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Why so pessimist about distribution?

Hi all,
I have almost completed my first feature film and wanted to have a look to the messages about finding a distributor. But all I could find was people talking "how hard to find a distributor", "DVD market dried out" and "too much competition". Do you really believe all these indie films can be considered as "competitors". I think most of them doesn't mean anything even to their target audience. I believe if you have a good film, sooner or later It will be discovered and you will get a fair distribution deal. What do you think about this?
 
I think it's the voice of hopeful innocence.

How much money have you budgeted for marketing and distribution of the "almost completed... first feature film?"

Something about equal to the production budget of the film itself?
 
I'm planning to send it to film festivals and create an IMDB profile with poster, logline, trailer like most other people including Oren Peli.
Precisely.

YOU don't wanna pony up a few thousand to tens of thousands marketing and promoting, but you're willing to "allow" SOMEONE ELSE to pony up the cash to do so - for a cut of the proceeds.

Fair enough.

GL on the festival circuit. :yes:
 
I can cover expenses like tens of thousands of dollars for marketing. But why should I do it before finding a distributor? All I have to do is to create an IMDB profile which is well known web site by the entire industry. I can also create Facebook fan page and submit news about the film. After finding a distributor and signing an agreement with him, I can make spend for marketing. I just don't want to start spending with an unknown release date. And how do you think people like Oren Peli did? Did they spent millions for marketing right after they have completed their 15.000 dollars budget movies?
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Is your movie that good, Amir?

If it is you should have no problem at all finding a distributor.
I look forward to reading about your progress. Please keep
us up to date, okay?
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Thanks, this is the answer of the question I asked in the first place.
You're welcome. Now would you return the favor and answer mine?

And I have a second one:

On July 24 you asked about the first feature film you were planning
to shoot. On September 21 it’s almost completed. Less than two
months you went from planning to shoot to almost complete. First;
congratulations! Most people posting here plan for several months
before shooting their first shot.

When did you start shooting? How many shooting days?
 
Last edited:
Getting you to answer questions is quite difficult.

If I am in some way offending your with my natural curiosity I apologize.

I think it is me who has to apologize. I really love this website. I don't send a lot of message but I read a lot from here which have been very useful to me until the last day. But this time, answers that I received were like a little offensive to me. I simply believed there isn't much problem with distribution channels but the problem is mostly on the films. And I wanted to learn how other people think about this.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I think it is me who has to apologize.
Yet still no answer to my questions. Okay, I will accept that and
not ask anymore.


I will say that finding an honest answer to a question a little offense
is counterproductive. I said what you wanted to hear so you liked it
- ray didn’t so you found it a little offensive. But he answered honestly
and respectfully - even offered you good luck.
And I wanted to learn how other people think about this.
Sometimes when you ask a question you will get an opinion that differs
from your own. I'm sorry you find that a little offensive and not useful.
Perhaps you didn't want to learn what other people think about distribution.
 
I can cover expenses like tens of thousands of dollars for marketing. But why should I do it before finding a distributor? All I have to do is to create an IMDB profile which is well known web site by the entire industry. I can also create Facebook fan page and submit news about the film. After finding a distributor and signing an agreement with him, I can make spend for marketing. I just don't want to start spending with an unknown release date. And how do you think people like Oren Peli did? Did they spent millions for marketing right after they have completed their 15.000 dollars budget movies?

Yes. IMDB is very well known. But why would people search for your film? Do you think lots of people are going to stumble on the film? What is the benefit on your film on IMDB?

I've seen terrible films on IMDB. Terrible films so bad that wouldn't even end up on cheap 8-10 pack DVDs.

And I've gone onto IMDB and found pages for poorly made amateur short films with little views on youtube that went nowhere.

Also, Oren Peli is an example of someone who got lucky. His film got played at the right place, at the right time, and by the right people. There have been countless people who did what he did, but went nowhere.

There are also some TV channels which directly purchase award winning movies no matter what their production or marketing budget is.

True. But your film has to be good, and it has to be award winning, right?

I think it is me who has to apologize. I really love this website. I don't send a lot of message but I read a lot from here which have been very useful to me until the last day. But this time, answers that I received were like a little offensive to me. I simply believed there isn't much problem with distribution channels but the problem is mostly on the films. And I wanted to learn how other people think about this.

Which comment? By who? All I've seen is honest, good advice given.

Can we see the trailer for your movie?

I'd like to see the trailer as well. It'd be interesting to see a filmmaker with a small budget pull off a feature in 2-3 months.
 
I can cover expenses like tens of thousands of dollars for marketing. But why should I do it before finding a distributor?

I just don't want to start spending with an unknown release date. And how do you think people like Oren Peli did? Did they spent millions for marketing right after they have completed their 15.000 dollars budget movies?

First, don't take offense to this, but everyone thinks their baby is the most beautiful baby in the world. It's the same for most film makers. I do hope for your sake that you're correct in saying your movie is good. That's a decent start. The problem is there are probably 500 good movies out this year. How do you rise above them? By not being good. You need to be better than great. You have to be the best. Are you the best?

The honest answer is, you don't need to spend tens of thousands on marketing...... so long as you have the other essential marketing elements in play and have a distributor willing to spend the required money necessary to make your film a success. Which primarily means a marketable A-lister (or up and coming A-lister) attached to your feature.

Though, in this case, I suspect you don't, hence why you're here.

One thing you have to be aware of, distribution rarely has anything to do with how good the movie is. I really wish it wasn't that way, and there can be some occasional runaway successes that break the mold, so all hope isn't broken. To understand the basics of distribution, you also need to understand that distribution is a marketing exercise. It's all about getting bums in seats and the cost/benefit ratio of that exercise. You're essentially asking someone to gamble $25mil on your film. Would you do a $25mil gamble on a good movie or would you wait for a great or the best movie?

Bring back to Oren Peli. Now how I understand it, he (and his team) did a rather aggressive social media campaign to significantly raise the profile of Paranormal Activity before it hit the Festival Circuit. This brought a mostly (in my opinion) boring film and managed to turn it into the seeds that ended up being a franchise capable of delivering 9 digit box office numbers.

Truth to the matter, you're a little too late to be asking these questions. Distribution should be something you're considering and conversing with distributors in the development phase. "Is a movie doing this, with this and that something you're interested in?" and so on.

At this point in time, you're probably best off making sure your film is the best film made this year. There is a lot of competition too. I've heard the number of 5000 being thrown around as the number of feature films being made this year. That's a lot of competition. That's about 15 a day. Most of them are never going to see any worthwhile distribution. The only way to rise above all that is to be in the top .1% especially if you have no star power.

Of course this all depends on your goals with the film. I'm assuming you're hoping to get a wide cinematic distribution deal and to be able to bank a serious chunk of change into your bank account. If your goals are more modest to perhaps find someone willing to pick up your film for DVD or VOD distribution and earn you somewhere in the 6 figure range, you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

There is a product you can buy to help you understand more about distribution and the situation you're in. It costs $600 (I see it's on special this month for $540). You can find it here: http://www.distribution.la/. I have nothing to do with Jerome and I get no kickbacks from this recommendation. Take it or leave it. I did his course maybe 6 months ago. While it's not the be all of distribution, it really excels and is probably the only course I've seen that will help you get out of the situation you've got yourself into, an independent filmmaker who has a film but no distribution. It'll also help you develop a plan to turn that festival circuit plan you have into a distribution deal you can live with.

Good luck. Let us know how you go.
 
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