By John Lyons Murphy on 27th February 2012
Check out this excellent article from PBS MediaShift writer (and filmmaker) Amanda Lin Costa. It’s a great little journey into the tough question facing independent filmmakers on how best to release their films to get the most viewers – and recoup the most money possible – in this rapidly shifting landscape.
With theatrical release often cost-prohibitive, DVD sales declining for years, and digital options exploding but not always tested-and-true, all the filmmakers I know are trying to figure out the new release windows and strategies. Edward Burns went digital with his latest, Newlyweds – to great success. Kevin Smith self-released his Red State, too. And we all know how, while a slightly different kind of product, comedian and filmmaker Louis C.K. did with his most recent stand up special.
If you check out Ed or Kevin’s Twitter feeds, you’ll see how they used social media to promote their work and direct fans to where they can buy it. (They’re doing that whole thing we’ve been talking about at AboutFace for years – make the content, then get word out via social channels.)
Perhaps this article from Amanda Lin Costa will serve as a helpful source of information or even a guide for those of us with films to release this year. I know it’s given me some food for thought for my next one.
Here’s the opening excerpt.
“Traditionally, there were three main types of distribution for the work of independent filmmakers: theatrical, broadcast and straight to DVD. Most filmmakers hoped for a combination of all three.
But everything has changed. The digital online world has opened up new avenues of distribution including video on demand, live streaming, and mobile and tablet applications.
Indie filmmakers are harnessing these digital forms of distribution to increase their audience and maintain control of their film, but the “how and where” their film is viewed, the financial recovery of production costs, and their eligibility for awards all factor into their choices.”