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The Insider's Guide to Independent Film Distribution

Book Description

Innovation in technology means that almost anyone can make an independent film these days. Although this may be good news for aspiring filmmakers, it also means that the oversupply of independent films on the market has caused acquisition prices to dramatically decrease. As a result, producers and investors rarely recover their initial investment in the films they make. But don't be discouraged! Use this book to learn the realities of the market in advance and map out a winning distribution plan.

This comprehensive manual for filmmakers and producers dedicated to film distribution and the marketplace could mean the difference between getting your film out to the public and keeping it "in the can." Learn how to sell your movie to a studio, a cable network, a video distributor, or an international buyer. Self-distribution and other alternatives to traditional distribution are also considered. As well, you'll hear some success stories from producers and hear exactly what buyers are seeking.

Stacey Parks has worked with dozens of hungry filmmakers to get their films a distribution deal and knows how frustrating the whole process can be. Let her tell you how you can take control of your filmmaking career and start getting your work seen by audiences with a few little-known distribution secrets.

Features include:
* Interviews and case studies with producers and distributors
* Ten Ways to Market Your Film for Self-Distribution
* Sales Projections per Territory
* Distribution Resource Listings
* Negotiation tips for distribution agreements
* Sample distribution agreements

* What you must know to get your independent film distributed
* Written by a distributor who knows the process inside and out
* Interviews with buyers and acquisitions executives from every sector of the business on what kinds of films they look for, what they're sick of seeing, and how their acquisitions processes work

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. 1 History of Distribution and State of the Market
    1. A Recent History of Distribution
    2. The Current State of the Market: A Reality Check
    3. Suggested Exercises for Part One
  8. 2 Before You Start Production: Getting a Leg Up on Distribution
    1. Get in Touch with the Market
    2. Carefully Consider Genre and Format
    3. Casting for Distribution
    4. Hire a Casting Director
    5. Submit Offers to Agents
    6. Exploit Your Contacts and Go for Out-of-Work Actors
    7. Financing Strategies for Distribution
    8. Set Money Aside for the Last Mile
    9. How Much Will I Make? Realistic Sales Projections for Your Film
    10. Make a Business Plan for Your Film
    11. Suggested Exercises for Part Two
  9. 3 Production Geared Toward Distribution
    1. Shooting Format
    2. The Importance of Stills
    3. Starting Publicity During Production: Get the Buzz Going
    4. Suggested Exercises for Part Three
  10. 4 Postproduction with an Eye Toward Distribution
    1. Get Objective Third-Party Feedback
    2. License Stock Footage
    3. Build Your Press Kit
    4. Suggested Exercises for Part Four
  11. 5 It’s in the Can—Now What?
    1. How to Create a Campaign
    2. Applying to Film Festivals: Your Strategy
    3. Finding Producer Reps and Sales Agents
    4. Sales Agencies to Consider
    5. Filmmaker Case Study: Percy Angress, in His Own Words
    6. Navigating International Film Markets
    7. A Film-Market Prep Guide
    8. Some Dos and Don’ts When Attending a Film Market
    9. Should I Have a Distributor Screening for My Film?
    10. Suggested Exercises for Part Five
  12. 6 Getting a Distribution Deal
    1. The U.S. Distribution Deal and What to Expect
    2. How to Approach U.S. Distributors Yourself
    3. Filmmaker Case Study: David Basulto, in His Own Words
    4. Foreign Distribution and What to Expect
    5. Expenses Required to Market and Distribute a Film
    6. Filmmaker Case Study: Robert Brinkmann, in His Own Words
    7. Suggested Exercises for Part Six
  13. 7 After the Distribution Deal
    1. When Will I Get Paid?: Distribution Cash Flow
    2. Suggested Exercises for Part Seven
  14. 8 Self-Distribution and Other Alternatives to Traditional Distribution
    1. Filmmaker Case Study: Tamar Halpern, in Her Own Words
    2. On-Demand DVD Distribution
    3. Internet Distribution/Video on Demand (VOD)
    4. Posting Your Trailer
    5. Online Film Markets
    6. Filmmaker Case Study: Bradley Beesley, on his Okie Noodling Microcinema Tour
    7. Art-house Cinemas at Which My Films Have Screened
    8. Platform Theatrical Release
    9. Hybrid Distribution Model
    10. Suggested Exercises for Part Eight
    11. My Very Best Advice to You
  15. Appendix A: Anatomy of a Distribution Agreement
    1. The Terms
  16. Appendix B: Sample U.S. Distribution Contract
  17. Appendix C: Twelve Ways to Market Your Film for Self-Distribution
  18. Appendix D: More Sample Contracts
    1. Subject to Contract
    2. Company B
  19. Index