A lot of filmmakers wait too long before distributing their films. The real secret is being able to weigh all deals and get your movie to market fast. And I’m speaking from experience. We lost over $20,000 (probably more) by not taking action and distributing our first feature when we should have.
Don’t take my word for it… Learn from my experience. Our team missed over $20,000 (probably more) by not distributing our first feature when we should have. We fell victim to the opportunity cost, a pitfall that all too many filmmakers stumble into.
Film Distribution Opportunity Cost
Opportunity cost means that if you choose one direction, it’s impossible to take the other direction at the same time. Or, in the case of film distribution – If you spend all year doing NOTHING with your movie, you’ve lost the potential opportunity to market directly to your audience.
After working with well over 100 filmmakers on their film distribution strategies, I believe that rather than waiting all year for a dream distribution deal (that probably will not materialize), it may be much better to get your movie to market fast.
To understand my reasoning, consider that two things are going to happen:
1. You’ll wait at least seven months before you get your movie to market.
2. In those seven months, people will forget about your movie.
Speaking from experience, thousands of raving fans flooded our website when news of our first feature went viral. At the time, we were Ill-equipped to handle the influx. We had no lead capture system, and our social media strategy was non-existent.
Get Your Movie To Market Fast
Because we were so focused on landing a dream distribution deal, we had no idea we were missing an opportunity.
Like many filmmakers, we were stuck in the old distribution paradigm.
We learned some tough lessons in the process. And thankfully, times have changed.
Video on demand has created a gazillion ways to sell your movie. And as an entrepreneurial filmmaker, you know the importance of sourcing your audience. You also understand that social media engagement is essential. And if you have done an excellent job, thousands of people eagerly await your movie’s release.
Encoding And Delivery Burns Valuable Time
For all the technological advancements, modern film distribution is strangely still inefficient.
For example, you must go through an iTunes-approved aggregator to get your movie onto iTunes. At this point, you have two options. You can either work with an aggregator directly. Or you will need to work with a sales agent, distributor, or distribution service that has a relationship with the iTunes-approved aggregator.
The aggregator will then compile and deliver your movie source file and assets (artwork, closed captions, metadata, et al.) to an iTunes-approved encoding house. Once there, your movie will undergo a process whereby each frame of your film is carefully scrutinized to ensure it passes quality control.
If there are technical hiccups, the encoding team will evaluate and determine the likelihood of a repair in-house.
If the encoders determine your movie can be repaired in-house, they will place your film in a queue. A technician will then work to improve the source file. And assuming the repair is successful, your movie will reenter the encoding process again.
If all goes well, your movie will be audited for an eventual delivery to iTunes. And once your film gets to iTunes, Apple will conduct its quality control and review. Depending on their capacity, this can take an additional three to six weeks.
How To Get Your Movie To Market Fast
The truth is, nobody cares about your movie more than you. Even your most enthusiastic fans are dealing with a gazillion other life distractions. And the longer you wait to see your film and sell, the more you risk losing touch with your audience.
Of course, only you can determine if now is the time to get your movie to market. And this will come after debating with the other producers and taking endless meetings with the acquisitions folks who keep telling you they have the best solution. So the real question is, how will you get your movie to market fast?