Filmmaking: Tips, Sources & Tools — October 12, 2011 at 8:09 am

Digital distribution of your film: Info, sources and tips

Sometimes, when I browse various internet sites, I stumble upon words, or “keywords”, that I quickly write down for myself, as I feel they’re interesting and can later be used for an article. This was the case with “digital distribution”.

I did know, that such thing exists, just never actually thought about it. And now, this really seems like an interesting subject to write about.

Imagine you’re a starting filmmaker, you’ve completed your movie, and you simply don’t have any funds for the old-fashioned distribution. Could you go for the digital distribution? What is it anyway? How can you benefit from it?

First, we can listen to what Wikipedia says about it: Online distribution, digital distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD) is the practice of delivering various content without getting physical, usually by downloading data or content via internet to a consumer’s device. Content (film, in this case) that is distributed online can be streamed (viewed online) or downloaded to your computer.

That is just the basics however. As a filmmaker you’ll have to find an appropriate platform (store) to sell your film. And what’s even better, before making your movie/film, decide how (or if) you’re going to distribute it, and ultimately make some money on your creation. Consider some ideas below:

1. Go for KickStarter. Kickstarter is a place where you post your project, and can get some funding for it. One idea here is to get the funds, and then go for distribution on your film. For a better understanding how (and if) KickStarter can help you, read our article on “how to find funding for your film” here.

2. Consider creating a separate website for your film. Make it look good, put some effort in it. After all, this is your movie. Make sure you got information there, add some bonuses, valuable information – do all that, just make sure its not too much. The idea here is to sell the film, and make a good first impression. Don’t forget to include trailers (maybe 2 trailers – one of high resolution, and other of low resolution). Also add a “PURCHASE/BUY NOW” button, along with some social network sharing buttons, so your visitors could share it with their friends.

3. Get people to see the website. Even if you got a digital distribution company running your business, you should still do something yourself. Never rely on someone else completely, when its your business on the line. Upload your teaser trailer to Youtube (and other video websites, if you want) – and link back to your website.

Do some SEO and paid advertising. Don’t spend too much on it, just make sure you do something. The more people know about your film, the better. Oh yes, and don’t forget to add Google Analytics to your site, just to see who your visitors are. If, you don’t like all this, you can always hire a consultant or hire a company that would do all this for you. Check out this SEO CATALOG, which lists a lot of websites that do this, and choose something that fits your needs.

4. Create an account at CreateSpace. Feature your film as a digital download, rental and physical sale. Unless you want to spend all your time shipping stuff around, consider letting those fellows deal with the shipping and orders. They will take, their cut, and it might be a big one, but at the same time, all you will have to do is cash checks. Saves time, you know.

As for the digital distribution, make sure you got everything ready first. Make a plan. One of the suggestions would be:

Your film is at the crossroads. The left road is a paid one: you find a company that does the distribution for you, you pay for advertising, and so on.

The right road is a longer free ride: you set up your own website, you spread your film all over YouTube and DailyMotion (and a bunch of other similar sites), you advertise it on social networks, and so on. The advice here is – GO BOTH WAYS. Eventually, you’ll reach the destination (whatever that is for you) a lot faster.

For more information on digital distribution, consider these sources:

http://www.iodalliance.com/

http://film-makerscoop.com/

http://www.indiefilms.com/

http://www.planetindie.com

http://www.indiewire.com/article/what_the_hell_is_digital_distribution_heres_eight_core_ideas_you_must_under/


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1 Comment

  • Here are some things I’d like to add: you can try indiegogo. (kickstarter only gives the founds when they are completed, indiegogo even if you dont get the full funds you will get the funds)

    Otherwise for distribution you can try cinesouq.com

    A Film Market like the Marche Du Film in Cannes where you can give copies of your movie and talk with distributors. Or you could even use YouTube (they now have a rental facility where you can rent your movie there.). Myself I’m not a big fan of createspace since Amazon takes a much to bigger cut on the distribution.

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