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.


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