sujewa films nyc

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Distribution Crews

This was a comment I typed up at this post at Truly Free Film (computer I am on is making it tough for me to leave the comment there), so here it is for more people to read - I think this could be a useful idea for many indie filmmakers who self-distribute:

" A possible thing to try out when you self-distribute or co-distribute (w/ a small co or DVD label) your next indie/DIY/off-Hollywood movie:

Distribution Crews

We raise money & budget for & or talk people into being in the Production Crews for our movies - but when self-distribution time comes it's just the filmmaker & if he/she is lucky, a couple of volunteers that may or may not have the skills & the experience needed for the job.
A better way to go would be to prepare for distribution the way we prepare for production. Including raising a distribution budget & or recruiting the best possible people who can help us with publicity, booking, DVD creation, mail order, etc. that needs to get done for distribution.

Once the Distribution Crew puts in a month or so of work getting the film on DVD, into festivals (research, submission work done), with all media contacted, PO Box set up for mail orders, streaming, on-demand etc., set up, ads created & placed (or ready to go with a couple of clicks), etc., then the filmmaker maybe able to maintain the distribution project by him/her self.

Anyway, I am shooting a feature now. It'll be more or less self-distributed, and I plan on trying out this Distribution Crew idea when the time comes. Just as it is nearly impossible to shoot a multi-character sync sound fiction feature by oneself, it probably is nearly impossible to do distribution of a finished film well by oneself - that's probably why we don't have several hundred awesome self-distribution success stories (success in term of $s & reach) to point to in the indie film world right now.

We know how to get movies made for very little, we or the independent film scene has been doing it in heavy numbers for a couple of decades now. The next thing is figuring out how to market them well, & how to deliver the product to the consumer well. After that we'll have an actual indie film scene that makes & distributed work outside of Hollywood & indiewood, as the indie rockers did with their music in the 90's (& still do). Right now independent film is at best only half-independent - we are dependent on festivals & distributors to get the work out to consumers, by and large. That will have to change. Getting more help when we distribute our movies, just like getting people to help when we make our movies, could make a huge difference when it comes to success"

[ok, back to work, just a small break to get the discussion/wheels in the brain going re: this item]

- Sujewa


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