For over a year now, I’ve been struggling to follow up an earlier story I submitted to the Filmmaker’s Process. That post was written shortly after production when we were kicking off our crowdfunding campaign. The response from all of you in the filmmaking community was great, but in many ways things trailed off downhill after that.
I only want to send positivity out into the world. That is basically my core mantra. So… when all I could report on was perceived failures, I wasn’t able to frame it in a way that was honest and also positive.
In complete honesty, I dove into a pretty deep depression after making our movie. Blood on the Leaves was incredibly satisfying to make and we were really proud of the end product… but our distribution plan just stalled out and it felt like nobody was ever going to see the movie.
Our distribution plan just stalled out and it felt like nobody was ever going to see the movie.
This article is going to go through everything that happened since post-production without getting to granular. Up front, I want you to know there is a happy ending; that’s why I’m finally writing this, because I can end on a positive note.
If you haven’t already, please go read our first article about Blood on the Leaves for some context.
Post Production Nightmare
As a producer, organization is everything to me.
One of the biggest rushes I’ve ever experienced was managing the schedule on set of our two week mad-dash to film Blood on the Leaves.
Just like planning for production, you should really have an extremely tediously planned post production if you want things to run efficiently.
When we released Blood on the Leaves, we intentionally skipped the festival route.
This was a big mistake.
Even if you're planning to distribute your film independently, you should still aim for film festivals.
Also, consider distribution offers. If you are remotely business-savvy, you will be able to negotiate a moderately good deal out of a distributor that you may not be able to achieve on your own. Remember that rights can be sold in pieces. So having an international theatrical distributor (yeah-right) would cover something you're unlikely to achieve on your own.
Getting a Strategic View of Distribution Options
After years of watching the indie market and distributing a few projects of my own, I've come up with a pattern that works best to maximize potential profits from a film.
At the end of the day, if your movie is not interesting to audiences, it won't make money.
Following this roadmap, however, could be the difference between $2,000 in returns and $200,000.
This post originally appeared on Sideline Pictures' Blog.
We review our earnings and reach after one year of using Amazon Video Direct. We were very satisfied with the platform as an alternative to YouTube for free distribution... then in August of 2017 we were hit with a big surprise that made the experience even more amazing.