I’m very pleased to say that my first feature film, Entry Level, is available again for the first time anywhere–and it’s on a platform that I really love, IndieFlix. Entry Level is a comedy about starting your life over and the craziness of looking for a job. It stars D.B. Sweeney, Missi Pyle, Kurtwood Smith, Cedric Yarbrough, Lisa Ann Walter, and Taylor Negron. It won Best Feature and Best Writing awards at VisionFest and played in several other film festivals. The original distributor, Porchlight Entertainment went belly up and I’m happy to be able to share this film again. You can see its ratings from the DVD version on Netflix. People say some nice things. What’s more, the film is available for the first time in 1080P HD. I hope you’ll check out Entry Level on IndieFlix. (continue reading…)
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…)
Vimeo has just launched its new VOD service that offers an exciting new potential for independent filmmakers to release their works online for pay. But how good is the deal really and where does it fit in the landscape of existing services? Let’s take a look.
Why VOD matters
Not long ago, VOD was a little throw-away right that got included in film sales but often didn’t even get exploited, let alone bring in any money—at least where independent films were concerned. So why the growing interest now? Because DVDs are dead.
Because DVDs are dead.
I had to say it twice. It’s kind of a big deal. DVDs—essentially the entire Home Video nut that spawned the independent film movement (back in the VHS/Betamax days) and has sustained it till now, is dead. People don’t really buy ‘em anymore. Wait a minute, you say, You are wrong! My cousin knows a guy who bought a DVD just a couple years ago…
Sure, a few DVDs still get sold. For blockbuster films. Or for very niche stuff that is more movement than entertainment. But if you have an independent film without stars then as far as mainstream distributors are concerned, DVDs are dead. You aren’t going to be making any money off them from distributors, but you’re welcome to make your own and sell them on your web site if you want. …And that brings us back to VOD.
VOD will be the new DVD
When was the last time you bought a DVD, then popped it into your player and watched it? I’m willing to bet that you’ve watched a video on your computer or mobile phone a lot more recently than that. VOD—whether it be via iTunes, online, or your cable system—is the future of home video. So why make DVDs of your independent film or series to sell through snail mail when you can sell a link to a downloadable file instead? You can save the postage, fulfillment costs, inventory, and time. And your customers can watch it right away and on whatever device they wish to.
We filmmakers need to get people excited about our films. Rather than hoping to stumble across a successful marketing approach for a film, it’s better to plan one from the very start–ideally before you commit to making the film–and tweak it based on what really gets people to pay to watch movies. “6 Ways” is about those things that motivate someone to say, “I’ve got to see that!”
So how do movies like Napoleon Dynamite or The Hangover rocket from obscurity to national reknown in the blink of an eye. Is it the big stars? The special effects? The action scenes? Actually, it turns out these movies are really, really funny.
From my IndieFlix guest-blog. Read the rest.
Excerpt from 6 Ways to Make People Watch Your Movie.
…So from the very start, we need to think about why people would watch our movies. Well, why do people watch any movies? If you look at films that have found audiences, it looks like there are about six basic motivators that are effective to get people to watch your film. Studio films are well aware of them and use them constantly and usually in combination. Indie filmmakers need to think about them just as much—maybe more, since we don’t have huge advertising budgets to cram our movies down people’s throats. And indies should be aware that while the basic motivators for generating audience interest are the same whatever the movie, how we take advantage of these methods could be very different.
From my IndieFlix guest-blog. Read the rest.