Landing a killer film distribution deal is all about reducing risk and increasing the potential reward for a prospective distributor. The problem is, most filmmakers never think about this stuff until it’s too late.
As a filmmaker it is important to remember that you are creating and selling a product. Yes, your movie is your product. And like any entrepreneur you must plan for the marketing, sales and distribution of your movie.
3 Factors That Could Affect Your Film Distribution Deal
Even if you do not plan to distribute your movie yourself, it behooves you to create your own marketing, sales and distribution strategy. The reason for this is simple. Most filmmakers do not do this. As a result, nearly every filmmaker approaches a prospective distributor the same way:
“Well… Here’s my movie. Can you give me an awesome film distribution deal?”
This is the incorrect approach because it gives you absolutely no leverage and no room for negotiation. The better approach would be to go into each distribution meeting knowing that you don’t actually need a film distribution deal. You achieve this by creating your own marketing plan.
While there are a lot of options to consider when sketching out an effective marketing, sales and distribution plan, the following three factors could affect your film distribution deal.
1. Who Is Your Target Audience?
To get started, you need to ask yourself: Who is my intended target audience? If you can look at your movie concept objectively and you can’t answer that question in five seconds or less, then you need to think harder or evaluate your original concept.
2. What Is Your Hook?
In general business, every company has to figure out their USP. In the world of movies, your unique selling proposition is actually described as your hook. What makes your movie different than the gazillion other movies being made. And why should I care?
3. What Is Your Marketing Budget?
As a filmmaker, marketing is probably the last thing you want to consider. But with the demise of physical DVD distribution, things are changing. As a result YOU are responsible for the marketing, sales and distribution of your movie. Allocate 50% of your budget to cover these costs.
This filmmaking lesson is simple. The time to start planning is today. And if any of this seems confusing, check out my newly updated guide to indie distribution.