Tag: screendaily.com

The Producer of Marketing and Distribution

Posted on by Emy

This is my article published on screendaily.com.

The Producer of Marketing and Distribution

In my first guest column for Screen Daily in November of last year, I introduced what I call the new 50/50. This idea is to convey to filmmakers that half of their work is making the film, half of their work is connecting the film to an audience.

As a filmmaker, I know how difficult adopting these new tasks of marketing and distribution are. I also know how they can interfere with making new films – and there have been a fair amount of complaints lately from filmmakers about being responsible for doing this additional work.

However, just like most filmmakers do not make their films on their own, they should not be distributing and marketing those films on their own. I would argue that from now on, every film needs one person devoted to the distribution and marketing of the film from inception, just as they have a line producer, assistant director, or editor. This person is part of your team from inception, not tacked on at the end of the process.

This is why last autumn, just before sending Think Outside the Box Office to print, I came up with the concept of the Producer of Marketing and Distribution or the PMD. I gave this crew position an official title of PMD because without an official position, this work will continue to not get done. I gave this position the title of producer because it is that important. (For someone learning the ropes, you can start them at coordinator then move them up to associate producer and so on).

Creating a crew position will cause people to seek jobs as a PMD, train to become a PMD, apprentice as a PMD just as people do this for any film crew position. (I’ve already received emails from people excited to become PMDs.) Without a title, it won’t happen. The creation of this crew position should spur schools and institutes to create curriculums in order to train people to fill this role and other people will write books about it (just as there are a plethora of books on how to be a line producer).

I look forward to a near future in which filmmakers/directors will be able to put out calls for PMDs just as they do for DPs and Editors – and that they will get an equal volume of applications. Directors will develop long term relationships with PMDs that “get them” just as they do with DPs, Editors, and Producers etc.

Responsibilities of the PMD include:

1. Identify and engage with the audience for a film.

2. Development of a distribution and marketing strategy and plan for a film in conjunction with the entire team.

3. Create a budget for said plan.

4. Assemble and supervise the necessary team/crew elements to carry out the plan.

5. Audience outreach through organizations, blogs, social networking, online radio etc.

6. Supervise the creation of promotional and (if necessary due to the lack of a separate transmedia coordinator) trans media elements: including the films website script and concept for transmedia, production stills, video assets – both behind the scenes and trans media, promotional copy and art.

7. Outreach to potential distribution and marketing partners such as sponsors, promotional partners, various distribution entities, publicists.

8. When appropriate, engage the distribution process as designed.

9. Supervise the creation of deliverables.

I have created a number of educational activities to help recognize the creation of this position and help filmmakers take control of the distribution and marketing of their films. The first was the book mentioned above which I feel is the first training manual for the PMD. The second is a distribution and tools website www.ultimatefilmguides.com. Finally, I am beginning a series of Think Outside the Box Office (TOTBO) Workshops throughout the world kicking off in London next week on May 8&9 followed by Amsterdam, New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, San Francisco and Boston. All of these resources should help define the position and the duties of the PMD and I encourage filmmakers to take advantage of these opportunities to learn and grow in their abilities and their craft.

Ted Hope Speaks at BFI London Film Festival

Posted on by Mark

Seasoned Indie producer Ted Hope (21 Grams, The Hawk is Dying, TrulyFreeFilm) speaks in London on the future of Independent filmmaking.  How will digital technology make films more accessible?

From Screendaily.com:

Film industry should be more accessible, says Hope

14 October, 2009 | By Sarah Cooper

Veteran independent film producer Ted Hope called for new film business models built on “access and transparency” in his keynote speech at the Power to the Pixel Cross-Media Forum, held in London today (October 14).

The New York based producer told the audience at the event, which is part of the 53rd Times BFI London Film Festival, that the current business models for creation, financing and distributions were based on “exclusionary practice of isolated control” and that they were “running on fumes these days.”

“How long can the controlling studio model survive Continue reading →

Jeremy Thomas Speaks of Creative Pre-Sales Strategies at FIND

Posted on by Mark

Financing production with US pre-sales is becoming more and more rare, if not non-existent.  As US indie distribution faces a crisis, filmmakers must look to other sources of investment.  International pre-sales are a good start.

From ScreenDaily.com:

Don’t waste time looking for a US pre-buy, Jeremy Thomas tells film-makers

11 October, 2009 | By Jeremy Kay

Independent international film-makers who come to the US in search of financing are making “a wasted trip”, the Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas said over the weekend.

Speaking at the launch of the FIND Filmmaker Forum in Los Angeles, Thomas told an audience that the stricken economy and the demise of numerous US distributors had left the US independent sector “screwed up”, although he fully expected the market to bounce back. Continue reading →

How will the studios adapt to changing distribution markets?

Posted on by Mark

At ScreenDaily.com, Mike Goodridge suggests it’s decision time for studios’ distribution strategies.  How will they adapt to new digital markets?  Will they embrace transmedia?  Food for thought:

Mike Goodridge

Would you pay $250 to have Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen delivered to your living room on the same day it is released in theatres?
D-Day for US studio model

8 October, 2009 | By Mike Goodridge

That is a new technology scenario being touted to the major studios as they struggle to cope with the fast-collapsing distribution windows that have been the bedrock of their business models for decades.

Then there’s a premium VoD option that could come in just four weeks after theatrical release in the $30-$50 price bracket.

“US films still dominate, but within a very short period, studios won’t be able to monetise their expensive product the way they are used to”

Exhibitors may not be thrilled to hear of these developments but with the contraction of the DVD market and the dramatic erosion of income from pay-TV deals, the studios are desperately trying to carve out new windows and revenue streams.

Ultimately, new windows might just be a stopgap before the studios’ movies are released day and date in all media and all markets. That sounds like an option with terrifying consequences if the film doesn’t work – ie, it is immediately dead in the water with no chance of compensation from ancillary platforms – yet some would argue that we are already at that place. If a film disappoints in its opening day in the US, the global industry has decreed whether it is a flop by weekend’s end. Continue reading →