For independent filmmakers it can be a real struggle to get your film out there or even make a decent profit, especially if your budget is low, you’ve never done self distribution or your trying to find the right distributor for your film. It can be a long and tedious process for any filmmaker, documentarian or freelancer.
Distributors will want the profits to cover all their costs and can typically range from 10 to 50 percent which is a long shot. It also takes a lot of research to know your films audience, how to market it, and where to look for great film competitions to even get your film seen. It’s hustling 99.9%. But filmmakers that want to focus on self distribution and marketing there is still hope! Here are some helpful tips and techniques to get your project rolling.
Finding solid support for your project early on is a great way to get people on board with what you’ve been working on. It’s getting the name out there, not just when you’re thinking about distributing. The more people know and support your film the better chance it has at growing. It can be hard to compete with a distributor in resources, but there are many tools out there, like crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, Gofundme and Indiegogo.
Focus On Topics
Whether you make documentaries, short films or features, finding out what current demands or trends there are can be beneficial in promoting your project. This could be educational, cultural, injustice, etc. For example, if you are wanting to make an educational documentary on health or culture, pitching your idea to universities or places that could benefit from your film could help. If something is trending be mindful to get on it straight away, people will want more of what’s currently in demand. Be creative when sharing and networking about your project, you never know what could open up.
Once you learn about distribution more and build a system that works for you, it can be a huge relief. Persistence, patience and hard work pays off. Yes, the independent life is a little more work than the big stuff, however it shouldn’t stop you. Social media is a great help in distribution, but that might mean you have to schedule and promote your project more, it might mean networking more, marketing strategically, or being extra creative.
Hopefully this video can inspire you and not discourage you in your filmmaking journey. Remember it’s a long and tedious process, but there’s plenty of independent filmmakers that are just like you, you’re not alone!