misc Distribution

I have an idea to try and help Indie Film makers of which I am one, to monetise their films a bit better. The current set-up of needing a distributor to get onto certain platforms, then the distributor wanting all of your IP for free then relying on them to pay you when the contract allows for unexpected costs/surchagres and no direct reporting of performance is predatory. The problem being:
1) Others in my position have gone onto abuse filmmaker (Distribber)
2) Film makers are either looking for or already in distribution arrangements they can't get out of.
I want to start a co-operative of sorts with info sharing and a unique idea for monetisation but I am trying to gauge interest. Is this something people would want to see and play a part in ?
 
The thing with organised co-operatives is they require s few people to do a lot of work. They do exist and are a wonderful thing, I am not sure exactly the framework required for a legal co-op but I think the first step is for Indie Film Producers to create an environment of sharing knowledge and on occasions contacts. I know this may sound counter intuitive because everyone wants to hold on to their own and lets face it we can't just burn email addresses so what we need to do is come together and form a united front so we can tip the scales a little more fairly in our direction. The current distribution set-up is more often than not predatory, but changing it won't be easy while end users sit in Ivory towers and those guarding the entrances want everything for free, for you to pay their way and ofcours trust that they will account to you properly. No other industry works this way - none, so we must chip away at it some for our own good and at times some for the general good. I am slowly but surely starting to set up something under the banner filmamore I have some ideas and a willingness to listen to others but the only two things I know for sure is changes is needed and it won't be easy. Stay tuned.
 
Hi Ray, yeah I have and this type of "gate keeper" is about the best an Indie Producer can hope for at the moment. End user says must use gate keeper, there's only two types 1) distributor who says 'we can get you there but we want your movie for free OR 2) We process electronically so pay us and hope we A) report accurately and B) do not end up like Distribber. It is not good, the problem is more category 1 , why should we have to give up all rights just to get onto certain platforms. In Australia this is illegal and called 'Third Line Enforcing' but in the USA its just the way its done, which is OK for everyone except of course the producer :( I know of way too many robbed by this system, it has to change
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
Full disclosure: I have both of my features on FilmHub and don't currently have any plans to change that.
However, I'm always open to new ideas for future projects.

My guess is that the toughest part of such a co-op wouldn't be getting filmmakers interested but in developing relationships with the outlets where you want to place movies and where we currently have limited or no access (i.e., Netflix, Hulu, etc). Do you have any thoughts as to how you'd go about that?
 
Full disclosure: I have both of my features on FilmHub and don't currently have any plans to change that.
However, I'm always open to new ideas for future projects.

My guess is that the toughest part of such a co-op wouldn't be getting filmmakers interested but in developing relationships with the outlets where you want to place movies and where we currently have limited or no access (i.e., Netflix, Hulu, etc). Do you have any thoughts as to how you'd go about that?
Hi ML,
There are too many problems to solve, not to smallest of which is there are too many producers with uncommercial products that simply are not worth the time. effort. frustration of the likes of Netflix, Hulu etc. I have no idea how to surmount this one, a congress of producer will be its very existence create buying power/influence which may lead to more and more partnerships and open doors but how to regulate such is also beyond the scope of where I am at. I will start at step one, this is what Filmamore will be about which has two parts a) informing producers about pitfalls/helping them try to improve their contracted situation and b) maximising commercial returns to producers whether they be signed/unsigned/desperate to get out of a bad contract. FilmHub may be one of a few good considerations for the unsigned to incorporate as an over strategy or allowing them to negotiate better fairer terms with distributors, the perfect world is where we pay them for what their success but do not have to give them our films so we are also able to compliment their efforts. It sounds simple and of course there would need to be rules/fairplay but I assure you this would be straight out Armageddon talk if you were to ask most distributors
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
They will place your film wherever they can, and you are free to do distribute your film on your own.
Exactly. You can also selectively remove it from streaming sites that you don't like, or opt to do some (like Amazon Prime) directly on your own.

I've found FilmHub to be good (for me) in that they got my features on TubiTV, which is growing in popularity because it's free with ads and isn't accessible directly.
 
HI Sweetie, do you have any experience with distributing a film in the USA ?

Personally, I don't. I went through the training a while back, but I do have plenty of friends who have distributed indie films and known plenty of finance guys over my time.

Can you Elaborate on your reasoning?

I've followed dozens of people who tried some version of what you seem to be looking to do. Each and every one of them wasted years of their life and their life savings before it failed. It doesn't mean you will, but the odds aren't in your favour.

A few reasons off the top of my head, without going too deep into it.

A Co-op, when combined with the egos and short term self interest of indie producers, I can't see it turning into anything more than either a committee trying to build a horse (which builds a donkey) or a circle jerk. I've competed with co-ops in business before. They tend to be the softest targets and the easiest competition to win business from.

The winning talent that will be needed to build this co-op is a relatively small talent pool if you want it to be successful. Most who will do well can write their own ticket with the well funded competition.

Anyone with product worth selling will sell it to someone who has some distribution clout. They have the finances to capture the best bets, leaving you fighting for the dregs.

Last, but probably most important. Where are you going to find the capital? Distribution typically costs a lot. Are you hoping the filmmakers have their own funding for marketing? If so, why would they care about you? Even the small players in this field are relatively well capitalized. It'd be like competing in a formula one race with a push bike.

You could form your own advisory service, but there's heaps of them already established. You could give away your information free... oh wait, there's already indietalk.

I'm all good for you to prove me wrong. Maybe you have some secret sauce that no one else has considered. It's not like I hope you fail, quite the opposite. It'd be good to see someone succeed who wants to help the little guy. Good luck.
 
I have an idea to try and help Indie Film makers of which I am one, to monetise their films a bit better. The current set-up of needing a distributor to get onto certain platforms, then the distributor wanting all of your IP for free then relying on them to pay you when the contract allows for unexpected costs/surchagres and no direct reporting of performance is predatory. The problem being:
1) Others in my position have gone onto abuse filmmaker (Distribber)
2) Film makers are either looking for or already in distribution arrangements they can't get out of.
I want to start a co-operative of sorts with info sharing and a unique idea for monetisation but I am trying to gauge interest. Is this something people would want to see and play a part in ?
I’d be very interested to hear more about this.
 
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