DIY Screenings & Distribution

June 22nd, 2009

Some call it “four-walling,” others DIY distribution. Filmmakers now have direct access to their audience like never before and are forgoing the middlemen who used to control the route to theatrical distribution. By and large, artists are now able to gauge their audience’s demand/interest for their work and market it directly to them. CinemaTech’s Scott Kirsner highlighted this movement in his recent book, Fans, Friends And Followers: Building An Audience And A Creative Career In The Digital Age.

Filmmakers are building databases of their fans’ e-mails and zip codes and are utilizing that data to book their film in local theaters – on their own. I believe that the directors of Four Eyed Monsters, Susan Buice and Arin Crumley were the first to use this approach for their 2005 film. They provide a great tutorial on their site titled, “Hearts and love-o-meters” (they used heart-shaped markers that grew with the number of requests for their screening).

Here are some tools and sites that can help you create maps, book theaters and screen your film:

Box Office Widget – provides a tool for you to collect email addresses of people who are interested in seeing your film and charts them geographically.

“How To Make A Screenings Map With Google” – Self Reliant Film’s Paul Harrill shows you how – well, the title of the post says it all.

Theatrical Mapping Project – The Workbook Project (http://workbookproject.com/) – among many things – is building a collaborative database of theatrical venues that can show digital work.

Brave New Theaters – Provides the ability to utilize a community around your film. Think, MySpace/Facebook fan page with a purpose: fans screen your film at home, small theater, community center, etc.

Eventful.com’s Demand service – empowers fans to influence where their favorite films appear by creating viral grass-roots campaigns to “demand” them in their town. Filmmakers are then able to use their service to make informed decisions about where to appear and can communicate with their fans via targeted email tools.

MobMov – a.k.a. Mobile Movie is reviving the great American drive-in. Powered by cars and video projectors, “mobmovs” are easy and affordable to set up. Check out their tutorial. If this interests you, check out Popular Mechanics – “How to Make Your Own Drive-In Movie Theater.”

How-To Notes On Producing A 1 Week Long Run Of A Feature, With Info. On Gear & Costs” – The quintessential “DIY Filmmaker” (who owns that moniker) – Sujewa Ekanayake – explains, in detail what it took to screen his film, Date Number One for a 7 day run in Kensington, MD.

Free Film School via the Vimeo Community

May 6th, 2009

Their moniker is “Vimeo: People connecting through video.” This includes many filmmakers who are sharing their knowledge – creative & technical. Within Vimeo’s 28,000+ channels, lives several micro groups dedicated to the filmmaking process.

Here are a few good ones:

  • ­SHOOT FOR THE EDITThis channel is for sharing editing and shooting techniques for beginning and advanced video producers.

  • ZACUTO USACreator of FilmFellas, a Webisodic series devoted to getting to the heart of the indie film movement.

  • FILMCAST Live! Channel A Channel Dedicated to the craft of Cinematography and Motion Picture Camera Operation.

I’m sure I missed some so check it out for yourself at Vimeo.com.

Free Access to the NAB Show

April 1st, 2009

If you are interested in attending the NAB Show in Las Vegas this month (April 18-23), Tuvel Communications is offering Filmlinker readers FREE access to the show. Below is a special registration code that will give you a FREE exhibits-only registration.

*Free Exhibits Passport Code: TP01

This pass includes access to the exhibit floor and the opening keynote – a $150 value. Visit nabshow.com/passport to redeem your admittance.

When there, check out their Post|Production World Conference which includes seven different Adobe, Apple, Avid and Mac Certification Courses.

*PLEASE NOTE:  the pass code provides free access to the NAB Show exhibit hall and the opening keynote ONLY, not any of the conferences being held in conjunction with the NAB Show.

IndieClix: Affiliate Marketing for Indie Filmmakers

March 26th, 2009

IndieClix is an affiliate marketing management platform that gives filmmakers a new way to sell and market their films. It utilizes other people’s websites and blogs as referral outlets that get compensated for every sale – same as Amazon.com and many other affiliate programs.

