Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Marketing & Distribution

Check this out:

That's a Press Release and it's one of the first steps in self-distribution.  Yes, SELF-distribution.  It's really the only way right now.

Every indie filmmaker's ideal scenario is to produce an awesome movie, get it into film festivals around the world, attend red carpet events and have instant media hype and distributors throwing deals at them.  If I'm ordering off of the Dreams and Goals menu I'm saying, "Yes, I'll have some of that, please."

Well, I don't know who it was that ate it all up, but every time I ask my waiter over the past few years he keeps saying, "Sorry.  We're fresh out."  I'd go to the management but I don't want to make a scene.

Actually, I DO want to make a scene.  I want everyone to know about this movie, whether they buy it or not and whether they enjoy it or not (which they obviously will because it's awesome).  But no one that plays Hollywood Moneyball gives a crap about a movie that cost next to nothing (to them) to make and has no recognizable names in it.  Fair enough, really.

Unless you make a scene.

In my opinion, the only reason low-budget, no name films ever get picked up is because they generate tons of publicity on their own.  Everyone starts talking about it and suddenly there's a demand.  That's when distribution companies begin to have any interest in being the supplier.

A colleague and I were talking about my project during pre-production.  He's older and much wiser and very funny.  We were sharing a laugh about something when he simply commented, "Of course, we all know that making a movie is the easy part.  The real work comes afterward."

I stopped laughing but kept my dumb smile as to not admit confusion and then I was all like, " . . . huh?"

It's true.  Thanks, Barry.  I guess he didn't need to elaborate but it wouldn't have mattered.  I was still sitting at my table of dreams checking out what other people were ordering.

The truth is that it doesn't matter how awesome your movie is if no one ever hears about it.  Alpha Dog Productions, LLC is a business that invested money to make a product and that product needs to be sold to as many customers as it can.  See, that's the business side of the movie business.  And the business of marketing and selling a movie in an era where the market is over-saturated with content everywhere you look - well, it's friggin' tough!

It's going to take money I don't have and resources I'm not familiar with yet.  It's going to take a lot of thought, planning, work and perseverance.  In a way, I'm right back where I started from - looking at my limited choices on the menu and saying, "Fine.  I'll have the usual."

But I plan on making a scene, dammit.


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