Discover more from Film Specific presents≫ The ReFrame
Sidestep Old Distribution Models
At the moment indies actually stand a chance of being noticed since many of the bigger films are pushing their releases into 2024. PLUS, welcome in new creative release strategies.
We may be in the homestretch where summer is concerned but I’m starting to hear murmurs out there about upcoming TIFF and AFM, which I’ll take as a good sign that the market is waking up?
Even though - there’s still plenty of stress around the double strikes and all that it entails for mostly the bigger, studio produced movies - but here in indie land I’m finding ways to bypass a lot of that and elbow our way into the nooks and crannies of opportunities which I want to touch on in today’s newsletter.
But first, head’s up if you have a completed or almost completed film!
I’m finding success in placing indie films and even series with distributors and sales agents who are eager to hedge against potential strike-induced supply side slowdowns later this year and into next. They still need product for their output deals with streamers, networks, and even AVOD players.
So if you’re sitting on a completed film, doc, or series and need help getting it placed during this unique time in the market, email me at email@example.com with details and link to your site or trailer.
I’m offering my Distribution Consulting (which includes festival and creative releasing strategies) and adding a few more projects to my slate in the lead up to TIFF, MIPCOM, and AFM. Look forward to chatting with you about your project!
What’s In A Release
One thing we’re seeing with upcoming TIFF is that some of the bigger films on display won’t have their cast present to help promote it with red carpet appearances, press junkets, etc. It’s actually quite a big loss for a film of a certain size that relies on their stars’ star power to help drive a big acquisition price or even box office sales if it already has a distributor.
I have two films I produced last year that are coming up for release in Q4 and with SAG indie waivers in place, our actors are happy to come out and help us promote it. Which means we actually stand half a chance of being noticed given many of the bigger films and even series are pushing their releases into 2024 when their stars can help actively promote.
In the last few days I’ve had two separate conversations with producers of high-end, celebrity driven docs. The kind that brought multimillion dollar acquisitions prices from the big streamers just a few years ago. But now they are getting crickets. Literally, not even a call back.
Why am I telling you this? Because in those big streamer passes lies the opportunity!
Enter a creative release strategy! Which may not bring in the same multi-million dollars of revenue you planned for - at least not right away - but if you extend the timeline out a bit, say 18-24 months, and leverage the various windows along the way, you can still bring in significant revenue (and buzz!) … just maybe not in a way you initially thought you would.
As an example - you could do a few in-person event screenings, and even pitch sponsors to cover the costs. The press generated from that could in turn can drive a healthy TVOD window…. which can then help drive a better Pay1/SVOD deal, which then leads to better and more international uptake and sales. And that’s all before we get to the long tail of global AVOD rollout. I experienced this recently with my film Pinball. Our theatrical buzz led to a very healthy TVOD window and drove a nice SVOD sale to Hulu, which I am now leveraging to make direct international sales (bypassing a sales agent).
Granted, this formula won’t work for every film but it’s a solid framework for the times and one you can copy and deploy if it makes sense for you and your project.
Point being, these are the types of ideas, creative strategies, and critical thinking needed right now to have a successful release despite all that’s going on in the market. Old paradigms be damned!
And you should update your pitch decks and proposals to investors accordingly and with what actual distribution looks like right now and walk them through a realistic timeline through all the windows towards recoupment. That’s what we’re doing with our slate of EP projects in order to get financiers and partners on board.
What do you guys think? Hit me up in the comments below and let’s spitball some release strategy ideas back and forth. I’d love to hear what’s worked or is working for you right now.
And on that note, I’ll wrap it up for today. Hope you have a wonderful day ahead and I’ll speak to you again soon.
To your success,