Traditional film distribution has been disrupted. Digital has replaced physical and VOD film distribution is now the primary way to get your films 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 movie distribution deal and how to live happily ever after. But over the last few years, the narrative has changed significantly.
What Every Filmmaker Ought to Know About VOD Film Distribution
With the rise of filmmaker friendly platforms like Amazon, filmmakers are now asking questions about how to market and sell their own movies, without a distributor. And this trend is NOT limited to micro-budget filmmakers. Producers with lots of buzz can choose to bypass traditional distribution deals and keep more of their money. Why? Because these filmmakers have already sourced an audience and know how to sell directly.
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 distributor promising to get my movie on digital platforms?”
Her question makes perfect sense. And it leads us to our next point:
VOD Film Distribution Success Is Your Responsibility
Whenever I give talks, I ask filmmakers, What is your business? Many filmmakers respond: “To make movies.” While I understand the response, the new answer is: “Audience building.”
Given this paradigm shift, you no longer just in the business of making movies. YOU are actually in the direct marketing business. (Which usually always includes content and email marketing.) Knowing this begs two very important questions:
1. What are you doing TODAY to find where your audience congregates online?
2. What are you doing TODAY 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, VOD film distribution is no longer about just getting onto a popular platform. The new movie distribution paradigm requires that YOU (the filmmaker) take responsibility for your film.
In the indie producer’s guide to distribution, you will discover concrete strategies on how to get your film 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.