Thinking of Self-Distributing Your Indie Movie? Learn (a LOT) From Indie Game: The Movie
It’s been several months now that a growing frustration has expanded on my twitter account regarding indie documentaries making it very very very hard for anyone who doesn’t live near the Lincoln Center to watch them.
I don’t understand what would motivate indie producers and directors not to release their film online. I sincerely don’t, especially when there are so many platforms now to do so.
I no longer live in Los Angeles nor in a big city, and even if I was, I am the product of my time, which means that when I read an article, see a tweet or hear about a documentary or an indie movie, I want to be able to watch it now. Does that make me a brat? Possibly. But a brat willing to pay to watch your years of hard work on screen. Unless you make it impossible for me to pay to watch your movie.
The window of opportunity for ‘indie projects’ often opens very briefly: you have a buzz going on and it’s during that buzz that people will likely decide to watch your work and hopefully spread the word, giving a longer momentum to your buzz. The great thing about Today is that you also get to decide if this window of opportunity that opens so briefly will be small, medium or large.
In other words: you can choose to go for the traditional business distribution, and/or you can use the Internet and have the whole wide world as a potential audience.
A great example for that is Indie Game: The Movie. My personal experience with this Sundance awarded documentary is the following: I heard about it last year, but for X or Y reason, didn’t pay much attention to it. Then, couple of days ago, Jon Reiss tweeted about a great article from Chris Dorr regarding self-distribution:
Dorr‘s article, along with other very interesting information, mentions how Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky, the directors/ producers / cinematographers / editors / distributors of the film successfully raised two Kickstarter Campaigns, won bunch of awards, got a lot of buzz and decided to self-distribute their movie.
Interesting, I thought.
I went on their website to read more about it. Pajot and Swirksy shared a series of six study posts about how they went about pretty much everything to give IGTM its best chances.
This is a definite must-read if you are an indie filmmaker planning to stay a filmmaker in the coming years, because this is happening now and you probably want to get on board.
Here is the list of the six study posts:
- PART 1: Overview
- PART 2: Technology & Building Audience
- PART 3: Distribution – Theatrical & Tour
- PART 4: Distribution – Digital
- PART 5: We’re not Louis C.K. … and you can be too!
- I once had to pay $27 + (a very expensive) shipping fee to get a DVD for a documentary that was great, yes, but $27, really?
- I tried to show a documentary I watched at Sundance last year and loved to a friend in France couple of weeks ago, only to discover that it was just not available. At all. Besides Screenings of course.
- I have been tracking a documentary I really want to watch for months now, and besides watching behind the scene photos (!), the trailer, and the list of Screenings that are never where I am: nothing.