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The DIY Path (as of July 2008) - A Quick Overview

Looks like I have everything I need in order to make, show & release/sell DVDs of my movies. I'll go over the stuff briefly in case anyone else wants to think about adapting this DIY path for their own filmmaking & distribution work.

1. Financing
- primarily from day job pay $s (keep budgets low enough, spread the work over time in order to make projects & distribution of those affordable, shoot on evenings & weekends, screen & do other exhibition & distribution work primarily on evenings & weekends)
- financing also can be from investors - each film project as a small business venture
- or from donations
- or loans
- or $s earned/raised through other work & means (freelance gigs, Amazon, EBay, etc.)

2. Skills
- developed over time
- each new project, most likely, will require the development of new producing, writing, directing, shooting, sound recording, editing, graphic design, web design, & distribution skills

3. Production Gear
- can be rented for relatively low prices (specially weekend rentals)
- can be bought; good MiniDV gear can now be found for less money than one or two years ago

4. Cast & Crew
- recruit as necessary per project

5. Exhibition/Screening of finished film
- DIY screenings
- submit to indie theaters
- submit to festivals
- can rent or own a video projector, screen, speakers in order to turn spaces into screening venues

6. Selling the film for home use
- on DVD
- can sell through Amazon, etc.
- can sell through blogs, websites
-- mail order
- retail stores (any that are open to carrying the DVD)

7. Publicity
- your blogs & sites, other people's blogs & sites
- regular/traditional advertising & marketing, publicity work & avenues

8. Long term financial picture
- pay off debt
- save money
- distribute each project & manage transfer of ownership, licensing of each project with long term profitability in mind for each project

9. New areas of development
- look at upcoming internet & cable VOD distribution solutions; specially avenues that allow for dealing directly with paying customers

10. Overall approach
- very DIY, avoid gatekeepers & middlemen as much as possible, find ways to deal directly with consumers
- keep things (production & distribution activities) small, simple, fast, & inexpensive (relatively)
- maintain ultimate ownership of each completed project (will assure future availability of each project to consumers, and ability to generate revenue in the future)

And that's how the next few movies of mine will be made & distributed. Well, that, at least, is the current plan. It feels pretty good.

- Sujewa


Brian said…
Have you heard of a film financing site called IndieGoGo? It's another way to raise money for low-budget films.

The idea is to get lots of people to contribute small amounts of money. A few films have already made $10,000 on the site.

Check it out:
Barry Jenkins said…
You are TENACIOUS my friend!
The Sujewa said…
Just coming up with ways to get things done. Thanks for checking out the blog Mr. Barry.

- Sujewa
The Sujewa said…
Brian, re: IndieGoGo, will check it out. I have gotten friends to contribute little bits of money to previous projects, so am familiar with that part of the concept, will have to see what IndieGoGo is all about.

- Sujewa

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