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Simple D.I.Y. self-distribution for indie filmmakers - an overview

1. Publicity - start a place on the web - a blog, or a web site, such as this blog that you are reading now, can be started for free - to promote the project and tell people about your story & the story behind the movie & get all manner of related work out.

2. Make clips & trailers available to view on the web - you can use Vimeo, YouTube, etc. for this

3. Make DVDs available for sale - home made DVDs are fine for this purpose at first, make sure they play in most computers & DVD players - if you can. Eventually, if you start to sell a lot of DVDs you can get DVDs made in large numbers from a duplication/replication business such as DiscMakers. You can advertise the availability of your DVDs through your blog(s) & site(s), e-mail people about it, spread the word through all available means, and use a post office box if it makes keeping track of the orders easier, and can use PayPal or checks or money orders to collect payment for DVDs. If you get a bar code/UPC label for your DVD you can sell it on Amazon. Keep track of the $s earned through DVD sales for tax purposes.

4. Try to get screenings (festivals, etc.) or set up your own screenings. Screenings can generate publicity & maybe you'll be able to sell some DVDs at the screenings also.

I think that's a very basic, relatively simple, number of things you can do to make your movie available to interested people/potential customers.

One indie filmmaker I know is following these steps and is selling about a dozen DVDs a week (at least he was when I checked in on his project back in early December). I myself will be taking these steps with Date Number One & Indie Film Blogger Road Trip soon/before the end of this month.

A filmmaker could, if they wanted to, just do those 4 items for each of their DIY/"no-budget" movies & the movies will be available for the public/will be in distribution. And then they can focus on making other movies & building the career & the catalog/body of work.


Ian said…
Hey Sujewa,

Great post! I am a filmmaker living in Toronto and I'm currently self-distributing my new movie Bend and Break using the 4 methods you've mentioned.Right now I average 5 DVD sales per week so the "simple D.I.Y self distribution for indie filmmakers" definitely works!
The Sujewa said…
Hey Ian,

Thanks for the info, sounds great, good luck with more sales. 5 DVDs a week sounds really good, specially since, most likely, you get to keep the bulk of the $s (not having to give most of it to a distributor or another middleman service). Let me know if you post up an imbedabble trailer for the movie, will post it at this blog.

- Sujewa
Anonymous said…
Hey Sujewa,

Im also trying to make a film. But how much do you charge for one film DVD? In US$.

R u Sri Lankan by any chance?

The Sujewa said…
Hey Nuwan,

Yup, am from the S.L.

Price of DVDs vary depending on where they are being sold - at screenings maybe $5-$8, mail order $10-$12. No DVDs available for sale at the moment, but that will change soon.

Good luck with your film.

- S

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