Sit Down with Robert Milazzo Pt 3


Distributing Your Film Online


Lesson Info

Sit Down with Robert Milazzo Pt 3

You know, to dance point about when it was over and he's like, oh, I've done the festivals and I'm now doing online everything that's like that's it it is anyone seen boyhood, you know, when patricia arquette sits in the apartment and she said she started to cry and she's like this, is it, like, I go through all of this, we seem, go ahead, it's a similar feeling when you like brooks, you give your life and you sweat, you create relationships and break relationships to make these films, and then you get it out there and you it is like the hustle it's the go, it says, you're like on the roller coaster ride, and you go through the whole process and then there's a point where you start to let go, like your kid goes off to college and you like that, sandy like that's, it like all of that and that's it, but you're right, but you get a tryingto pedestal eyes what you've done here, but it's important, you've created a place of perpetuity, you know, it used to be much more. I agree with you. I ...

think inveterate in this system is that's all there is, but I think now you have created a kind of record. You know you've created a kind of place to store it on a lot of filmmakers don't even know how to deal with that store it you know, we come up you and I run in the same generation of having a master print like owning that master young filmmakers thankfully don't even have to deal with that agenda you know, so it's all about files now so I I agree with you there is that after the prom moment but again I think what you've done is you've created a kind of next chapter for work well and I will say that one of the other changes between then and now is that it used to be all about that first box office it used to be all about what you can do now to make a huge splash because that will have that will indicate the halo effect that you will have in all of the other markets ancillary markets dvd online television you name it now it's about the long runway how long can your film last like how long can you make it have a piece of chocolate laugh you know you just you have the opportunity to dance film can live on indie flicks forever and we'll just continue to make money because as we continue to grow and explore, I mean expand into other territories and on other devices and meat and connect with other naked loving movie lovers or bicycling people groups or whatever and continued to help promote this film it just gets watched more and as the rpm evaluation goes up he could actually make more money later on that he did in the beginning so that's exciting to me you know all the different ways I was talking about how you got it you have to tell stories to get your content out there, get people to write about it, talk about it for you and you can continue that just can go on and on and on we could I could talk about my kids forever because they are growing and changing the world is changing in there so there's new ways to apply that story when when the four of you and I would imagine the folks at home would have a similar response when you think of all the opportunities now that online distribution has opened up does it provide inspiration or dissident price? Does it create a bit of a paralysis? Where's the best place to go or is this an inspiring time for young creators like you guys? Yeah, I would definitely say it's inspiring I don't I never felt like we needed to choose just one place or just one direction and that you can constantly adjust as as market and conditions as the timing as your film ages as the community ages as new opportunities open up I'm really excited about the number of of options there are some places where you would go specifically because you want to get a broad audience but not necessarily to get a large monetary return other places where you'd go specifically because you want to monetize your film and the fact that there's such a variety out there is really amazing yeah yeah yeah a variety and then having accessible avenues of distribution like it's it's within reach like it's you log on a computer you can well your movie we did and I joke about this with students all the time I kind of feel like we've reset ourselves you know when I think of edison thomas edison in some of his early films or you know, kittens with boxing gloves and I'm thinking that's a youtube video you know we kind of reset ourselves in a way and it's not just the way we see it it's the what we see it's the content within the form which I think is I think this is an exciting time yeah I think that people have when I first launched indie flicks it was just I learned about the mentality of the filmmaker and that was fear fear of the unknown fear of you know and and a little bit of like we were so conditioned to take this linear path and we all know going in that only the fee only a few make it that's ok, you know, we're going to go give it a shot. Well, now the world has really opened up it's, not linear there so many different ways to get there, and they're all kind of ok. It depends on what suits you best. I think that I think that you should eventually get on as many platforms as you can, and not to feel inundated by it, and don't. This is the other stage I was going to mention is that the filmmaker goes through this fearful stage, and then they crossed over, and they're like, ok, my films online, where's my money, I think you know, just because we're not in the old model anymore. You now have a tougher road, a hoe in some ways, because it's a new front tune, and while you are your own gatekeeper and you're not relying on someone to pluck you out of oblivion to put you on the map, you have to work yourself. You have to work to get there, and so I might give you a scholarship and a round and a plane ticket to get there, and you have a four year free ride at a university, you still have to go to class and show up and do the work in order to really graduated the end with something and so that's what I went through is this entitlement phase with all of the filmmakers like ok, I'm on my was my money and it's like ok well remember we were going to market together I don't market I'm I'm a filmmaker it's like well you know how to tell a great story and marketing his story no no no I don't do that that's what you d'oh and I realized, you know, it's we had these ideas that distributors and platforms should be marketing every single film they have it's impossible so it would have to be empowered to do this ourselves we have to be empowered tio to go for it and to work with each other so we're I'm very much about the whole like I'm not just going to give the fish I want to teach someone had a fish I love that kind of dynamic segway into that marketing word because I think the signal to noise ah film distribution is an unhealthy place, but I think we haven't quite determined well enough how to market things well enough you know its signal to noise and you're on twitter and I think you do a great job with it I always noticed that you welcome new people into your community I love the way he used twitter love the frequency but as you know a lot of people don't marketing this so difficult it sec weighs a little bit into one of the last topics I want to cover with you today which is other forms of distribution one that was catching my justcause he's ah friend and a colleague david cross recently directed a film and he released it via bittorrent