Yesterday I started a thread on Facebook about some filmmakers and their often lack of enthusiasm for getting involved in distribution. Boy did I light the blue touch paper!
Here was my main point…
Why are some film makers resistant to getting involved in distribution? Why do so many avoid even thinking about this until after they finish editing? It used to be that film makers would complain about sales agents and distributors, but now that the playing field is wide open, they is STILL apathy to actually roll your sleeves up and make a success of your business. Is the myth that Hollywood will somehow discover your talent so deeply cherished that we can’t see what is right in front of us? Or are so many of us just self indulgent enough to take an investors money and really not care about a return, so long as we get to shoot our movies? The future is here but we HAVE GOT TO ACT ON IT…
And here are a few snippets from the chat…
‘filmmakers have somehow convinced themselves that the “democratized filmmaking era” — in which filmmakers are completely in control of all aspects of their film’s release like never before — is just some kind of blip on the radar…’
‘What I’m saying is I’d rather be making my next film than stuffing jiffy bags with DVD’s…’
‘Surely it’s about the film, the film first, the film last and then finally, the film… If it’s good, then it will find it’s audience. We have to believe that don’t we?’
‘So how do you make your film vital? How do you make it so audiences MUST see it…?’
‘Couldnt one of the problems be the perception that creating art is fun and creating money is work?’
‘The world does not owe me an audience, I need to earn it but delivering what they want, how they want it, when they want it… and then surprise them too!’
‘Experienced commercial execs also regard the products they development as art (believe it or not) and something special. But they too must first figure out whether anyone out there wants to buy it. And establish good relationships with those who do. If you don’t buy into that, you should happily create your art with zero expectation of distribution.’
Finally, granddaddy Jon Reiss weighed in…
1. Few films get traditional distribution anymore – and most filmmakers are disgruntled with the deals they get.
2. A world of options are available to filmmakers to release their films – not purely self distribution – I advocate working with larger entities in a split rights model.
3. Not all filmmakers are motivated by making $ – different filmmakers have different goals. That being said the new model can monetize if you identify, engage and give value to your audience.
4. Filmmaking is not just about making films anymore 1/2 is about making films. 1/2 is about connecting the film to an audience.
5. Every film and filmmaker is different and will have a different path. The new model allows for this.
6. It is best to start this process early in the filmmaking process. It is more effective creative and organic when done this way. The earlier you can start the better.
7. Partner with people who will help you with this process- which is why I created the concept of the Producer of Marketing and Distribution. Scottish Docu Workshop has one, Dog Woof is a PMD on one of their films, Sally Hodgson is one on Sound it Out – Adam has done it on a number of films etc.
I’ll be talking about this for 2 days straight in London this weekend – so come on down and ask questions! www.DistributionMasterclass.com
And if you want to read the Facebook thread, click here…www.facebook.com/chrisjonesfilmmaker/posts/10151009264210091
Onwards and upwards!