Like many independent filmmakers out there afdah.tv I was disappointed with how the traditional distribution deals for my movies turned out. This is kind of like my Jerry Maguire moment. It’s 6 AM on a Saturday and I’m on my laptop. Making smaller budget movies outside of Hollywood without name stars severely limits your distribution options. 9 out of 10 times it leads to a filmmaker signing a deal with a independent distribution company that doesn’t pay off. You basically sell the rights to your movie for pennies on the dollar. Not to mention your sweat equity and creative energy that goes unrewarded. Bottom-line is most independent filmmakers don’t come close to breaking even with these type of distribution deals. It’s down right frustrating.
After going through this myself I started to rethink if making independent movies was worth it. Then my friend, editor Tim Beachum, who follows tech trends in entertainment told me, “You love to make movies. Don’t stop. Just rethink how to get your movies distributed to viewers.” I watch videos on YouTube, MetaCafe, Dailymotion and other sites. Free content is cool, but independent filmmakers need to earn money from their work like the rest of the world. Free doesn’t pay the bills. Then I started to look into sites that offered movies on demand for a modest fee. I saw that this might be the best platform to get my movies seen by viewers and hopefully earn a living.
I started to research how different movie on demand sites worked. Netflix “Watch Now” Downloads is revolutionizing the way viewers get their movies. Hollywood dominates the movie on demand market, but independent movies are carving out a their own place. Independent filmmakers no longer have to shoulder the cost of DVD replication and packaging. Some independent distributors charge filmmakers as much as $4 for these costs on top of their distribution fees.
Offering your movie on demand eliminates that. Not knowing exactly how to jump into the movie on demand market I enlisted the help of respected independent film representative Mark Steven Bosko of The Bosko Group. Great guy. He secured a movie on demand deal for 3 reality videos I produced while I took a break from making movies. The videos are available to viewers on most major cable and satellite outlets. There are no high DVD replication, packaging, and distribution fees. Movies on demand is a digital process. Once your movie is encoded it can be streamed to viewers.
I have to give credit where credit is due. Editor Tim Beachum said, “Why don’t we make a wide range of videos for mobile devices?”
I was an independent filmmaker used to the traditional way of getting movies distributed. Now I can see that the movie on demand process gives filmmakers a wide audience and a real opportunity to earn money for their hard work. Movies on demand has leveled that playing field. Digital distribution has made it an exciting time to be a filmmaker. It has renewed my creative spirit.