My second in my series of Hybrid Distribution How To’s has been come out in Filmmaker Magazine. Here it is:
MY ADVENTURE IN HOME VIDEO, PART 2
Setting up DVD distribution: Yes, you can still make money doing this.
BY JON REISS
Following — or perhaps instead of — your independent film‘s theatrical release is its release on DVD. While sales of DVDs released by all content providers, studios included, are dropping at the moment, home video is still one of the most lucrative stages of a film‘s distribution. And while much has been written about filmmakers self-distributing their films to theaters (see, for example, part one of this series in the Fall 2008 edition of Filmmaker), filmmakers‘ options when self-distributing their work to the home market have been less well covered. Rest assured, however — the same grassroots marketing strategies and cost-saving economies can be brought into play.
I don‘t think it was clear in part one of this series, but I was offered quite a few theatrical/DVD offers for my graffiti doc Bomb It. Like most deals independents are faced with these days, these were very low-money offers in which the buyer wanted all rights for at least 10 if not 20 years. While these companies were offering a small theatrical release, my producer and I were savvy enough to realize that theatrical releasing expenses would be cross-collateralized with DVD and cable revenue. Translation: The likelihood that we would see any additional money beyond the tiny advance was small. Plus we would lose all control of the film and its revenue streams for many years.
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