Monday, October 28, 2013

How Do You Get Your Micro-Budget Feature Distributed?

I get struggling moviemakers asking me this often.

There's no secret.

It's been my experience that to  get any kind of distribution, a movie needs 1 of 4 things.

1. Name talent. (this is the most important) And it the name has to be applicable to the movie/genre your shooting. Not every movie and genre requires an A B or even C lister. There are several niche-markets were certain musicians, and way, way past their prime ex-stars  can get you a sale.

2. To be incredible. If your movie is truly great, people will take notice and so will distributors.

3. To be in a genre  distributors want. (this is tricky and is in constant flux. You can research and see what kind of distributors are releasing the type of flick you want to do. Even then it's a roll of the dice.

4. be related to someone at the distribution company or start dating their daughter. ***I'm still working on that one.

5. have a track record of past flicks making money.

I got lucky in the past with #3 and horror. Certain distributors were just looking for the kind of horror I was peddling at the time. But it doesn't always happen right off.  In the case of Edges of Darkness, it took my sales agent almost 2 years to land Anchor Bay. 

Most of the movies I do now have distribution set before I start shooting. I work with production companies with track records that have distribution deals set in advance. That said, I still from time to time will producer a movie on spec (with no set distribution) but when I do so, I make sure that at least 2 of the above criteria are met before moving forward. I also keep the costs on such projects low enough that the investment risk is low.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Netflix User reviews are fun.

So, I probably posted this before. But a friend was just on Facebook mentioning some of the bad reviews his latest was getting on Netflix and it reminded me of this.

Yeah, I put a couple of positive ones on top, just for my own ego.
But I really do get a kick out of the bad ones. When they first appeared, sure I was little butt-hurt, but over the years, I've gained perspective and now really enjoy reading them.

Anway, here ya go. Straight from Netflix...User reviews of my hated more than loved EDGES OF DARKNESS.

3.0 stars
This is a really cool story and has more going on than the usual struggle to survive against zombies. I like the characters and all of the little stories they bring to the mix. The acting is passable and for the most part the pacing is good. The zombie make-up is average and they have a nice mix of zombies and other story going on. One thing to keep in mind is that this is a low budget movie and if you have a taste for only Hollywood polish you won't want this. If you like things outside of mainstream this is a good choice with a lot of creativity.

SA 308909's
3.0 Stars
Edges of Darkness was not a great movie. It's very, very low budget and if you're not up to watching something shot on video, with questionable performances and sound quality then it's not for you. It's also not a kick-butt zombie movie. While there are a few scenes of gore and blood, and some decent zombie make-up the movie is more of a quiet character piece. With more money and better actors I'm sure it would have been much better.

txc 950294's
5.0 Stars
Rarely has genius so graced the human race as it has in this form. behold the sight of angel breasts upon a unicorn rug in front of an aspen ski lodge fireplace in the middle of sex. Witness an exploration of gloriness only witnessed before by the ancient wiseman of yore.

McSmartypants69 (WHAT AN ASS!)
1.0 Stars
Horrible, retarded nonsense that has no redeeming value for zombie or horror fans whatsoever. Total amateur hour crap by morons with no talent in front of or behind the camera. Don't fall for the slick cover art or fake positive reviews. Like another reviewer said, all the fake positive reviews are being rated as "helpful" by people involved in the film, not real horror fans. Likewise, they are marking honest but negative reviews as "unhelpful" in a vain attempt to trick you into renting it. Edges of Darkness is the most boring, worthless and retarded piece of crap I've seen. No entertainment value; just pathetic, no-budget backyard junk that's impossible to sit through. Not even film school would help people with this little talent behind the camera! The story and acting sucks so bad you'll want to smash your TV set in frustration. I'd rate it a million negative stars if I could, that's how much I HATE THIS MOVIE!

MP 1193571's 
1.0 Stars
Ok I am all for the B rated horror movies, like Black Sheep the one with the cannibal sheeps not Chris Farley. But for this one there has to be a rating worse then that. This film almost got 2 stars and barely 2 at that but when the zombie waltz scene happened it lost that slight chance of that even happening. Do not rent this movie unless you are into torturing yourself.

jaKAI !
1.0 Stars
I rarely give one star, but this flick is well-deserving. Amateurish shots, poor acting, and awkward script. Even Crow and Tom Servo would fall asleep with this one. I may have given the film an extra star if there had been even a mild attempt at providing backstory for where the organic battery came from, or how the vampires came to be, or the odd antichrist-vs-priests showdown toward the end. But there was nothing gripping or tantalizing to be told, no backstory or plot twists, just your straightforward predictable college film project on a lunch-money budjet. Skip this one, drink a warm glass of milk, and go to bed early. There is nothing to see.

1.0 Stars
Why the hell did I rent this? After reading the description over again it doesn't sound good at all. I think I fell for the old "slick dvd cover art" scam. My theory is the cooler the cover, the lamer the flick. It doesn't work in every case, but it's a good guide to live by. This one is terrible. The plot has 3 interconnected stories against the back drop of the zombie apocalypse. The opening of the flick was pretty promising; a cute girl kicking some zombie butt. For a low budgeter the zombie make up wasn’t too bad. But after this scene the movie went downhill quickly. Unless your idea of edge-of-your-seat horror includes following around a bickering couple as we watch them in their apartment, well then you might just find yourself bored. Another of the stories shows a vampire couple and how they try to deal with the moral and existential dilemmas of awwww who am I kidding? They do nothing of the sort. They’re actually really annoying, whiney, and look like it would be extremely easy to take them down. Add to this a slow pace and poor acting and you have yourself one spectacular crap-fest. Why didn't they just stick with and follow around the zombie a$$-kicking chick from the opening scene? Then we may have had something!! Definitely skip this one.

kvv 1697127
1.0 Stars
This movie is the worst movie ever. The acting and story line was very retarded. I wasted time from my life watching this movie.

jjmar58825% similar to you

OMG, whoever wrote this assanine movie should be savagely beaten with a pillowcase full of oranges!


zjs 1438507
1.0 Stars
Wow! Here is a whole new level of SUCK that has not been fully explored yet. This movie appears to be another version of what I like to call "Basement Directors" with the help of their "Mommy Directors". This isn't even a B movie. This is a Z movie at best. Pay for this movie and you'll be suffering far worse than any of the unfortunate 'actors' in this movie. When is this site going to give us the option to rate something a negative billion? I found the credits more appealing than the movie. (Jeesh... I feel like I have to wash my mouth out with gasoline every time I even relate the word 'movie' with this trash in the same sentence).