It’s no longer a controversial statement that streaming has changed the whole game for independent film distribution. It hasn’t been one for quite a while. However, it is becoming apparent that not only has streaming changed the game, it might as well have become the game, at least here in the US. That’s not really a good thing for indies. Here’s why.
At least until recently, a lot of filmmakers assumed that they could get on any platform they needed to be on just by calling up Distribber or another aggregator like Quiver. With the fallout of the fall of Distribber, many filmmakers are wondering what they can do for distribution. So, I thought I’d share some knowledge as to what platforms a filmmaker can still get on themselves using aggregators like Quiver, and what platforms you’ll need an accomplished sales distributor, or producer’s rep to get on.
I try to stay active in at least a few facebook and LinkedIn groups, and one question that comes up more often than I thought it would was why distributors need to know your social media numbers. The argument that generally follows is something like “just because people follow us doesn’t mean they’re going to buy our movie.” For the most part, we get that you probably have a lot of filmmaker friends, and your filmmaker friends are often surprisingly difficult to get to buy your movie. That’s not the only, (or even the primary) reason why we need to know about your social media. Here are 6 reasons why
We’ve all heard about how Physical media is dead. However, for a long time there was still a significant amount of money in DVD and physical media. In fact, DVD impulse buys are and large rental orders are a lot of what allowed the independent film industry to exist at all. TVOD (Transactional Video on Demand) has not risen to replace the revenues lost from Physical Media, so it only makes sense to try to get revenue for your film from as many sources as possible to try and cobble together an ROI from all the different pieces.
So most filmmakers are at least passingly aware of the importance of genre in independent film distribution. (If you’re not, read this.) But even while most filmmakers have a cursory understanding of what defines a genre, the lines are often less bendable than many filmmakers think they are. So with that in mind, here’s what distributors mean when they say a certain genre.
One of the most common questions I get is where to find investors for a feature film. Inherent in that question is simply where to find investors. While I may not have a specific answer for you regarding exactly where to find them, I do have a set of rules for figuring out where you might be able to find them in your local community. This is meant to be applicable outside of the major hubs in the US, and as such it’s not going to have to be more of a framework than a simple answer.
This is a topic that’s a little basic, but it’s a fundamental building block of understanding how to market your film. So I thought I would do a breakdown of why genre is so important to independent filmmakers in terms of marketing and distribution. I do touch on in my book The Guerrilla Rep: American Film Market Distribution Success on No Budget, but even there I only cover it in a sense as it pertains to the market. Let’s get started.
So there’s a lot of questions about what’s involved in Distribution Deliverables for an independent Film. So I’ve scoured a few contracts to find a very thorough list of what you might need to provide for a distributor or Sales Agent if they take your film. Since this list is quite expansive, there may be some stuff on here that most distributors do not ask for, but If figured it best to know what you might have to be able to provide
In closing contracts, one question I get asked a lot is why distributors, sales agents, and producer’s reps need exclusivity when we do our jobs. Sometimes, this question even comes from the lawyers of my clients. I understand there is risk when giving someone the exclusive right to represent your project, so I thought I would write up a blog post examining exactly why we need exclusivity. Generally speaking, the goal is not to tie up your rights and make it so you can’t do anything with them. There are lots of other reasons why sales agents or producer’s reps need exclusivity.
A few weeks back I did a post on how to get a Letter of Intent from a Sales Agent. You can read that post here. However, I realized it might not be a bad idea to step back and examine the differences between a Letter of intent and a Pre-Sale. While I touch on it in the Rules for getting a Letter of intent blog, It seemed like the topic was worth a little bit more explanation.
When fundraising for anything, the first money is always the hardest. Investors don’t want to be the first in due to the investment seeming untested. So in order for them to feel more secure, you might need to raise some of the money in other places. Here are the 7 most realistic places for filmmakers to go to get first money in.
A lot of what I write is geared towards helping filmmakers better understand how to make a living in film and media. But without the support of their community, audience, and fans it’s impossible for a creator to make a living. So this week thought I’d break the mold and write a post for the fans and followers on how you can support your favorite content creators.
Since money is tight for most people, the majority of this list will show how you can support your favorite content creators without spending any money, or at least money you wouldn’t have spent otherwise.
5 steps to Vet your investors.
