I cannot stress this enough. I cannot repeat this enough. There are multiple goals that you can strive for in the release of your film. You must prioritize what is most important to you. I categorize the goals for the distribution and marketing of your film into the following five (with a sub goal number 6):
2. Career launch, help for your next project, fame.
3. Audience/eyeballs to see the film
4. To have an impact on the world
5. A long term sustainable connection with a fan base.
6. A green release.
Choices that you make in service of one goal will often sacrifice another goal. For instance releasing your film for free on the internet might get you the most eyeballs, but it won’t help you monetize the film.
You must make sure that everyone on your team is on the same page and don’t have conflicting goals. At the Slamdance Filmmaker Summit, I gave homework to two sets of filmmakers with whom I did a live speed consult*. While Hunter Weeks, a very savvy filmmaker, had known for some time his goal for his current film Ride the Divide was to help him get another film made, what he didn’t know until that night was his goal was different from his producer Mike Dion which was to make money to return the investment for his investors. These goals are two that are traditionally in direct conflict (career launch normally associated with some form of traditional theatrical which in turn is usually a money drain).
What do you think?
* I had so much fun doing these speed consults that they have become an integral part of nearly all of the workshops I conduct. The first day of the workshops is a presentation of the principles of the new techniques of distribution and marketing from a very practical perspective. The second day is primarily limited to 20 films/projects and I do 20-30 minutes speed consult on each – with all the other teams present so that they can learn from each other.