Q: My big stumbling block at this point is what to do with my short…?

October 11, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under Mail Bag

Q:  Film Method has provided me with a lot of great advice over the past few months. I’m gearing up to shoot my first short since film school, and I will say that I think you’d be proud of the pre-production efforts thus far. My big stumbling block at this point is what to do with my short (or anything independent I do in the near future). I want to make my film accessible online to an audience. I have no delusions about making hundreds of cents on this film, but I’m looking for some resources where I could educate myself to the avenues of online marketing and distribution. It seems like every company (createspace, itunes, etc) has a product or platform, but no one can tell me how to decide between them.
Thanks for providing the service that is Film Method.
Pete DAlessandro via Film Method Mailbag

Hi Pete,

Thank you for your kind words.  I am really glad that you are doing so much pre-production. Congratulations on finishing film school and continuing on after. As for distributing your short film after it’s done, there are several avenues.

There is always the film festival route. Which, it doesn’t sound like the route you’re going in but it might be a good idea to at least try to get it into a couple of local film festivals that you can attend. I say this mostly because you are going to miss out on a networking opportunity if you have a finished film that will by pass any public screenings. Just something to thing about.

As for internet distribution, I have always worked with Indie Flix and had a great experience with them. They are able to help navigate the Amazon, iTunes, digital platform world much more efficiently than I could alone. There are several companies that are like Indie Flix and I am sure they are great, I have just always worked with them.

What I have learned from distributing films online is that you should not choose between them, you should try to get your film on as many of them as possible.  The reason is that some of your customers will prefer iTunes while others prefer Amazon so there is no harm in putting your film up on both. I hope that this makes sense. I think you may be beating your head up against a wall for no reason. The more people that see your film the better and because it’s a short, you don’t have to worry as much about a strategic online distribution schedule.

Film Method has done several episodes on distribution that you might want to listen to and we have also had the pleasure of working with Filmmaking Stuff (Jason Brubaker), Think Outside the Box Office (Jon Reiss), and The Film Collaborative (Orly Ravid). These are all companies that you should take a look at as they all provide educational opportunities with their services.

I wish you the best of luck on your project and know that it will find the distribution outlet that is right for it.

Thanks for writing in and for listening.

Q: When dealing with distribution, is it smarter to try to find a “post-house” before you start your project?

August 9, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under Mail Bag

Q: When dealing with distribution, is it smarter to try to find a “post-house” before you start your project? Or is it more common to get a deal after you’ve finished the film?

Stuart S., New Holland Pennsylvania

I am a big believer in planning.  Therefore, I would interview your editor as one of the first crew members you want to bring on the project.  They are going to be able to give you great script notes and you will be able to plan a post-production schedule with their input, which they will appreciate.  Whether you have a large enough budget to go to a “post-house” or you have to piece your crew together individually (which some people prefer), get quotes and interview that post house/individuals in pre-production.  If you can, bring on a post-production supervisor as they will be able to help you figure out what your work-flow should be on-set in order to make post run more smoothly.  If you do not have a lot of funds for post-production, then you will need to do even more planning so make sure you are thinking of post-production early on during pre-production.  It will save you time and money in the end, not to mention making everyone’s life easier.  Remember, post-production is one of the most costly parts of making a film and good post can make or break your project so please budget accordingly.

Soonami Productions