Self-distribution used to be a sad term for people who made movies so bad no one wanted to pay money to see them. Today it’s not shunned the way it used to be, in fact there’s great potential for the artist making the movie to cut out the middle man and go straight to audience members. Everyone wins right? Well sort of. Most artists make terrible businessmen and vice versa. There’s a ton of media available on a ton of different platforms, how are people supposed to find your little film among the fray? If you’re going to self-distribute, you the artist are now responsible for getting your film to audience members. Most filmmakers study shot composition and acting. We’re storytellers not story sellers. So how does it work? I don’t know yet. This is my first foray into being a story seller, but here’s a candid break down of what I’m doing with my first feature film, My Toxic Backyard
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Feature films fees average about $50 per entry. Then if you make it in, you want to be able to attend and network. The costs can add up quickly. Did you remember to budget for it?
You have to spend money to make money right?
Having a theatrical release seems really lofty, but it’s totally doable.
Because I had a documentary film, it made sense to broadcast it over the air for free on TV. This might not make sense for most projects, but I’ll tell you why I did it.
With multiple ways for people to view your movie, you can make it available only one way at a time and maximize your revenue and announcement process.
This used to be the only way to go, but now with alternative distribution you have choices to make. Traditional distribution has both advantages and disadvantages.
What do you need to have together to get your movie ready for distribution? How long will take? I went with Createspace. I'll tell you why I did and what I learned through out the process.
I keep talking about this film My Toxic Backyard that I am in the process of selling. Check out the actual film and see how it looks on Amazon and in my official store set up through Createspace.
Everything you read here is just my opinion and my personal experiences going on this crazy roller coaster ride. If you're not a filmmaker, I hope you gained a little insight into what it's like as an independent artist trying to make it in the world. If you are a filmmaker, hopefully you'll have a little more knowledge after following my film's journey and maybe it'll save you a little frustration with your own work.