Archive for March, 2014
The Seattle Office of Film + Music has a monthly speaking series. In September 2013 they asked me to talk about some of the new developments in film financing and distribution. At the time, I had been giving a lot of thought to why I had not made a new feature film in some time and whether the conditions that had made financial success in independent feature films nearly impossible for the past few years were possibly changing, and if so, what new tools and strategies might help create success today. When I mentioned this to then Director of the OF+M James Keblas and Washington Filmworks Executive Director Amy Lillard who had asked me to speak, they were very interested in the idea.
Updated 3/18/14 – clarifications about IndieReign. Updated 4/4/14 – clarifications about Distrify and Reelhouse.
One year ago I wrote an article about the VOD platforms that had the greatest impact for independent film and series creators. It quickly became one of my most popular articles. As I prepare to release several of my own films on VOD, I am struck by how much has changed in this area in just a year. So here is the 2014 edition of the VOD rundown.
The 2013 article covered about a dozen VOD platforms and services in a number of sectors of this space. Much of that has not changed much in a year: you still (mostly) need an aggregator service to get onto iTunes; Netflix still seems to me like a platform that will kill your hopes for any VOD sales elsewhere. Rather than rehash that article, I’ll point you to it to read for yourself. This article will focus on VOD platforms that offer direct filmmaker to audience platforms. (I plan to cover how to get your film on iTunes in another article soon.) (continue reading…)
The film industry loves hyphenates: Writer-director; Actor-producer; Actress-model-whatever. (Television just runs words together turning producer-editor into “preditor.”) It’s time for a new hyphenate to take the stage: the producer-distributor.
Of course studios have distributed the films they produce forever. They split things up these functions into separate entities to help the creative accountants hide where the money goes, but essentially one company does both functions. However, for a long time when independent producers have done the same thing—distributing the films they make themselves—they’ve been labeled with the rather pejorative: “self-distributed film” stamp.
Self-distributed films tended to be seen as films that failed to find a “real” distributor. (This may have been an invention of the distributors themselves.) And perhaps there was some truth to this in the heyday of independent films. For the past several years, however, I’ve seen self-distributed films as more progressive and often more successful than those who partner with traditional distributors. (continue reading…)