Ed Burns distribution advice

The following is an excerpt from an article from filmmaker Ed Burns and Shohawk.com.
We start at the digital concentration, step #24.  The link to the entire article entitled “30 Tips: Making and Releasing Microbudget films!” is below.

  1. Embrace Your Strategy

We would not make excuses for our nontheatrical release. We would embrace it.”

512yk0rajdlDon’t treat your “small” release strategy as the equivalent of having a movie go straight to video in the 1990s. The climate is different now.

Embrace your means, use them to your advantage in promotion, and own your path to the audience. This will maximize productivity by focusing on what can work best for your film, not someone else’s.

  1. Festivals Are The Indie-Theatrical

I realized I could also have a theatrical release. It was called the festival circuit.”

The vast majority of films and filmmakers cannot afford a traditional theatrical run. But theatrical runs don’t conventionally serve to make a profit.

They are a means of promoting your film across the country or world in hopes that word will spread, people will later buy or rent the movie, and it will live on for a long time after.

Using festivals as your film’s theatrical run is a fairly inexpensive way to gain that exposure and propagate your film’s reputation in multiple markets. Instead of focusing on awards, use the festival circuit to create and connect with fans.

This point was heavily driven home in Jon Reiss’ game changing indie film distribution handbook, Think Outside The Box Office. Michael bought me this book for my birthday in 2011 and it changed my life.

  1. Utilize The Whole Internet

Marc and his team target tech bloggers, hip websites, tastemakers, and connectors to help create buzz on films lacking bigger marketing budgets and resources.”

There are companies dedicated to this, and you can do it with your small team. There’s more to promoting a film than posting on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Think of your movie’s key characters, plot-points, themes, and overall genre. What kinds of audiences are generally interested in such material? Where else do they spend their time? Are there specific blogs, forums, Reddit threads, or social groups they congregate at?

Using these online spaces to promote your film is a low-cost way to spread word; much like casting hungry young actors, these promotions are a mutually beneficial relationship: blogs, forums, and groups subsist on regular content. Make your film a part of that content stream.

Find the entire article here: http://shohawk.com/microbudgettips/

— Dean Lachiusa (curator for Movies Plus, a free Indie Film/TV distribution and broadcast channel on Amazon Fire TV and other connected TV platforms.)

Why competitors to Hulu may not pay you

Yes my filmmaking friend, DIY film Distribution platforms with big dollars behind them do sometimes fail.  BabelGum and Joost are long gone, and now so is Yekra.

Dean Lach

As filmmakers, we trust Hulu, but what about the others like Babelgum (now defunct), Joost (defunct) and others?  Like traditional distributors, Streaming video websites can be a risky business too.

Read UPDATED and entire articles WITHOUT-ADS on moviesplus.org

The following is a REPOST from the Yekra FB page. Yekra was a self-distribution program that worked much like VHX and others. But as you see, they streamed indie films…they charged for the streams…but they apparently did not pay the filmmakers.

**Steven R. Ladd
July 15, 2015 at 8:50pm
Following up on my last post, [regarding YEKRA] perhaps all the filmmakers and others who had films on Yekra need to file a class action lawsuit naming the investors/owners in order to recover the money we earned. Shameful that there was no correspondence telling us how to get what we’ve earned. It’s like stealing, which is illegal.

Sonya Waterworth
Sonya Waterworth @Steven R. Ladd I would love to join your lawsuit. As a shareholder I still HAVE NO CLUE what is going on. The investors who shut down the business are a company called Bray Capital, owned by 2 men named Brady Collins and Seamus O’Brien.

Sonya Waterworth Also the Managers who deemed it ethical to behave in such a way before shutting the business down are a Patrick Fitzgerald, Bob Miller, and Kelly Summers.
**End of repost

Please note that I understand I’m not posting this to be negative towards Yekra or other similar svcs. (Note Yekra.com is defunct.)

** Here’s my shameless plug for a solution: My solution is quite different than Hulu and other streaming venues. Firstly, I’m not a online streaming “website.”  My channel, called Movies Plus is an actual TV channel that broadcasts through a Internet “set top box.” Movies Plus lets a filmmaker stream your film on our Fire TV, and soon on ROKU and other Connected TV platforms. With this solution, Movies Plus encourages the audience to visit your website so that they may support your movie via donations or DVD or ancillary product sales.  Here’s an example of what you would encode into the start/end of your Sneak-Peak, Screener or completed feature film or TV show:example-artcard-b4-movie-plays-and-after

The Tunnel is an Indie made feature film.  This is a perfect artcard example. This is how a filmmaker should prepare their movie for broadcast on Movies Plus. Place this at the start/end of your film/TV program. Remember you don’t have to screen your entire project, you may prepare a Pilot or a Featurette that drives the audience to your Point-of-sale website where you offer incentives for the audience who supports you.  Things like DVD’s, T-shirts, and other Ancillary products. Plus don’t forget a Donation box from Paypal or whatever.  If you interested in Movies Plus, please see me on my Facebook page and I’ll send you more information.

Film and TV distribution for indies on Fire TV

The new Amazon Fire TV channel “Movies Plus” has a large assortment of Sci-Fi movies, and a growing catalog of Horror/Thriller, Action, Drama, Comedy, Documentary films and stuff like Boxing matches, and Season films (Christmas for example.)

If you’re a filmmaker/Producer then you might like to screen your project for free on the channel.  Screeners, Works-in-Progress, Pilots, TV shows, Webisodes (web series and narrative online shorts) and of course Feature films and short movies are accepted.  Programs of most any genre enjoy the support of Movie Plus (with the exception of “adult” content.)

Movies Plus encourages a great method to make your distribution plan solid.  Place your dotcom on your film – at the beginning and at the end, or perhaps a very very small watermark at the bottom of your letterboxed show.  Movies plus encourages their audience to make note of the filmmakers website address.  Later, after folks have watched your show, they can visit your website and buy an upgraded copy of your movie on DVD, or perhaps a T-shirt or even make a donation.  It works, it’s in some ways better than Crowdsourcing because you’re not dependent upon Kickstarter or anyone else’s method of fundraising…It’s all controlled by you on your website.

The channel is free and currently Ad-Free.

You may add Movies Plus from your Fire TV main screen.  Just scroll down on the left side to APPS, then scroll to the Categories section.  Movies Plus is listed number 4 out of hundreds in the Novelty category.

OR add the channel online here: http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Pie-Films-Movies-Plus/dp/B013MBOC4S/ref=sr_1_1?s=mobile-apps&ie=UTF8&qid=1449873117&sr=1-1

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Okay, so perhaps you don’t have a Fire TV stick or a way to watch Movies Plus right now — now worries you can still contact them and start the process of leveraging your film project.

I shouldn’t post the Curator’s email here for sake of spam…hmmm let’s see.  Okay email them at their gmail account, and please remember to remove the () marks.  Movies Plus care of: metrofilmfestival(@)gmail.com

Cheers, good movie watching…and making!
Read UPDATED and entire articles WITHOUT-ADS on moviesplus.org