Which elements of traditional distribution still work? Which elements of Distribution 2.0 (otherwise known as ‘new world’ strategies) are the most effective for expanding your audience and your bottom line? What is the best combination of old + new techniques?
One thing we can probably all agree on is that the traditional theatrical distribution model might not make sense anymore… BUT it has been replaced by a ‘booking direct’ approach which can be very effective if done properly. Realize, all this pre-supposes a core principal that you are considering your audience FIRST (instead of last), and making a film for a very distinct target audience that you will eventually market the film to. (Marketing done in reverse) If you don’t abide by this principal, it will throw off the entire equation of Distribution Forward (traditional + 2.0) because this hybrid distribution approach exists solely on the assumption that there is a specific audience for your film.
Side note: Beware if you are making just a straight horror film. The audience for just a ‘horror’ film is too broad for the current marketplace to support it. With a generic horror film, you should lean more towards traditional distribution channels (ex: foreign sales, finding a DVD distribution, PPV, etc.) because in Distribution 2.0 your film will get lost. There is no one to market to!
Here’s list of random thoughts to keep in mind:
• talk to your audience FIRST
• develop your marketing hook
• now write your script!
• write a 2.0 business plan
• back into your budget
• take stock of your completed film – how are you going to launch it?
• don’t forget to follow up your launch and stay connected with your audience throughout
• go GLOBAL with your film
• make the traditional foreign sales model work for YOU
• remember what the new theatrical distribution model looks like
• piece together all the different revenue streams for paying your investors back
Here’s something that should make you breathe a sigh of relief – you don’t have to ‘settle’ for self-distribution utilizing the Distribution Forward model (because ultimately it is a hybrid model that incorporates both 2.0 strategies AND traditional distribution). You simply turn to creating projects for the marketplace rather than creating a project and PUSHING it on the marketplace. Distribution Forward is about being nimble and pre-selling yourself and your project to an audience. Don’t forget to budget to hire partners to help execute your vision and your plan. Any savvy producer should be operating like this in today’s marketplace so find one to work with who will be a master at coordinating all these moving parts.