3. When should I try to get a distribution?
As a freelance artist, you may need to work on a few projects or short films to demonstrate the style and direction you want to execute. If you think you have a project ready for distribution, start thinking about your plan right from the pre-production research and development phase. This can influence how you start raising funds or attracting private investors. If you have strong distribution partners early in development, you’ll have their support throughout your project and their influence to get your film to the right places.
4. What is a good distributorship?
This is quite subjective and entirely depends on the type of project you are producing. In addition to having an experienced producer, distribution partner and film festival schedule, it is imperative to have an attorney or legal advisor to advise you in your best interest. However, the general objective is to cover possible past or future expenses, while retaining certain original rights. Make sure your director/producer fees are included!
5. I have a finished film, what should I do to distribute it now?
Finished movies can still be acquired by Hulu, Netflix, and HBO, but you’ll need to get the best festival or venue for your premiere. If you have a finished film, I suggest you start with a film festival and a theatrical screening for your local film press. Your local film community is a great resource for increasing your exposure. Hosting your own private screenings for film critics and programmers allows for an opportunity for Q&As and deeper conversations about your film. You can also contact your local TV networks or PBS station to schedule your show or movie directly. There are now online video-on-demand catalogs and independent broadcasters looking for content, willing to pay-per-view. Of course, you should always have a lawyer review potential contracts to make sure they are in your best future interests. Finally, you can always publish your project yourself on user-generated media sites such as YouTube, Vimeo or TikTok. In the end, what you distribute is always about the next project you would like to produce. So share what you have. You never know who might be watching and what they might offer you next! Some of our greatest modern producers started online: Issa Rae, Quinta Bronson, need I say more!
If you’re new to filmmaking, be prepared to make your first projects entirely on a shoestring budget, or even out of your own pocket. But once you have a few projects or episodes under your belt, don’t be afraid to take some time off from filmmaking, to focus on your fundraising and distribution strategies for your next project!