and what? I don't know if you guys david has a film called hits and bittorrent it's the first narrative feature what david did is you pay what you want actually, um and what bit torrent does or did or will do we will do more of is they include extras you know you bought you buy a bundle do you think of this whole new this this type of case for a film this like you know the act of killing did it as well very successfully. Three point five million people downloaded the bundle of an active kill an act of killing for in advance how many people I think would have watched it on youtube. What do you think about that module bundling and bittorrent thing? I love it. I mean, I think it's appropriate for certain content and again I think that there's an opportunity for those films to be on other platforms to I have a friend jamie king, who made a film called still this film yes we heard about of course, so we were on a panel it can years ago, he was talking about it and everybody had seen it, I was sitting there, I was just kind of quiet and he said, you know, you've seen it and I was like, actually I haven't seen it and he said, are you kidding? It's free? And I said, I know, but I'm a by pay, I'm on itunes, I'm on apple tv and, you know, met flex, and he said, well, you should just get a bit torn down nice, and I have a pc at the time, and I had this idea that if you get a bit torrent, you're going to download a virus and, you know, so I was like, oh, yeah, okay, sure, if I can do that, I'm like we're going to do that, and so then I talked to him afterwards and I said, you know, I have this really great idea what if we take still this film and we put it on itunes and we put it on who and we tell them that it's been downloaded one point five million times on let's just see what happens and let's see if they will go over because he was giving me a hard time about not going to the bit torrent site to download it, watch it for free and so we put it up on itunes, we said this film has been download one point five million times for free, and it sold really well that's amazing because it was just that validation, but those people don't want to have to go. You don't want to do an extra click doing something, they don't even want to give you more information, they just want to be able to sign in with facebook like nobody wants to do a whole lot anymore. Tio access your content. So do I love these ideas? Yeah, do I love even like is that v a checks that has the ability to sell, like again, a bundle of t shirts and dvd and music and sound check everything all their love that but the thing is, is that everyone's going to go there with their big bundles? And you could have more stuff to siphon through so that's going to keep happening and happening and happening and everywhere when a new player comes into the space, everyone e mails me and calls me they're like, what do think about this? Are you worried about? I'm like, are you kidding? I love it like bringing its validation, and I feel so I'm grateful for that because we can't serve everyone highly curatorial way except five to ten percent of all of our, you know of all submissions so there's a lot of content that we actually don't take on so we need other opportunities and if you could go and put your stuff up on bit torrent great they care toil I actually don't know what depends you know get some level cancel a knack of killing which was twenty thirteen nominated for best documentary great film they were connected with drafthouse so they're obviously that's a curatorial position yeah, you said something that amongst all the things you said you said everything you said is fascinating, but the one recent thing is that it's about psychology of the viewer in a sense, you know, on just to go back to david a little bit. David said the reason why did the bundling was people had already given me money on kickstarter to make the movie I didn't want to ask him to pay again absolutely get david isn't, you know, starving artist anymore, but you don't want to exhaust your audience ever it's a great point, you even want to ask them to like tweet stuff for you like there's a point where you feel like you're just asking too much and when you feel that stop that's your radar that's your compass telling you listen to your gut you're exhausting your audience, find a different way to reach them or maybe spend a little time giving to them so you can go back and get again you know you can always go to someone's house for dinner eventually you have to host dinner too so it is a lot of reciprocal good will balance the dew off line you should do online I love that everything should you do offline you should do online that's what like I had a young girl asked me I know that I need to twitter but I really don't know how to do it and I don't know how to get started you know what I'm going to tweet for my first tweet I said that tweet that like there is always a starting point in the best starting point is a genuine authentic starting point and you would be shocked at the people that will come in and say welcome I was you should have seen my first my people will just say no don't worry about it and then you slowly build your khan if it's you just have to be careful not to swing too hard the other way you said again you're saying this metaphor you're setting up is so right I was thinking as you said of young writers will say I don't know what to write and yeah you can't say well right that are right that you're stuck you know, eight and a half fleeing these eight and a half is about the fact that he didn't know he was given money to make a movie. Do you know what movie to make and that's? Why he called it eight and a half because it was a half of the movie, it was that he had made eight and this was like half he had half a kn idea. So in a way acknowledging what you're going through is part of the psychology of making and distributing because what you know now more than ever, taking the temperature of human psychology is vital, I find from a distribution stay in port in a marketing standpoint, and from a creation standpoint, you need that little that often to see that honest voice in there and that's what those around you that are your audience will they'll respond to that's what will make them pay or share or talk or make viral it's just the whole human condition is starting to play the biggest role for me in all of this, because technology is changing so fast models a revolving new cameras, new devices, new over the set, top boxes all of that is constantly changing. You can't keep trying to morph and do all of that. You've got to just find that sort of one concert constant thing, and that is the human condition. Yeah it's a great point and a lot of young filmmakers will say to me, I'm waiting for the next generation of cameras to come out or I'm waiting for the next screen reading software where the next laptop and I get that and as you know, a lot of this is economic and time, but it's survivor die in a sense to you've got to engage in what is now looking ahead a little bit this has been a lot of you know today this chad and other parts of your class have been so rightly focused on what's going on that works what do you want to see change like what walls do you still think are up there that either you can break down or young artists could break down? Young entrepreneurs are old entrepreneurs, as the case may be? Wow, I think well, for me personally I would really love to see films cross borders in