In a follow-up to last week’s blog on self distribution platforms, I thought we would step back for a minute and try to understand what filmmakers should consider before they decide whether or not to self distribute their movie. This blog is a list of potential parameters you might want to go by. It’s not the only things you should take into account, but they are some factors you’ll need to consider
1. Do you have money for promotion and aggregation?
While you get to keep 100% of the money you make when you use someone like Distribbr, you also have to pay them up front to get you on those platforms. If you use traditional distribution, generally the distributor will take on that risk for you. Also, they’ll generally pay less than distribbr would charge you in aggregation fees, so they can put more money into marketing the film.
Further, with traditional distribution there tend to be some notable economies of scale. One of these factors is the fact that most good distributors and sales agents will have a publicist on retainer so your film will get better press, and further reach.
2. How your social media following.
If you don’t have a pretty decent social media following, then you really should consider traditional distribution. If the equation below works out to more than 1, then perhaps you should consider selling your film yourself, especially since this doesn’t factor for your personal press contacts, etc. If it doesn’t, then maybe you should look into traditional distribution.
I know I'm asking you to do algebra, but if I get asked in the comments I may create a calculator that runs the math for you.
TF = Number of Twitter Followers
FF = Number of Facebook Fans
IF = Number of Instagram followers
OFX=Number of other social media followings(Can repeat multiple times)
EL = Number of people on your relevant email list * 0.2)*
SP = Sales Price
OLF=Outstanding Liabilities of the film (I.E. how much do you need to pay back investment and deferments)
3. What was the Budget of your film?
While I’m a big fan of traditional distribution (I am, after all, a distributor) I will say that in many cases it doesn’t make sense to try to sell a film made for less than 10k unless it came out REALLY well. Generally, that equation above will also look favorably on you if your budget is that low. There are, however, cases where this is not true.
4. Do you have press contacts?
My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of Producer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.