Talks & Interviews — February 12, 2018 at 12:04 pm

How to find distribution for $2,000-budget film?

By Tim Tal

One of the hardest parts of “making” your film today, is distribution, if we’re speaking about independent filmmaking.

Assuming you secure the funding, the crew, the equipment, you shoot your film, and it’s a wrap. What comes next is sometimes a very painful process of distribution the finished feature, unless you plan to show your film to friends and family only.

Often, distribution of low-budget, independent films doesn’t go as planned. Independent filmmaker Glenn Berggoetz knows firsthand what that means.

One of his films, “Therapissed”, got recently picked up for distribution. On one hand, it’s great. On the other hand – the film was shot in 2010, and it is getting picked up for distribution 8 years later.

BZFilm spoke to Berggoetz about the film distribution process and why specifically it took so long to distribute the film.

“When “Therapissed” was first completed, I found a distributor for the film quite quickly. Unfortunately, the distributor didn’t make any sales of the film. In fact, the distribution company wasn’t making sales of just about any of the films they had, and after “Therapissed” was with them for a couple years, the distributor went out of business,” Berggoetz tells BZFilm.

” At that point I had to find a new distributor for the film, and after a few months I did land another distributor for “Therapissed,” and I signed a five-year agreement with them. The distributor made one small deal for the film the first year they had “Therapissed,” but it was on a website that was so obscure and charged so much to stream any film that I never received a penny from the distributor for the film,” he said.

“In fact, when I’d Google the film I would have to scroll through many pages of websites before even finding the website that “Therapissed” was available on,” Berggoetz adds.

At that point, Berggoetz says, he didn’t hear anything from the distributor for more than two years.

“Even when I emailed them to check in I wouldn’t receive a response. Finally I received an email from them in which they informed me that the owner of the business had been involved in a horrific car accident two years earlier that led to terrible permanent injuries, and over the course of those couple years the company was pretty much on hold since it was a small company,” he said.

“The owner then got hold of me and said they would let me out of the contract if I wanted out, but they hoped I would stay with them as they tried to get back on their feet, so I stayed with them. As it turned out, they didn’t land any new deals for the film,” Berggoetz recalls.

He went on to add that last year, he was contacted by Harrison Astroff of StacksTV out of Toronto, and Harrison asked if he had any films that were available for distribution.

“He quickly took on our films “The Ghosts of Johnson Woods” and “Auto Shop of Horrors,” and he got those films available on Amazon in short order. When I told him that I would have the rights back to “Therapissed” at the beginning of this year, Harrison asked to take on the film, I said yes, and he got the film up on Amazon super fast. So now, eight years after the film was completed, we’re finally getting it out to a wide number of people,” Berggoetz said.

To remind, “Therapissed” was made for $2,000 and, according to Berggoetz, “everyone in the cast and crew were super cool in working for a small amount of money.”

“We shot the film over the course of two weekends, and I staggered call times for the cast members so they wouldn’t have to be on set very long, and certainly not every day of the shoot, other than for the star of the film, Greg Nemer,” said Berggoetz.

“Therapissed” is about a cocky, self-confident therapist, who likes to manipulate, bully his vulnerable patients, until one day his strategy of working with patients takes an unexpected turn.

“The idea for the film came to me when I started wondering what might happen should there be a psychologist who doesn’t really care whether his patients get better or not, and who also has a demented side to him that allows him to derive joy from trying to sabotage his patients’ lives. The result was the twisted Dr. Mark Jenkins and the merry band of confused, oblivious, and off-the-wall patients who stream through his office,” Berggoetz said.

The BZFilm review of “Therapissed” is available here.

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