Over the past decade, everything has changed for the indie filmmaker. These days, there is no excuse not to make a feature film. But just as importantly, there is no excuse not to view your filmmaking as a business. That means, you not only have to focus on making the movie – but you really need to have a strategy for making money from your movie.
Many filmmakers spend years making their first feature, only to have their hopes of prosperity evaporate at the first sign of rejection and disappointment. The festival circuit can be hard enough. Add thoughts of a non-existent traditional distribution deal, and you might find yourself becoming very cynical.
To avoid some heartache, before you start rolling the camera, I recommend creating two idealized plans for how your movie will make money:
PLAN A: You get everything you want. Your distribution is solid. You have a great audience. You’re now financially free and you have money in the bank for at least two more motion pictures.
PLAN B:You did the festivals. You got the meetings (or maybe you didn’t) but nothing happened. You got a lot of hot air, but no action. If this happens, what is your strategy for making money with your movie?
Loosely, here are some steps you can take to start selling your movie:
1. Set up an account at CreateSpace. Feature your movie as a digital download, rental and physical sale. Unless you want to spend all your time shipping stuff around, consider letting those folks deal with the shipping and order fulfillment. Yes, they will take a huge cut. But at the same time, all you gotta do is cash checks. Also, pick a price that ends in a 7. For some reason people like this number. $ 14.97 – maybe.
2. Rework your website. Up until this point, you’ve had a website that features a bunch of production photos and extra cute stuff from the movie. Get rid of all the extra stuff. Include a high resolution trailer, a low resolution trailer and a “BUY NOW” button. Also include one of those social networking buttons that allows you to tell your friends.
3. You’ll know if your trailer is no good. If people aren’t buying your movie, consider refining your trailer. The trailer should reflect the best aspects of your movie, without giving away everything. It should target your intended audience. If you’re missing the mark, re-cut. Also, make sure you include a trailer on YouTube with a back link to your website.
4. There are two ways people get traffic. Organic and paid advertising. When possible, go organic – but don’t spam. Do a Google Search for SEO. Read everything you can about this. It will help you. If you decide to pay for traffic, you can do it online and offline. Offline would be in things like magazines, etc. Online – well, here, online. Again, make sure you’re targeting your intended audience.
5. Test, test and retest. Install Google Analitics into your website. This will tell you where your visitors are coming from, how long they stay on the site and how many people are converting to sales.
Finally, if you like this sort of stuff – that’s great. If you don’t, you’re in luck. There are plenty of marketing-producer-consultants who are willing to work with you and help you achieve your movie making goals!
Jason Brubaker is a Hollywood based independent motion picture producer. He runs the popular filmmaking website called Filmmaking Stuff. For more filmmaking related information, goto: http://www.filmmakingstuff.com
Question by mrb: Will the black community use Imus to obliterate rap’s sexism?
I found this article interesting:
In 2004, students at Spelman College, a black women’s college in Atlanta, became upset over rapper Nelly’s video for his song “Tip Drill,” in which he cavorts with strippers and swipes a credit card between one woman’s buttocks. The rapper wanted to hold a campus bone marrow drive for his ailing sister, but students demanded he first participate in a discussion about the video’s troubling images. Nelly declined.
In 2005, Essence magazine launched its “Take Back the Music” campaign. Writers such as Joan Morgan and Kierna Mayo and filmmaker Byron Hurt also have tackled the issue recently. T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, author of “Pimps Up, Ho’s Down: Hip Hop’s Hold on Young Black Women” and a professor at Vanderbilt University, said many black women resist rap music and hip-hop culture, but their efforts are largely ignored by mainstream media. As an example, the professor pointed to “Rap Sessions,” the 10-city tour in which she’s participating.
She said the tour and its central question – does hip-hop hate women? – have gotten very little mainstream media coverage.
“It’s only when we interface with a powerful white media personality like Imus that the issue is raised and the question turns to ‘Why aren’t you as vociferous in your critique of hip-hop?’ We have been! You’ve been listening to the music but you haven’t been listening to the protests from us.”
Crouch said that change in rap music and entertainment likely won’t come fast, because corporations are still profiting from the business – but it’s coming.
“I’ve been on (rappers) for 20 years,” Crouch said. “I was in the civil rights movement. I know it takes a long time when you’re standing up against extraordinary money and great power. But we’re beginning to see a shift.”
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
so what do you think?
maybe the white community can with this article understand the real significance of why it was necessary to make such a huge thingout of Imus after all.
Answer by cadaholic
its only a one way street out there. whats good for the goose is not good for the gander as well in this case.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!
A tribute to filmmaker Zahir Raihan. He was among the few in the domain of cinema in this country who made us immensely proud. We never hesitate to talk stridently and profusely about this extremely talented film-maker in any venue, be it national or international, where first generation Bangladeshi films are on the agenda for discussion. In an exclusive interview cinematographer Afzal Chowdhury talks about filmmaker Zahir Raihan and his work. About the show: PORICHOY is a bridge between two cultures, depicting real world life experiences of ordinary Canadians and Bangladeshi immigrants in Canada. The program airs every Sunday at 7:00 am and 9 pm (Dhaka time), on STV us which is the first Bangla satellite television from USA, and is rebroadcast every Tuesday noon Dhaka time. Director: Saiful Wadud Helal A Midea 1 and Mira Media production. www.youtube.com homepage.mac.com homepage.mac.com
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