Financing for Filmmakers: Successful Business Models for Filmmakers (Second Edition)


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Rank in terms of market share. Instead, these independents embrace emerging distribution and business models that are designed to exploit digital technology and the radically changing media landscape of the early 21 st century. As a result, increasingly, independent filmmakers often consciously choose to eschew theatrical distribution and the extensive advertising and marketing costs that are attached to it and opt instead to focus on selling their films directly to cable and satellite broadcasters, release it straight on DVD, as well as making them accessible through recently established distribution outlets such as the social network site YouTube.

Many filmmakers are emigrating from the Old World, where they have little chance of succeeding. They are attracted by unprecedented opportunities and the freedom to shape their own destiny.

Life in the New World requires them to work harder, be more tenacious, and take more risks. There are daunting challenges and no guarantees of success. It is a hierarchical realm where filmmakers must petition the powers that be to grant them distribution. Independents who are able to make overall deals are required to give distributors total control of the marketing and distribution of their films.

The terms of these deals have gotten worse and few filmmakers end up satisfied. The Old World has ticket buyers. The New World has ticket buyers who are also Facebook friends.

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The Old World has commercials, newspapers ads and the mass audience. In this respect, theatrical distribution becomes just one of the options available to filmmakers and is opted for only if it makes marketing or financial sense for the filmmaker. Despite a potential conflict of interest between the party who bought the rights and the filmmaker as they both sell the same product and in effect compete against each other , Broderick argues that the two are not mutually exclusive.

However, this need not be the case as, according to Broderick two providers can co-exist in a mutually benefiting relationship and support each other. Table 3: Old vs New World of Distribution At the core of this hybridity are the social network media that emerged in the s and which have helped facilitate a number of features associated with the New World of Distribution. This type of relationship between filmmaker and audiences becomes a licence for the former to contact audiences directly, whether this is to sell their films on DVD, or to alert them about screenings of their films in particular geographical locations or on cable and public service television channels.

Shot on a shoestring budget that was limited to just a few thousand dollars, the filmmakers were aware from the beginning that theatrical distribution would be extremely difficult to secure.

How US, UK and French sales agents are future-proofing their business | News | Screen

In this respect, they designed a distribution strategy, which involved heavy use of social media, at a time when only MySpace and YouTube had established themselves in the market. The podcasts were prepared in at the same time that the video iPod was announced. Today, most shows must make a business out of an audience that is far less broad but has far more passion; an audience that will not only watch the show when it premieres, but TiVo it, download it to iTunes, buy it on DVD and watch it on their cell phones.

So we need to build new economic models that accommodate this new entertainment paradigm. And, this is where we start getting nervous. In the world of the low budget independent film, however, where only a fraction of the films produced per annum will receive theatrical distribution, and the ones that will do will enter a marketplace where new films on average are released every week, 26 the New World Distribution approach might represent a more attractive option. This is especially the case as from the late s onwards, many film festivals have also started branching out to commercial distribution, therefore providing an additional distribution outlet for the hordes of low budget independent films that are produced annually in the US.

First, the sheer number of these events has created strong competition among them. With the United States alone being home to approximately such events every year, 31 a number of festivals have sought to find ways to stand out in order to continue attracting quality films and sponsorship from major corporations. Second, the rapid rise of social network media from the mids onwards and their use by independent filmmakers for promotion purposes and as distribution platforms especially YouTube made the above collaborations inevitable.

This is especially as the number of independent films seeking distribution continued to expand, with a staggering 3, features submitted in Sundance alone in These collaborations and partnerships have enabled independent filmmakers to gain some access to the resources and innovative business models of global media players, which in turn have made filmmakers savvier in terms of designing distribution strategies for micro-budgeted productions that cannot afford the commercial elements that characterise indiewood productions.

The Business - Independent Film Producing Series: Pre-Production

The film was based on the Obie-winning play Another American: Asking and Telling , which was written and performed as a one man show by actor-playwright Marc Wolf and had premiered in December on Broadway. This consisted of 18 interviews with gay men and women about their experiences in the US military, with all interviewees played by Wolf, who performed all the roles in the film version too. This suggests that an increasing number of American independent films already are and will be more so in the future in a position to recoup their budget costs and perhaps even reach profitability, despite the absence of wide exposure that a theatrical release provides.


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In this new environment, and as filmmakers become increasingly savvy in orchestrating the distribution of their films, low budget independent film has the potential to reach audiences to an extent that it was never able to throughout the history of the American independent film sector. Tauris, This means that the 2. Accessed on 6 February Contents - Previous document - Next document. Outline The Dominance of Indiewood. Full text PDF Send by e-mail. Jon Lewi Top of page. William Dickerson. While the middle class in our society has disappeared, so has the middle class in the world of filmmaking.

There have been those who have alluded to the effect of such a disparity. Popular on Indiewire. The major studios want tentpole pictures that appeal to an international box office. At least, currently. There is no one because the one percent of Hollywood is making far too much money producing a limited amount of products that sell to the broadest spectrum of people.

Amanda Palmer

Sequels were considered creative cesspools. Television shows are mini-franchises. Paintings are bought and preserved in museums, literature is awarded the Nobel Prize, and landmark buildings are protected by law and often renovated with taxpayer dollars.


  • How US, UK and French sales agents are future-proofing their business | News | Screen;
  • The Enchanted Archive (Magics Poison Book 2).
  • challenges facing independent filmmakers and strategies for overcoming them;
  • Are movies simply a pop cultural fad? Are they simply a product? We quote movies, we reenact movies, and compare movies to our own lives on a regular basis—much more often than we compare our lives to paintings, literature or architecture. Movies are weaved into the fabric of our cultural landscape so intricately, that to remove its thread threatens to unravel our entire culture. America is a country that prides itself on industry and innovation in industry. The bells and whistles that mask as innovation are only as innovative as the stories themselves.

    It culturally trivializes film.

    Financing for Filmmakers: Successful Business Models for Filmmakers (Second Edition) Financing for Filmmakers: Successful Business Models for Filmmakers (Second Edition)
    Financing for Filmmakers: Successful Business Models for Filmmakers (Second Edition) Financing for Filmmakers: Successful Business Models for Filmmakers (Second Edition)
    Financing for Filmmakers: Successful Business Models for Filmmakers (Second Edition) Financing for Filmmakers: Successful Business Models for Filmmakers (Second Edition)
    Financing for Filmmakers: Successful Business Models for Filmmakers (Second Edition) Financing for Filmmakers: Successful Business Models for Filmmakers (Second Edition)
    Financing for Filmmakers: Successful Business Models for Filmmakers (Second Edition) Financing for Filmmakers: Successful Business Models for Filmmakers (Second Edition)

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