Did filmmakers miss the digital revolution? There is a new generation of entrepreneurs making a substantial living out of their craft by teaching, offering products, services, and art work. There are countless authors, teachers, gurus, consultants, artists, making 5 to 6 figures every quarter through their own work but a filmmaker can’t even sell a 1,000 DVD’s outside of their family and friends? Somewhere along the line we lost track of this amazing resource we call the internet. As filmmakers we have always been at the mercy and ethics of a distribution company. There are endless tales of filmmakers never seeing a dime from their successful films and Hollywood is notorious for their accounting practices.
I can literally count with my fingers the minuscule number of independent filmmakers who have had minor success either through self distribution, a limited theatrical release, or selling their DVD’s on their website. So what’s the missing formula? What are these entrepreneurs doing that filmmakers aren’t? Is it building an email list, building a loyal fan base on social media, web traffic, SEO, etc. Are we not taking marketing and promotion seriously enough? How can you allocate a marketing budget when you barely have enough to shot your film? Whether we like to admit it or not the world has changed. The way an audience consumes media has changed. If an author or a guru can make $100,000.00 plus on their PDF book why can’t a filmmaker make the same through his film, without being at the mercy of a distribution company?
Self distribution was a hot topic five years ago but it has failed. We have to start from scratch. There is a formula and it is our responsibility to break it. Self Distribution and Social Media Marketing has to be at the core of our strategy. We can no longer afford to be window shoppers and watch as others make a living through their passions.
The tools are there! Need a theatrical release? There is Tugg! Want to put your film on iTunes/Google Play/Hulu with out a distribution company? There is Distribber! Digital entrepreneurs already cracked the code ages ago!
If you have a $150k to $250k indie film with a modest social media marketing budget of $25k to $50k, how are you going to flip that and turn your film into profit?
Self distribution should be part of your business plan encase your offers are to low or if you feel you can make more on your own! Maybe the new model is a hybrid of both self distribution and traditional distribution. I’ll willing to gamble and do it myself!