a meaningful way because the world is becoming so connected and so small and I find that, um I actually don't played by all the rules because I don't think they apply three oh, no, I think it's great like I don't need to worry about I'm not selling a movie to polish tv, so I don't need to worry about collecting the money from them and delivering to them so that world those rules don't apply we just streamed straight to your ipad, and if you're in poland and you've got a wifi connection, you could watch, so what I would like to see is a way for there to be an automated slash crowd translation sort of process that allows films to be subtitled into multiple languages so that if you were born in russia and yours hanging out in england, you can watch any movie in russian subtitles and because filmmakers air paid for every minute watch, I want to be able to access the world love them, and I want filmmakers to be paid in the process, and I believe that there's a way to do that. I also want to see I would like to see, like eastern europe has content that can't even get seen in their own countries, the government, hollywood, what little bit of local content is put up there? There's, a host of film treasure that in each country that never gets seen, it just travels to a few festivals and then it ends up on the shelf would be so amazing to pull some of these out because there are unbelievable films out there and because stories I do believe are really they connect us, we learn about each other, we can create compassion, your main film you're involved in the film that, you know, was the revolution, I mean there's we learned so much if we could break those language barriers that would be huge for me um because they're just removing another kind of gatekeeper opening it up I love it how do you go through you inspired in this era of that urine you're you're going to do it you know I think they're different different people adopt different roles to the system and it seems like your system came out of what I love not to sound overly politic I love that it came out of a kind of frustration I mean I think that's a lot of things happen out of frustration whether it's actors being frustrated with filmmakers filmmakers being frustrated with producers or distribute it's like we can now control destiny in a sense which I love is that overstating it or do now I do think that and I think that's just it's a reality I mean I take it it's I was either going to have to find another profession because I wasn't gonna be able to make a living as a filmmaker when I realized how distribution works or I was going to give this a shot and I really I mean I was talking at lunch about how good thing we weren't all pinocchios up but the paint on the panels that I was on because there were stories being told I'm like if you were pinocchio your nose would be touching the back of the room because a lot of this stuff isn't true or you're taking the one good example you've got of the fifty thousand and I just thought there's got to be a better way and I thought I believe they're given a shot to try to find something or I have to find another job and I didn't want to do anything else but make movies so it chose me, you know, like the movie chooses you this job chose me I certainly did not sign up, but I was never I signed up for this not because I'm not having fun or anything I would have felt I was not qualified that's the other thing I've learned is that you think you can't do something flip it flipping at that very moment and wonder why you think that because someone a long time ago said something and you're holding onto that because you're just holding yourself back when we can't do something it's just us holding ourselves back the industry is what it is but I think in the flex is a is a great living breathing example of saying ok, well if we can't play your game, we're going to go on this end of the recess playground and create this game on ly were really inclusive and so we existed the same time I love hollywood I love movies and do I still want to make a movie and what here's the funny thing is, the universe tests you, too, because we decided to take our first film, outpatient feature film, and we had offers from warner brothers and lions gate an artisan, and they were like supposedly great offers and that's when I realized that's not a great offer, so we decided to use our film to launch indie flicks. And of course, right before we launched, we got another offer from warner brothers well for home video with a great advance, and it was a good thing I'm like now, the good deal comes and we're about to go live with indie flicks, and I thought, this is the test, right? If I accept that deal, then I am not giving it all my one hundred percent I have to give a hundred percent so that I can set the bar an example for other filmmakers to follow, so way talked about it for about ten minutes and that if we took that deal would be frauds. So we didn't you know, I don't I haven't known you very long, but what I love just listening to you and being near you and sensing this is it's kind of about ignoring nothing, you know, now, more than ever, if truly the walls have come down, then everything is valuable, you know, trusting your instinct, trusting the internet trusting tools trusting community's trusting that hey, I live in fort worth, texas can I still make a movie here trusting there is a way you know, because you have options it's not just about going to a terrestrial film school more it's not just about getting an agent anymore you know, I have students asked me all the time should get an agent or a lawyer it's a great question I have students asked me all the time should have got a computer or camera it's a great question you know, I love these question shins get a lawyer on that wants is to but what you're suggesting which I think is so true new dialogue creates dialogue we should we need more dialogue whether it's twitter or being in a class or picking the brain of look at creative life the perfect example I mean you can get incredible information and education here, so I mean, I think this is another another the same as in deflects create, you know, offering opportunity totally affordable and accessible so for people is that I'll never be able to learn how to do this or I live in timbuktu and how am I gonna be able to do this now you can well, like every instructor who comes on creative live we're only as strong as our instructors so on that level this has been incredible. We want to thank you for spending this time with us. We want to thank you guys, I don't believe in luck, so I just want to say, keep doing what you're doing now more than ever, you don't need to be in a school to be a student. How did the students of the world and of the internet stay in touch with you and hear more of your your strategies and philosophies? And you're seeing more of your work? You know, I think the best way is, uh, just reach out to me on twitter, it's that at sign indie flicks like ceo and I'm on it a couple times a day. I don't live on it, but I'm on it a lot and I seem to I love engaging with people on twitter the there's no, twitter has done one thing amongst other things successfully to me there's no such thing as a dumb question. They're dumb statements, but I think now more than ever, we can access big brains like yours. So thank you for being here with us and sharing your information going on with with students at home and throughout the world thank you.

