We’ve all heard many horror stories from filmmakers who were thrilled to find a distributor for their film only to find the film was mishandled, shelved or the company went under with no recourse for the filmmaker to claim their rights back. There are also distributors so coveted for their professionalism and skill at finding the right audiences for their titles that everyone wants to work with them.
I believe video on demand distribution represents freedom for filmmakers. While there are many great sales agents and distributors, I am totally bothered by the sales agents and middle-men who have taken a bottom-feeding approach to VOD. These jerks make a living trying to sucker unsuspecting filmmakers into long term video on demand deals that suck. I put together the following video to express my disgust and also provide a new hope. As a modern moviemaker, there has never been a better time to make, market and sell your movies without the middle-man.
There was a time when filmmakers needed to ask permission to make movies. There was a time when filmmakers had to find some sort of gatekeeper with access to distribution and, subsequently, an audience. But things have changed.
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.
As a feature filmmaker, one of the biggest problems YOU have is finding a traditional distribution deal (that actually makes sense) for your movie. With each passing day, we get closer and closer to a world where DVD sales channels are being replaced by video on demand. And while we are not there yet, after spending the greater part of last weekend watching streaming content on NetFlix and Hulu, I am now of the opinion that the days of DVD distribution are numbered.
One secret I utilize is frequent press release submissions. Years ago, it was advised that you only wrote and submitted press releases when you had something newsworthy to say. But these days, in addition to targeting traditional news outlets, most press releases are included in search engine results. Without getting overly technical, this means for a very small amount of money, submitting one press release complete with links to your website can increase your web footprint.