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 But that is an outdated model.
As a filmmaker, you need to start thinking about your distribution strategy from day one. Why? Because the world is changing. Audience viewing habits are evolving. The ways in which peopled watch movies is no longer limited to movie theaters or renting a video from a video store. Over the past few weeks, I have […]
“How do you plan to sell this movie and return my investment?” In the old model of filmmaking, traditional distribution was a lottery. So to answer that question, most filmmakers, especially first time filmmakers said something like this: “Filmmaking is risky. If we are lucky, we will get into Sundance and get a distribution deal.”
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.
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.
Given all the changes in distribution, as a filmmaker, getting your movie seen and selling is no longer solely the responsibly of a 3rd party distributor. Once you have sharpened your hook and targeted your target audience, your next step is to set up shop in some of the many popular internet based marketplaces.
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.)