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.
The traditional independent filmmaking business was defined by a filmmaker finding a script, locating investors, raising money, making the movie and then landing an awesome distribution deal – and living happily ever after. Over the last few years, the entire model of indie filmmaking has gone Topsy-Turvy…
Peter Broderick is President of Paradigm Consulting which helps filmmakers and media companies develop strategies to maximize distribution, audience and revenues. Earlier this week, Peter stopped by Filmmaking Stuff to talk about the the new world of distribution and how filmmakers can navigate the ever changing landscape of independent filmmaking.
Video on demand distribution provides filmmakers with easy access to the major online marketplaces such as Amazon and iTunes. Once a title is submitted, filmmakers can then share virtual shelf space with mainstream Hollywood movies. While video on demand distribution represents a easy way for independent filmmakers to enter mainstream marketplaces, this change in distribution represents new challenges.
The major ineptitude most filmmakers suffer from is a lack of general business acumen. I mean, most filmmakers know about the movie business. And these filmmakers usually fall into one of two categories. Either they understand the studio business or they understand traditional independent filmmaking.
For those of you who are adding your own thoughts to the Modern Moviemaking Manifesto, what I’m proposing is easier said than done. It is easy for me to talk about the success of our first feature. It is much more difficult to admit that our second feature bombed miserably.
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with transparent distribution options availabe to all filmmakers, that line of give-me-money reasoning is reckless, no longer applicable, and in my opinion, unethical.