Independent Film Distribution

The more I learn about film distribution, the deeper the rabbit hole goes (to quote The Matrix). It’s amazingly complex and diverse. It’s never as simple as “Here. Buy my film.” There are so many degrees and levels and territories and rights and agents and rabbit holes.

With the advent of digital filmmaking, it has become a buyer’s market. There is so much supply that demand has dropped considerably. Let me give you one example. Horror films have saturated the market. Typically, horror films are cheap to make, require no name talent (you kill them all off anyway), and fear sells across cultures. But, horror films are a dime a dozen.

So, what are our options for our movie? The biggest challenge we have is that there are no recognizable names. We have some great talent and actors who have been in big films. James Macdonald’s extensive resume includes movies like Phone Booth, Hollywood Homicide, Space Cowboys, Stealth, Home of the Brave, Mercury Rising and Broken Arrow. His list of TV credits are even longer.

Our other actors have formidable credits as well, like Scarlett McAlister (The Missing & The Astronaut Farmer) and Crystal Mantecon (Road House 2 & Prison Break) and Todd Tyler (Walker Texas Ranger). We have some great talent! And it shows on screen.Then, there’s the story. It’s a wonderful, unique story that’s never been told before. It’s the kind of show that you can watch three and four times and still see new and fresh things. There’s an incredible science behind the story that indie film buffs will be drawn to. Those commenting on the film say it has the potential to be a cult classic.

So, how do you sell that? It comes down to marketing and being able to position your film amidst the fray.

Some of our strategies include an amazing website. This week we start work on a new movie website. It’ll focus on a lot of web 2.0 technologies, like blogging, commenting, email blasts and links to social networks. Which leads me to another marketing strategy…social networking. With explosion of tools like MySpace, Facebook, etc., it’s imperative that you start networking. There are blogs, newsgroups, networks, niche groups, and millions of others little networks–and it’s key that you plug into these groups.

I’ve now taken off my filmmaking hat, dusted off my old marketing hat from Corporate America and jumped back into the business arena. It’s familiar, yet new. Lots of the same concepts apply, but instead of selling mobile phones and services, I’m selling movies.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 7th, 2008 at 10:04 am and is filed under distribution.
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