What Every Filmmaker Ought to Know About Movie Distribution

Movie distribution is one of least sexy areas of the entire filmmaking process.

And I’ll admit, when I was dreaming of my career in Hollywood – I never set out to become a leading movie distribution consultant.

But after taking our first feature to market, I realized something. The movie distribution paradigm is totally broken.

So here I am – on a mission to help you understand your movie distribution options.

You may not know this yet. But there is a lot of disruption taking place in Hollywood. In fact, independent filmmaking as we know it is getting turned up-side-down.

The reasons for this are simple. . .

Inexpensive production technology coupled with modern forms of video-on-demand distribution has changed the way movies are made, marketed, seen and sold.


The New Movie Distribution Paradigm

When I started participating on film festival panels, filmmakers used to ask how to land a distributor, how to get a good movie distribution deal and how to live happily ever after.

But over the last few years, the narrative has changed significantly.

Filmmakers are now asking questions about how to market and sell their own movies, without the middleman.

This trend is not limited to micro-budget filmmakers down to their last movie distribution decision.

In the last month alone I have consulted with some very well-known filmmakers who have decided to bypass traditional movie distribution deals in lieu of video-on-demand.


Because these filmmakers have already sourced an audience and have opted to sell directly. I’m not kidding.

A few months back a famous TV celebrity (and filmmaker) called me, asking:

If I already have access to thousands of people who know me and my work, what is the value in sharing my notoriety with a sales agent promising to get my movie on iTunes?”

Her question makes perfect sense.

The paradigm is shifting fast. DVD sales are diminishing, being replaced by modern video-on-demand platforms both online, and through your television.

Movie Distribution Success Is Your Responsibility

Whenever I give talks, I ask filmmakers:

What is your business?

Many filmmakers respond: “To make movies.”

And while I understand the response. . .

The new answer is: “Audience building.”

You see, as a filmmaker – especially given this paradigm shift, you no longer just in the business of making movies. YOU are actually in the “audience building business.” So knowing this, you now have two very important questions:

1. What are you doing TODAY to build your audience?

2. What are you doing TODAY to create a marketing, sales and distribution strategy for your movie?

Because if you are still waiting around for somebody to “pick up” your movie, odds are good someone will take advantage of you.

Remember, movie distribution is no longer about just getting onto a popular platform. The new movie distribution paradigm requires that YOU (the filmmaker) take responsibility for sourcing YOUR audience.

sell your movieDoes movie distribution sound complicated?

In the indie producer’s guide to movie distribution, you will discover concrete strategies on how to get your movie seen and selling. Most importantly, you will garner tactics on how to build your audience – not just for the movie you are working on now, but for your entire filmmaking career. You can grab your copy here.


  1. Jim Hearne says

    Jason – Be the only one dissecting the “VPF”. Nothing, yes nothing, is being discussed about its cost effect on the budget. As well as, the ‘real VPF’ the Indie is charged vs the Big 5. Or 6? Or 7?

  2. Zeborah says

    Just finished my first feature Christian movies. I’m very interested in distributing it myself. It’s already been viewed by over seven-hundred-seventy people!

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