The program was originally created by Magic Rock Entertainment to support Neoflix clients (another e-commerce service created for filmmakers and distributors). Its functionalities worked so well that it allowed for a greater expansion into the IndieClix program.

An affiliate can be a website, blog, or anyone who provides a sales referral, and is then paid if that referral translates into a lead or a sale for the merchant. A group of affiliates is like the “outside sales” for an artist or distributor, and an effective affiliate marketing strategy gives the artist/distributor a worldwide sales force. Indieclix handles the affiliate sign-up, creation of affiliate marketing programs, tracking of the sales lead, and the compensation and reporting for both sides. Magic Rock serves as the neutral third-party that ensures affiliates and filmmakers/distributors are equally served.” [excerpt from Magic Rock’s explanation of the program]

Click below to see their tutorial video that explains the whole program:

Read the rest of this entry »

Film Racing Coming to a City Near You

March 10th, 2009

Film Racing is a great creative concept that’s like “Mission Impossible” meets “The Amazing Race” in a marathon filmmaking competition.  Filmmakers form teams in each participating city and have 24 hours to complete an original short film (no longer than 4 minutes) based on an assigned theme and surprise element. Each team receives an e-mail on Friday night with a theme (like “revenge”) and a surprise element (like a prop – “toothbrush” or action – “slap”). The plot of your film will need to incorporate the assigned theme and element. The completed films are then due back at the film drop-off location by 10PM on Saturday night.

Since 2007, Film Racing has given out over $120,000 in cash and prizes to the winning filmmakers to aid them in their future projects. The winning films from each city compete for thousands of great prizes and one team will walk away with the “Best Film of 2009” title. [from official site]

Anyone can enter this “race” and each team is responsible for providing their own equipment and crew. See if your city is in the race by clicking here.

Best Practices for “Green” Filmmaking

February 10th, 2009

A new Code of Best Practices for Sustainable Filmmaking was just released by the American University School of Communication’s Center for Social Media and Center for Environmental Filmmaking.

…filmmakers create carbon debt with our work. However, as in other industry sectors, we can take action immediately to reduce consumption and waste in our profession; to educate peers, employees and interns; and to support policies that register the true environmental costs of production.” [from centerforsocialmedia.org]

This initiative also includes tools such as Checklists (actions needed to create a sustainability plan), Carbon trackers (track production activities that use energy and produce carbon emission) and some relevant web resource links. Check out the “downloads” below:

Read the rest of this entry »

Storybids Connects Content Creators with Advertisers

January 2nd, 2009

Storybids is an interesting site that looks to give content creators a link to the product placement marketplace. Storybids provides an outlet for auctioning online content to advertisers to include their products in online video content. Their tool provides an option for filmmakers/content creators to off-set production costs and even make a profit on their creation. If this endeavor is successful, it will lay a foundation for independent filmmakers to bridge to monetization resources traditionally only available to big budget productions.

Now advertisers are turning to the Internet and shifting their budget to online videos, product placements and viral videos. By 2010, experts estimate online advertising will grow to an $11 billion business. Agencies just aren’t geared for these types of media – and there is a new generation of computer savvy film and video makers out there who have great ideas that need a distribution channel. That’s what Storybids.com is all about.” [from storybids.com]

 

Watching (clip): “DIY Dinner N…

December 31st, 2008

Watching (clip): “DIY Dinner NYC” by FromHeretoAwesome –

http://fromheretoawesome.blip.tv/#1457284

Reading: “Top Five Digital Str…

December 30th, 2008

Reading: “Top Five Digital Strategies for Social Issue Filmmakers” –
http://tinyurl.com/3wh8zn

Listening to (podcast): “DIY F…

December 24th, 2008

Listening to (podcast): “DIY Filmmaking in an Indie Apocalypse” –
http://tinyurl.com/9rtjcw