In the world of indie filmmaking, it sure seems like NetFlix has become the holy grail. But after working with several other filmmakers on their distribution strategy, I really DO NOT think NetFlix offers the indie filmmaker a viable option for distribution.
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?
As filmmakers, we are in the midst of a major movie distribution paradigm shift. Traditional theatrical release models as well as DVD sales channels are being replaced by video on demand platforms. These changes have forever altered the ways in which movies are seen and sold. As a consequence, getting into Sundance and selling your […]
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…
Since starting filmmaking stuff, I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of spammy hype emails promoting new filmmaking technologies that allow filmmakers to stream their independent movies. While many of these companies have a cool concept, the truth is, I think many of these streaming solutions are a waste of time.
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.
Do you remember when the idea of making movies seemed like a far away dream? Do you remember when you first got the idea for your movie? Do you remember Your first day of production? Do you remember your first screening and how well everyone loved your work?
The veterans of the movie industry tell us that all this distribution deal disappointment is a result of improved technology. They optimistically tell us that our lost DVD revenues will be recouped by Video On Demand. Some refer to this as simply a market correction, implying that someday, somewhere, someone will figure out how to once again pay the big bucks for movies. But this is a pipe-dream.
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.