In the old days, self distribution got a bad wrap. Before DVD and the wonders of the digital age, if people wanted to self distribute, they had to haul heavy film prints from city to city all over the country. These pioneers would negotiate profit share deals with theater owners, rent out theaters, promote their movie and sell tickets to anyone willing to fill the seats. If the movie created a buzz, the film made money. But often, many of these movies died in quiet obscurity. Because the process was a huge risk, with a high failure rate, the whole practice of theatrical self distribution was regarded as a desperation play.
That was then… This is now.
These days, movie distribution is changing. In a few years, you’ll sit down at your television and everything will be video on demand. As a filmmaker, can you imagine shooting a movie in High Definition, editing it on your computer, and once finished, uploading your content to an online based hosting site linked to people’s televisions all over the world? People in Japan, interested in your movie could push a button, pay a small fee and enjoy your work in the privacy of their living room. In return, you get a paycheck.
This, my filmmaking friends is the future. The opportunities available to independent filmmakers will soon become abundant in ways Hollywood has never experienced. The traditional Motion Picture Studio model that involves physical Film Prints and DVD sales through retail outlets and video rental stores is eroding. Just like the economical demise of record shops, children in our lifetime will never know what it’s like to peruse the isles of a video rental store.
This technology offers filmmakers an enormous opportunity to not only make movies – but with a couple clicks of a mouse, we can now reach a global audience – well, sort of. Unfortunately there are still a few limitations to our global reach. Services like CreateSpace allow filmmakers to market their movie via Video On Demand and DVD in the Amazon marketplace. But a few things still need improvement, including sales reporting and as well as a filmmakers ability to upload a trailer to the site. Still, all of this aside, the tremendous upside to CreateSpace is having your movie featured in the Amazon Marketplace while carrying NO inventory. When people buy or rent your movie, all you gotta do is collect the cash.
In a more-perfect world of Independent Film Distribution, iTunes would follow CreateSpace and allow all indie filmmakers to upload their work. However, at the time of writing, getting your finished feature film into iTunes is still a pain in the butt. With few exceptions, the company seems to favor traditional distributors over the indie producer. So if you one day dream of having your movie viewed on someone’s iPhone, you’ll still have to find a middle-man and ask permission.
Hopefully by the time you read this article, there will be even more distribution networks available to indie filmmakers. But regardless, despite your genre or story line, it’s great to know that you no longer have to ask permission to find your audience.
Source by Jason Brubaker