Just like all filmmakers and Entrepreneurs are not created equal, nor are all “Rich Guys.” Many will jerk you around, and not actually deliver on what they promise. So how do you know if your potential investor is legit? Well, here are a few tips.
A lot of people are afraid of the complexity of deals with sales agencies. They have a reputation as being very dense, and difficult to understand. While there is truth to this, there’s also a general layout every filmmaker should understand. Many of the pitfalls for distribution can be avoided by knowing these 7 major deal points. That said, you should always have a lawyer or a producer’s rep look over your contract.
A lot of Filmmakers are only concerned with finding investors for their projects. While films require money to be made well, there’s are better ways to find that money than convincing a rich person to part with a few hundred thousand dollars. Even if you are able to get an angel investor (or a few ) on board, it’s often not in your best interest to raise your budget solely from private equity, as the more you raise the less likely it is you’ll ever see money from the back end of your project.
Why should those "Rich Tech People" invest in Film? 6/7
Much of this series has been focused on the numbers behind film investment. While metrics like ROI and APR are very important when considering an investment, they’re not the only reason that high net worth individuals (HNWIs) tend to shy away film. Here are 7 things that are stopping them.
Why Don't Tech people invest in Film? Part 3/7
In the words of Albert Einstein, “The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest.” He also called it “The 8th wonder of the world, he who understands it, earns it. He who does’t, pays it.” In this post, we’re going to be examining how we can use the notion of compound interest in comparison to tech and film investments.
To Celebrate the launch of the Second edition of my book, The Guerrilla Rep, American Film Market Distribution Success on No Budget, I'm giving away the first chapter for free. This blo represents a small fraction of the 58 additional pages in the second edition. The book is currently the only book that currently exists on film Markets. So without further adieu, Here's the first chapter.
After the prologue, you have a 50,000 foot view of AFM. Let’s zoom in a bit, and check out a bit more about the total landscape of Film Markets in general, as well as the sales cycle for them.
What’s the difference between a Film Market and a Film Festival?
When speaking, I get asked this question more than any other, with one possible exception that will be covered in the next chapter.
Taking a little bit of a break from the visions of the film industry and the direction that it should go in, this week I'll be offering a piece of useful advice for all the producers out there. I should start this by saying that I am NOT a financial planner. I am IN NO WAY qualified to evaluate a security. I am also not qualified to give professional advise as to what stocks to buy, how to manage a portfolio, or anything even remotely related to that information.
In my time at the Institute for International Film Finance and Global Film Ventures, I’ve heard many people speak on various tricks to get Films Financed. One of the single most valuable tools in my arsenal is one that I will share with you now. I will say this was not developed by me, but rather by a speaker for one of my events a while back. I will start by saying that in order to be a producer, you need to understand your competition. Not just in terms of other movies and entertainment that are up against yours in the marketplace, but also how your investment stacks up against other potential investments that High Net Worth Individuals may be considering. This requires that a savvy producer understand the stock market, as it is the most common place where investors keep their money.
Why Film Needs Venture Capital
There’s an old joke that goes something like this. Three artists move to Los Angeles, a Fine Artist, a poet, and a Filmmaker. The first day they’re in town, they check out the Mann’s Chinese Theater. When they get there, a wave of inspiration overtakes them. The fine artist says, “This is incredible, I have to draw something! Does anyone have a piece of chalk?” Low and behold a random passerby happens to have one, and hands it over. The fine artist does a beautiful rendering on the sidewalk.
Watching this, the poet says, “I’ve had a flash of inspiration, I must write! Does anyone have a pen and paper?” It happens to be a friendly sort of Los Angeles day, and someone hands over a pen and paper. He writes a beautiful Shakespearean sonnet about his friend’s artistry with the chalk.
The process of Filmmaking has been evolving rapidly over the past decade. With the massive change in the availability of equipment, negating the need for tapes or stock, and bringing professional quality down to a price point thought unfathomable merely a decade ago, the barrier to entry for making a film has been almost completely obliterated. Additionally, education on how to make a film has become widely available, from a massive emergence of film schools to a plethora of information available in special edition DVDs, anyone can learn how to make a film. However, the same cannot be said for Film Distribution. Film distribution is still a black box from where no light or information emerges. There is a very palpable air of secrecy around film distribution, and now that film production has become available for anyone curious enough to seek it, it’s time the same is done for film distribution.
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.
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