Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Search for D.I.Y. Knowledge (w/links)

Has anyone else ever wanted to figure out how the hell to self distribute their film? It is funny to think of the days when we were googling "no budget comedy" in the hopes of finding someone else out there who we could talk to and learn from. There were plenty of eureka moments when one blog post or youtube video would completely change the way we were looking at distribution. Sound familiar?

Our torrent-only model is explicitly NOT the new great distribution model. It is a model that fits our movie in a lot of important ways. Once we actually put it into action, we hope to serve as an interesting case study for the indie community (read: real indie, like PB&J, sleeping on floors because all of the couches are full indie). I try to put as many of our ideas out there as I can, because I can remember when I would have killed to read about someone else's distribution model.

The other night I was geeking out on twitter (as usual) when I stumbled on a twitter conversation. A bunch of people that we have connected with in the indie community were discussing how to increase audiences for independent film. I believe you can still check out the "conversation" if you search for #infdist on twitter. This was the first time a lot of my fellow filmmakers got to hear about our torrent-only release model. It was cool to see everyone's reaction. It was particularly dope to get a lot of support from Jon Reiss. Jon is an experienced director who has been spearheading the new indie distribution movement. His book, Think Outside the Box Office, is required reading for anyone who is at any stage of creating an indie film. He even reposted some of our material on his blog. We studied a lot of stuff from guys like Jon Reiss, Chris Gore, Ted Hope, and a bunch of other people who have embraced the power of the D.I.Y. film movement. This research was the foundation of our distribution strategy.

We entered the indie film world just as a lot of the new ideas on D.I.Y. were being formally articulated. One of the best things that we did during the post production process was to cash in our social lives, dump our Chilean pseudo-girlfriends, and spend 4 cold months reading shit on the interwebs. This period of miserably monastic study allowed us to bypass the standard new indie filmmaker trap: fall in love with own film, blow meager P&A budget on unrealistic festival submissions, confront the reality of not getting a "deal", begin to learn about D.I.Y. distribution. We owe a ton to the folks in the indie community who have been willing to write blogs and books, speak on panels, and upload podcasts. Thanks to the wealth of knowledge that was available to us, we were able to move full force into D.I.Y. distribution as soon as Self Helpless was done. Hopefully everyone can learn from our experiences in the upcoming months. Thanks to everyone for the support. We got nothin' but love fo ya.


Sheri C said...

aww, we have nothing but love for you guys too and your attitude of wanting to learn from each other. No one (I mean, no one, not even studios) knows what is going to happen to film distro in the future. We all have the opportunity to invent a model that works best for our film and sharing that information helps us all.