In the digital age, even before the pandemic, it’s not enough to make an independent film; you have to know how to distribute it independently, maximize every dollar, and get as many eyes on the screen as possible. Unfortunately, with all the available technology in today’s world, these passionate and creative films are still not being distributed professionally, and most likely never will be, unless they can self distribute. Follow our lead and show your independent film to the masses!
Funding through crowdsourcing
Raising money for independent films has never been more manageable. Various crowdfunding sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have been established to help drum up funding for various projects, film and otherwise. The most important factor to keep in mind when trying to crowdsource your film is to paint yourself as someone who has a clear vision with solid prior projects. Backers are much more likely to fund your project if they know you’ve tried and succeeded at filmmaking before. In addition, offer previews of your project long before you’ve started shooting. Directing a test scene or putting together a trailer for your film are great ways to wet the palate of potential investors.
(See original article HERE. Data from leading crowdfunding platforms including average number of backers, average pledge size and the overall project success rate.)
Prepare Yourself and Your Film
There are some factors of the film distribution process that are more technical than the wheeling-and-dealing negotiation of your film. Take these steps to ensure your film can play at any venue in the country, whether it premieres in a traditional theater, at a film festival, or elsewhere.
- Make sure you have a digital file of your film, preferably an .mp4 or .mov file.
- Make sure you also have an H.264 file on hand, as it’s the best method for presenting your film online.
- Create a 1080p file to show in cinemas and at more high-end film festivals.
Having all of these files ready ahead of time will streamline the self distribution process and prevent unforeseen problems.
CHOOSE YOUR RELEASE STRATEGY WISELY
Today, there are multitudes of platforms where you can release your film. You can use a third-party aggregator to release your film or roll up your sleeves and release the film yourself. If you’re using a third-party aggregator, you’ll be required to pay steep fees and possibly give up partial ownership to your film. This seems like a sharp price to pay, but it comes with perks. The third-party aggregator will have established connections with online platforms and other audience communication services. Releasing your film yourself will almost certainly be cheaper, but you won’t have the resources of services who distribute films for a living. There are dozens of VOD services if you choose to self distribute, you can keep all the rights and it’s certainly more cost effective but with the tradeoff of potentially showing your film to a much smaller audience.
Determine if a Theatrical Release is Right for Your Film
Many young filmmakers aren’t content with simply making a movie and releasing it on demand. Some of the more ambitious young filmmakers of today are determined to release their film to a theatrical audience, but this method has certain drawbacks. Trying to release your film into theaters will most likely be pricier than simply releasing it exclusively on demand. However, if you manage to sell tickets to your film, it’s possible to profit taking this route. There are many theatrical servicing companies which can help you in this department, as they come equipped with expertise, contacts, and professionals to help your film thrive in a theater environment. Though their services mean an additional fee for you to pay, the trade-off could be well worth it.
PROMOTE YOUR FILM
No matter the release strategy you choose, the most important step of distribution lies in your ability and determination to promote your film in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. If you can tap into a niche audience who will promote your film by word of mouth, you’ve won the jackpot of film distribution and promotion. Even if you can’t tap into a frenzied audience who will spread the word of your film for you, there are still many methods you can take to ensure your film is seen far and wide. Trailers, press kits, websites, social media and e-mail lists are all crucial tools for you to craft and use to generate buzz and make people excited to see your film. The filmmaking process is a double-edged sword in the age of the internet. There have never been more tools ready for filmmakers to use in order to make their film, but distributing films has become increasingly difficult due to audience fragmentation. Following these steps is the first step to ensure you’re ready for the distribution process and can take on whatever challenges arise during your journey.
WORK WITH VANQUISH
At Vanquish Media Group, we specialize in developing robust digital marketing strategies to promote independent films. From social media and web design to paid media, we can introduce you to a variety of solutions that help you reach out to your target audience and run a successful marketing campaign ahead of a new release.
Get in touch with us to learn more about our services.
If you are ready to BRING YOUR PROJECT TO LIFE, SPEAK WITH US TODAY!