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Seattle Web Fest – Platforms and Distribution Panel

by on Mar.13, 2015, under Distribution

We'll be talking all things Web Series at Seattle Web Fest, March 14, 2015.

We’ll be talking all things Web Series at Seattle Web Fest, March 14, 2015.

This Saturday, March 14th (Pi Day!) I’ll be moderating a panel discussion at Seattle Web Fest about Platforms and Distribution for Web Series. On the panel will be Peter Gerard of Vimeo, Jason Fischer of Frostbite Pictures and Conrad Rickets of Proven Entertainment. I’m determined to make this a graduate-level discussion—there have been plenty of talks about the basics. I’d like to lead a deeper dive.

I’m excited by all the panels—I’m sure I’ll be an audience member at several others. Mine starts at 5:00PM. You can get tickets and details at the Seattle Web Fest site.

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Launching Films on VOD

by on Apr.24, 2014, under Distribution

After a lot of research, here's how I'm acteally launching my films for VOD sale.

After a lot of research, here’s how I’m acteally launching my films for VOD sale.

In my previous post on VOD for Independents 2014, I looked at how the landscape of direct VOD platforms had developed over the last year. This is an important topic to many filmmakers considering the jump to VOD sales. I have several films that I want to put in front of an audience and direct VOD seems the obvious way to go (for reasons I’ve discussed in the past few posts on the topic).

After a year of watching VOD platforms and audiences grow, I thought that this was the perfect time to get into the game and launch my best films and videos. Here I’ll share which platforms I chose and why. It was a hard decision. It’s one thing to make a table of each platform’s features and another to commit to all the work it will take to launch a film (let alone the 20+ videos that I am releasing at once, all with collateral images, synopses, etc.) (continue reading…)

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A New Look at Independent Film Financing and Distribution

by on Mar.21, 2014, under Distribution

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Here’s a quick hour on why indie financing and distribution is the least broken it’s been in 5 years, and how to make the most of it.

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.

(continue reading…)

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VOD for Independents in 2014

by on Mar.16, 2014, under Distribution

VOD keeps getting better for independents

VOD keeps getting better for independents

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…)

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The Age of the Producer-Distributor

by on Mar.13, 2014, under Distribution, Filmmaking

Self-distributing means you're in business with someone who actually understands your film and wants you to make money.

Self-distributing means you’re in business with someone who actually understands your film and wants you to make money.

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…)

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