modern internet marketing strategies. The good news is, five years later our movie is still selling!

As a result of this experience, I have developed an easy to follow, step-by-step modern movie distribution presentation. In it, I show independent filmmakers how to maximize movie profits without the middle-man!

If you are interested in seeing me live, forward this article to every film festival director you know. And if you can’t wait to see me, watch the video below:

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“Exceptionally sharp, focused and insightful, Jason Brubaker knows how to squeeze profits out of a film release. When I have to deal with marketing – whether it’s getting a film released or setting up a panel discussion – Jason is on my team. He knows how to do the job and he knows how to explain the process.”

-Norman Berns; Emmy-Award Winning Producer

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“Jason delivered a terrific presentation at The Business of Entertainment IV networking event. His topic was “How to Sell Your Movie Without a Middleman” and featured insights and tips on how students and independent producers can leverage Internet distribution for a profit. Jason was informative and entertaining; and he received excellent reviews from the participants. We will definitely engage Jason again and look forward to more of the same professional and personable observations and advice!”

– Von Johnson

Thank YOU for helping me spread the modern moviemaking movement.