Class Description

Your film doesn’t have to appear in theaters to find its audience. Distributing an indie film online is an effective way to increase the visibility of your movie, get compensated for your efforts, and validate your work.

Maverick independent film entrepreneur Scilla Andreen was done with the one-sided deals brokered by the big guys. She wanted independent filmmakers and producers to have more options, so she built one: – a platform for DIY film distribution that Variety magazine calls, "The Netflix for Indie Films." In Distributing Your Film Online, Scilla will detail the distribution landscape and teach you how to find your audience online. You’ll learn:

  • How to distribute your film online
  • The benefits of online distribution
  • How to monetize filmmaking

Scilla will discuss the no-nonsense architecture of online film distribution and help you reduce and navigate the layers of distraction between making a film and having people actually see it. You’ll learn how the IndieFlix model works and how it, and other online distribution platforms like it, make money for independent filmmakers.

If you are ready to find an audience for your indie film, Scilla Andreen can show you how it’s done online.


a Creativelive Student

This course is only an introduction to online distribution for films. It doesn't go deeper in any aspect nor gives you concrete steps depending on your film project. So if you've never heard or thought about distribution is a good place to start in a few hours, but if you are looking for a deeper analysis or information to reinforce the online distribution of your film, it isn't there in my opinion.


Was this an instructional video, or a plug for a commercial enterprise. Light in detail, this series does offer a few gems for those searching for answers. It did put into perspective the odds of finding distribution in a marketplace crowded by competition where everyone is looking for ways to maximize a return on investment and offers alternatives to those wishing to tackle the job of online distribution themselves. Because "once a film is completed, the real work begins." it is important to know what these alternatives are. David W. King, Michigan Movie Media 2.0