Here’s the pull quote: “Written in a light conversational tone and beautifully organized over 354 pages, Jon, a noted filmmaker (Bomb It, Better Living Through Circuitry) and CalArts teacher, passionate about connecting filmmakers to their audiences, arms filmmakers with the arsenal needed for a killer DIY direct to fan film marketing campaign. This book drills down to specifics that allows the reader to form an actionable strategy, and is destined to become required reading for all filmmakers.”
#AFM Thinking Outside The Box Office 06Nov09
We are now midway through AFM, and things are looking up from last year. Buyers are buying, but very specific in their wants. I had a chance to catch up with John Foster, CEO, of Odyssey Pictures who recently acquired 31 hours of animated children’s content from DPM, a French-based specialty distributor of entertainment and how-to programming. Having scored this superb catalogue of cartoon classics (Superman, Casper, Bugs Bunny) at Cannes, John is shopping AFM before heading on to other markets like NATPE in January. ”We are looking to acquire content libraries for the children’s market as well as for specialty markets like health, finance and education. We are in talks with ION for television distribution, Limelight to power distribution online, and working with Spelling Communications to secure US sponsors. Odyssey already has several European sponsors signed up. Backed by a $10mm acquisition fund, Odyssey is on a tear analyzing mobile marketing opportunities as well as those with connected devices. ”Odyssey soon will be launching 1-3 hours sponsored programming via satellite and on the web. We’re starting with established content but plan to showcase outstanding original programming in time.” Interested sellers can contact John at email@example.com.
For the weekend, AFI Fest has moved to the Laemmle at 1332 2nd close to the Loews. Rush Lines are still getting into screening for free so stop by. And the price of admission to AFM drops significantly as the market opens up to half-market badgers on Sunday.
There are also several excellent seminars still being offered: Sa 11/7 at USC is Distribution U with Peter Broderick, Steve Kirsner, Jon Reiss, Adam Chapnick.. and Su 11/8 at Le Merigot is Changing Indie Distribution Strategies. At both events, Jon Reiss will be signing his timely new book: Thinking Outside The Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution in the Digital Era. He sent me a copy to review earlier this week and I am still deeply immersed. Written in a light conversational tone and beautifully organized over 354 pages, Jon, a noted filmmaker (Bomb It, Better Living Through Circuitry) and CalArts teacher, passionate about connecting filmmakers to their audiences, arms filmmakers with the arsenal needed for a killer DIY direct to fan film marketing campaign. This book drills down to specifics that allows the reader to form an actionable strategy, and is destined to become required reading for all filmmakers. Some of his points are similar to what we’ve been covering:
– Budget as much for marketing and distribution as you do on production upfront, e.g. $100,000 production budget = $100,000 P&A budget (Jon provides detailed budgets with links to websites where assistants, publicists, bookers, sales reps/distribution consultants can be hired, and cost information to help filmmakers decide which path to take for theatrical release)
– Consider festival circuit as theatrical release, eventize screenings with cast and crew, reach out to traditional press as well as tastemaker/niche blogs for coverage, connect with fans, collect emails and zips, get venue/alcohol sponsors to throw after-parties, handout out stickers other pocketable schwag with website url, sell tees, merchandise, DVDs, CDs
The book also includes steps to create better engagement on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube, and then in the next breath puts a call out to festival directors to see themselves as distributors, aggregators of quality indie content for traditional and new media. It seems so complete I’m still reading on hoping he addresses ways not to trip up Oscar qualification with day and date online screenings. An incredibly valuable resource. $5 off if you order through this link. Free if you’re a filmmaker who fills out the filmmaker survey (see page 17 of the book). The companion website is at www.ultimatefilmguides.com. Enjoy!
I’ll be sitting on the BAFTA panel at AFM discussing changes in Indie Distribution on Sunday, November 8th from 11:00am – 12:30pm. Come on out to hear the most cutting-edge discussion of indie distribution and marketing!
Sunday November 8th
No Direction Home – Changing Indie Distribution Strategies
Programmed by: British Academy of Film & Television Arts, Los Angeles
These are confusing times for indie filmmakers. Just as revolutionary production choices are opening up, traditional distribution models are collapsing. How cost-effective is U.S. theatrical release? Does it still impact foreign sales? What kind of income streams can be generated from such new sources as on-demand, internet download, and direct website DVD sales? Our panel of experts may not have all the answers, but will attempt to provide producers with a compass to navigate the rocky shoals of a challenging and still-evolving marketplace.
Location: Le Merigot Hotel (1740 Ocean Avenue)
Cost: $40 per person
John Alan Simon, Writer-Director, Radio Free Albemuth; Producer, The Getaway; Former Staff Writer, New Orleans Times Picayune; Member, BAFTA/LA Education and Outreach Committee
Chris Hyams, Founder and CEO, B-Side Entertainment
Ted Mundorff, CEO, Landmark Theatres
Jon Reiss, Director/Producer, Bomb It; Author, Think Outside the Box (Office) – The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing for the Digital Era
David Shultz, Founder and President, Vitagraph Films
Leslie Urdang, President, Olympus Pictures; Producer, Adam, Rabbit Hole
2:00pm – 3:30pm
THE ENTIRE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE IS BELOW:
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