Releasing Your Film… You Need to Know Your Goals in Order to Attain Them

Guest post from Jon Reiss

I can’t say how excited I am to be coming back to London and doing the TOTBO workshop with Chris Jones.  It was Chris who actually encouraged me to create a workshop and then hosted the first one in London back in 2010. Since then I have done them throughout Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. I have filmed nearly all of them with the eye to releasing the content – which I am now finally doing – in conjunction with the Distribution Masterclass I am doing in London June 23 and 24th – also hosted by Chris.

This week’s post concerns setting the goals for your release. I am a firm believer that it is essential for filmmakers to have a clear idea of what their goals are for their film’s release and to prioritize one or perhaps 2 specific goals because a film team will use different release strategies to achieve different goals. I see 4 main goals that most filmmakers strive for in their releases:

1. Money (Fortune)

2. A career launch, helping get another film made. (Fame – for a traditional career based on the previous film career paradigm that only exists for a small percentage of filmmakers these days).

3. Audience (some people just want their film to be seen by an audience as wide as possible.

4.  Change the World – especially for documentary.

However I encourage most (if not all) filmmakers to consider a fifth goal:

5. A long-term relationship with a potentially sustainable audience/fan base.

This is an essential component of any modern media release – yet most filmmakers still do not consider this a primary goal. This goal is different in objective than the old school fame based career launch (Number 2 above).  It is not about press, “heat” or ego. It’s about connection, engagement and a bringing your fans with you from project to project. This goal is not achievable if you sell your film outright in an all-rights scenario. In that case your distributor has access to your audience data – not you (although most don’t cultivate this data – yet).

Next week’s clip will talk about the importance of prioritizing your goals. In other words you are better off pursuing one goal. If you don’t, you are at the risk of not achieving any of your goals. Upcoming posts will concern identifying and engaging audience, creating events, merchandise, digital rights, timing as well as interviews with artists and filmmakers such as Timo Vuorensola, Molly Crabapple, Corey McAbee and many more.

If you would like to attend the Distribution Masterclass in London, you can get a £50 discount using the code JONREISS – this will bring the ticket price for the two days down to £89. Tickets are limited to. Sign up here…

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