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 But that is an outdated model.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?
One of the Filmmaking Stuff readers sent the following question: Jason – I’m trying to put together a business plan for my prospective investors. I need to figure out who my competition is, and I am having difficulty. Do you have any ideas what my movie competition is? – A Confused Filmmaker Hi Confused, Good […]
Every business has a sales cycle. This is no different for the independent filmmaking business. Having a long term perspective and patience is essential. The trouble is, as an ambitious filmmaker…
Couple this paradigm shift with the demise of DVD sales channels, and a lot of traditional distributors are now offering VOD deals to unsuspecting filmmakers, in the hopes something sticks. These folks usually promise filmmakers the validation of getting their titles into iTunes.
If you’re like most filmmakers, you have a website for your movie. And odds are good you are trying to fit too much into it. So the first thing you need to do is remove all the distracting crap. Whenever I mention this at a talk, invariably someone asks me how to determine what’s distracting? It depends on your website objective.
A lot of filmmakers (who do not have website traffic) are being fed the idea that “content enablers” will magically source an audience. When I wrote the post about website streaming, I did so more in response to the never-ending slew of emails I get from various PR firms trying to push the next streaming gizmo for indie filmmakers – none of which solves the blatant problem of actually getting enough people to watch the movie…
Because many traditional DVD distributors will add NO VALUE to your VOD strategy. They will simply get your movie into the marketplace and suck your profits for the extent of your contract. And since most traditional distributors do not understand the VOD market, they will grab any title they can and hope for the best.
Filmmakers aren’t like normal business people. Marketing a movie is not considered part of the normal day-to-day process. But in other industries, marketing is just an aspect of business. This makes a lot of sense. In the old days, your success as filmmaker depended on your ability to create an unproven product. And if your product (or in this case, your movie) did well with audiences, it was picked up, marketed and sold.