How To Find Producer’s Rep That Is Best For Your Film? Part I

How to find Producer's Rep that is best for your film?

How To Find Producer’s Rep That Is Best For Your Film? Part I

How To Find Producer’s Rep That Is Best For Your Film?

The best way to find Producer’s Rep that is best for your film is at the Film Festivals. Check these professionals before you hire them to work for your film. Many of them would work with you on the upfront retainer fees. Remember, they will be working with you for your film. They are the experts in their fields but youʼre the driving force behind your film. Donʼt be afraid to ask questions.  You may ask a producerʼs rep: “What is your opinion of my film? How many films will you be representing at the festival?  If youʼre representing  many films, will you personally tend to each film, or will you hand my film to a someone else in your company?”  If you donʼt feel their passion and commitment for your film is there, you should not sign with them to represent your film, even if you know theyʼre one of the best in the industry. They may not be the best for your film.

Film Distribution. Ad Supported VOD Distribution (AVOD)

Film Distribution. Ad-Supported VOD Distribution (AVOD)

Ad-supported, AVOD platforms make money by placing targeted advertising in front of the viewer. This type of model can be win-win, as many ads-supported platforms provide the filmmaker with a portion of the ad revenue. The viewer gets to watch your movie without making a transaction.

Hulu: How to Distribute Your Movie on Hulu

In the United States, Hulu has gained popularity as a great way to watch popular television shows and movies on demand. Hulu makes money by peppering content with advertisements. And assuming they acquire your title, Hulu will pay you a portion of the advertising revenue.

Getting your title in Hulu once again requires working with an aggregator who can make a pitch on your behalf. Like any platform, Hulu is looking for great content. While trends change monthly, if you have a documentary or a niche specific title, Hulu may be worth exploring.

For entrepreneurial filmmakers, Hulu offers awesome social sharing tools. Filmmakers can embed the Hulu player on their sites and drop links in social media. And from there, no matter where the content is shared or viewed, filmmakers get paid.

While there are no guarantees in the movie business, having the ability to make, market and sell your movies without the traditional middle-man is exciting.

by Jason Brubaker

Subscription VOD Distribution (SVOD)

Film Distribution. Subscription VOD Distribution (SVOD)

Film Distribution. Subscription VOD Distribution (SVOD)

Subscription Video On Demand allows subscribers to sign up for a service, pay a monthly fee and in exchange, have access to unlimited programming. This model is great for consumers because, well, they can watch anything. Getting your title onto an SVOD platform could be great for discovery.

Netflix: How to Distribute You Movie on Netflix

Netflix will not make an offer for your movie unless they are interested in your movie. Think of Netflix the same way you think about HBO or Showtime. And like all premium subscription channels, they want movies with a strong “name” cast, social media stars and stuff that won major festival awards.

If your movie meets these criteria, your best bet for Netflix (assuming you are in their database) is working with an aggregator with a track record for negotiating great deals with them. As a possible downside, unless you strike a great licensing deal you may be a little disheartened if your title gets a million views and you have not seen a dime.

Amazon Prime: How to Distribute You Movie on Amazon Prime

Going beyond their TVOD service, Amazon has expanded their product offering to include an SVOD service called Amazon Prime. Through Amazon Prime, filmmakers can make their movies available for discovery. And Unlike Netflix, Amazon Prime actually pays you every time your movie is streamed!

While this is equal to pennies on the dollar (you net roughly 5 cents per stream), having your movie available to millions of subscribers could potentially add up.

by Jason Brubaker

Film Distribution. VOD Distribution

Film Distribution. VOD Distribution

Film Distribution. VOD Distribution

While it is possible that your film will be the next breakout hit, it is more likely that your work will end up in Amazon, iTunes, Hulu and other VOD platforms.

When it comes to VOD distribution, there are two ways to go:

  • Traditional Model: Give up a portion of your movie ownership to a traditional distributor or VOD aggregator and allow them to control your VOD distribution.
  • Modern Model: Pay for VOD distribution as a service. Reap the rewards of cutting out the traditional middle-man and retain ownership.

It is important to know that your VOD distribution strategy will fall into three models, including Transactional VOD, Subscription VOD, and Ad-Supported VOD. Today we will talk about Transactional VOD Distribution.    

Transactional VOD Distribution (TVOD)

Transactional VOD people can only watch your movie after they make a purchase. In addition to Cable VOD, platforms such as Amazon and iTunes make transactions easy. By keeping customer credit cards on file, prospective viewers are only a few clicks away from watching your movie. Amazon: How to Get Your Film Into Amazon Instant Video

In the past, filmmakers could utilize Amazon’s CreateSpace to access Amazon. And while CS is still an okay option if you want to sell a DVD, the service does not encode for high definition content. This limitation, coupled with an inability to access Amazon Prime makes CS a less than a satisfactory option. For this reason, I do not recommend CreateSpace for VOD distribution.

If you want to make your HD content available through Amazon VOD distribution, you will have to go through an Amazon-approved aggregator.

iTunes: How to Distribute You Movie on iTunes

iTunes is one of the most popular destinations for both filmmakers and movie-loving audiences. Similar to Amazon, getting your title into iTunes will require that you utilize a distributor or aggregator.

Keep in mind that iTunes only wants content that will look great on Apple devices. As a consequence, iTunes has some of the highest standards for encoding. So don’t be surprised if your movie doesn’t pass QC on the first attempt. This is common and the encoding house should be able to fix most issues in-house.

by Jason Brubaker

Film Distribution. Other Types of Film Sales Agents

Film Distribution. Other Types of Film Sales Agents

“A point of distinction about the handful of people that represent and sell films to the U.S. television & cable markets. Those that do this are generally referred to as Film Sales Agents as well. There are very few who only sell to these markets anymore; those that previously did have branched out to include the VOD (digital/online) markets. (Incidentally, if you have the name cast in your film, you don’t necessarily need a television/cable Sales Agent; you can approach and pitch your movie directly to the network or cabler.)
When it comes to the digital platforms, a new category of representation came into existence about 10 years ago: The Aggregator. This person or company acquires digital rights for the internet platforms (“Internet VOD”), mobile devices, and sometimes Cable/Satellite/Telco VOD. If you choose to engage this service from someone rather than doing it yourself, be clear about what rights you are granting them. An Aggregator is generally not the person you want handling rights other than the digital rights for VOD. They just don’t usually have the expertise (or interest) to cover the markets beyond that.”                                              Jerome Courshon

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