Think About Distribution in Development
Now we're going to talk about distribution in the development phase and how important that is to to map that out to write that story it's really important also I tell my kids all the time on lee you can write your story so write it out you can always you know, writing as we know any of us here are writers is just re writing and editing and that's what life is it's just one big editing process I think um you cast and crew is your first sort of tear their your first they're your family there the first year they're going to put up money they're going to put in their time they're going to start talking about it and it's really important that you use them they're the first the core of your audience I'm also a big fan of being collaborative with them you it's not just you coming in is the director the writer, the filmmaker and you're telling everyone what to do it's a really collaborative process you want to share that process and you wantto go through and find out why everyone is getting in...
volved or you just helping me on my movie because you're my friend and he said yeah, I'd help you and you're going to make time and you're scheduled to work for me for free are you doing it because you are an actor and you want to use this to help show more range and what you're able to d'oh are you doing it because you actually have a little bit of money and you want to learn about films so you're going to invest a little you're going you're you know, whatever it is everything you want to know why people are getting involved as well and you want oh come up with a shared expectation so you have your own expectations and then you have like the shared expectations um it just makes the whole process more meaningful and more efficient uh, so well, I think there's more I can share about that, but so your core audience, all of us here making a movie were the beginning of it, but then we started stretched to grow from there and it starts tio you start to incorporate other people, use your social networks, grow your audience, which starts to attract brands, and I'll give you an example. We have a film called the empowerment project it's about ordinary women doing extraordinary things. It started off as a kickstarter campaign they may raise twenty eight thousand dollars that's when I was introduced to them and got involved help to bring in a little more money and basically and I'm now a producer on the film we've taken we wanted to take this film are our goal our expectation for the film was to take it on to into schools around the world and have a conversation around gender equality women in leadership and to ask the question what would you do if you weren't afraid to fail because we were so clear on our expectation and our path to distribution we attracted nordstrom to come aboard and paid for four big screenings we did a screening in seattle where we had three thousand people are svp and we filled it we did a screening at the grove in los angeles outdoors we screened the women's national memorial on the mall in d c we screened in chicago and we also booked another hundred screenings at schools around that in the first three months of the film being available so we were clear on our mission we were clear on our path and we were clear on our message and we were able to reach out to brands that shared that same message. So whatever your film is whether it's a narrative short doc a web series if you're really clear on your message in your path there are so many brands out there that are looking to do some kind of affiliation with a great story political ones are a little more difficult sometimes because I think they wanted and religion sometimes can be a little challenging but at the same time there are devoted institutions and foundations that are also very focused on that so there's a there is there is opportunity there for everyone using your social network for a demand you know now now that we took nordstrom and we went into theater ares with that they paid for only four screenings and from that we found other ways to that was our anchor and then we grew from there so you can use your social network too get your film into theaters us to question about what four walling was this is a perfect example of letting years left network no if you want to screen the film in your city because it's not playing there you can go to companies like tug or gather and sign up in starts you know they have tools that allow you to reach your social network where you can say like if one hundred people want to see the film in your town it will come to your town you have to hit that threshold so it's a really efficient great way to identify where there's a need or want for the film to play um you can also go to campuses, coffee shops you can do all kinds of ah events screenings like filmmaker in the house fundraiser charity I actually did the screening at starbucks once and I've done screenings everywhere theatrical is so hard to get people to go down and show up and pay and everything even when I had free wine filmmaker in the house all the money went to charity it was really hard to get people there. We played in public libraries, schools, galleries, so I was the starbucks coffee shop in my neighborhood one day, and I was just looking around, I realized it's kind of like everyone's living room, and I asked if we could d'oh screening there, and they said yes, sure, why not? I put up a few fliers, I think we spent forty five dollars, in sex postcards and our distant posters in some facebook posts, and we got two hundred, people in there and they loved it, and it was it put it was it was great. So now we do that all the time. So these these air three films that we've been working with exclusively finding kind is about girl buoying, and we actually did some we worked with mattel on this one, the empowerment, which is about, you know, the ordinary women doing extraordinary things that actually was one of the women that works with me and his friends with a woman at nordstrom in their daughters were actually in basketball together, so they were out in the parking lot doing what moms do in their minivans, coordinating life and schedules, and they got to talking and and and was talking to kristen, and they realized that there was a a shared mission there nordstrom loves to, you know, empower women and celebrate women, and we had a movie that did exactly that. So we shared the link with kristen, and she was a top level nordstrom person, and so we ended up getting involved with that, and that happened. So it was basically brokered in a parking lot at a basketball tournament, and it happened in about forty five days. So when people say, oh, sponsorship takes years or months and months, typically it does, but can I just be a living, breathing example of anything could happen? So be open to that living on one dollars, another film that we have, which is about extreme poverty and the solution to that was micro finance. So this film was about helping people get out of extreme poverty. So we reached out to whole foods foundation we reached out to living below the line. We reached out to all of these different foundations that supported micro finance and gave them tweets and posts and asked them to participate. And they supported the mission of this film, and we had a very clear path for that one as well. So oh, what is the road map? Do you see how exciting it is to talk about distribution when you're in the early phase of, like eric, you had mentioned about, um you know vo dee and pay per view in stuff would so greatest have a great understanding of distribution? It used to be a really dirty word when I was getting into this because I'm a filmmaker and now I'm you know, running this company that's a streaming service, but at the end of the day, you know, it's kind of all overlaps it used to be really linear used to write a script used to see if anyone would read it, you try to get some cast attached and get some money when you go into post and then you go the festivals and you pray and cross your fingers that someone's going to pick you up and then you're gonna go and then be on your way. But what we've learned is that no one's making any money and technology has grown, and so now we have the ability to do all of this ourselves much more efficiently and keeping out, you know, our films are like our children when they all have their own path, and so we have to, like, really treat them like that. So what is your road map to distribute your film? Write it down? Where do you want it seems you don't have to know all the details say I wanted on tv or I wanted on a theater he just put your dream out there