The New Movie Distribution Paradigm

Since starting Filmmaking Stuff I have seen the entire independent community get turned up-side-down. Inexpensive production technology coupled with modern forms of video-on-demand distribution has changed the way movies are made, marketed, seen and sold.

When I started participating on film festival panels, filmmakers used to ask how to land a distributor, how to get a good film distribution deal or how to live happily ever after. But over the last two 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 distribution decision. In the last month alone I have been contacted by some very well-known filmmakers who have decided to bypass traditional distribution in lieu of video-on-demand. Why? Because they have already sourced an audience and have opted to sell directly.

The New Movie Distribution Paradigm

Last week a famous TV celebrity (and filmmaker) called me, saying: “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?”

She is not alone in her sentiment.

A few days back, the LA Times published an article focused on how the Sundance festival darlings are now utilizing video-on-demand as a distribution vehicle. And this 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.

But regardless of the on-demand platforms, the bigger question is: What are you doing to build your audience? What are you doing to create a marketing, sales and distribution strategy? Because if you are still waiting around for somebody to “pick up” your movie, odds are good someone will take advantage of you.

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

Does movie distribution sound complicated?

In the indie producer’s guide to 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.

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