Distribution: The Never Ending Story

By Lenny Manzo, posted 21 May 2010

The first thing is to think about is the market. Does the movie have a niche? Who does the movie appeal to and who will pay to see it? These questions need to be answered before you do a thing. The distribution must be part of the plan from the beginning. No other business would make a product and not know where it would be sold.

The first thing is to think about is the market. Does the movie have a niche? Who does the movie appeal to and who will pay to see it? These questions need to be answered before you do a thing. The distribution must be part of the plan from the beginning. No other business would make a product and not know where it would be sold.

How flexible are you in your movie vision. When you begin to conceptualize your movie you need to start thinking about your audience at this moment. The sooner you consider your audience the easier it will be to find them. Perhaps you can find a project that has a built in audience already. If you are making a narrative piece you can option a book that already has a fan base. If you are making a documentary on the yellow-bellied sapsucker, you can find out where the sapsucker enthusiasts congregate and get your movie to them.

If you can tailor your film to an audience so much the better, if you must make a film that you have to get out from inside your artistic self and there is no compromise fine, then figure out who wants to see this movie. As you go through the filmmaking process from light bulb in your head to a shrink-wrapped DVD you must weave the marketing and the film together so that they support each other. You begin to sell your product the day you say to yourself, "I am going to make this movie."

If marketing and self promotion is not your area of expertise or you don't feel comfortable doing that because you are the artist type, then get over it and make it your area of expertise. Marketing is an acquired skill and it can be learned. We are in the do-it-yourself era of filmmaking. No one will discover you amongst the thousands of filmmakers the digital age has spawned. Make your movie and get it out there yourself and then people will know who you are and what you can do.

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