Independent Film Distribution Transitions and Social Media

IFP Independent Film Week 2009

IFP Independent Film Week 2009

Independent film is one of the passions that unite Gerard and I.

Social media has now for the first time made it possible for filmmakers to connect directly to their audience. This was not possible before. Our clients, Buzz and Kris McLaughlin and Aaron Wiederspahn of Either/Or Films made us aware of changes in film distribution in the spring of 2009. We had invested in The Sensation of Sight, starring David Straithairn, Ian Somerhalder and Jane Adams in 2006 for several reasons. We were aligned with the vision and mission of the Either/Or Films, it was being filmed in our town, and finally I felt this was my opportunity to reconnect with film in a new way.

Over the last few months we’ve focused on growing our existing web development business and expanding our connection with the independent film market. Having completed The Sensation of Sight website and blog this past summer, we were aware of the challenges facing independent filmmakers. The change from traditional film distribution deals happening at the independent film festivals to “Do it Yourself” (DIY) or “Do it with others” (DIWO) has happened largely as a result of the rise of social media and the change in audience movie viewing practices. Audiences are going to the movies less, buying DVDs less, and using services like Netflix, iTunes and Amazon for Video on Demand VOD viewing by streaming of download to own.

As a result of these changes distributors are paying less for films and the independent filmmaker goes starving, if they can get a distribution deal at all. We joined the Independent Film Project (IFP) and attended Independent Film Week in New York this past September, spending several days going to sessions about this topic. Jon Reiss wrote a book that can be purchased online called “Think Outside The Box (Office): The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing in the Digital Era” instructing filmmakers to be prepared from the beginning to distribute their own film and to include that cost in their budget. This was based on Jon’s own experience after he produced the compelling documentary “Bomb It” about the graffiti movement around the world. He was dropped right in the middle of this situation and had to work day and night to get his film distributed.

In October we attended the New Hampshire Film Festival, met and talked with more filmmakers, attended sessions and reinforced the information we had learned at Independent Film Week.

We would like to work with more independent filmmakers who realize they need a website, a blog, search engine optimization and social media, and also know they don’t have time to master those skills and run their film company. Being film geeks ourselves (we watch movies from our large DVD collection every chance we get), we would like to work with you. As your technology partner we can provide strategic planning, design, development and implementation of film projects on the web. Learn more about our Consensus team.

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355 comments »

  1. anneflournoy said,
    November 23, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

    Hey Pamela! Sounds like you’re reaping the benefits of marrying what you love and what you know and lifting the films/filmmakers to prominence into the bargain. Congratulations on The Sensation of SIght.

  2. November 23, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

    Thanks Anne! Yes, that’s exactly what we intend to do. Thanks for the compliment. We are also looking forward to doing the “Someplace Like America” website.

  3. November 23, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

    One more thing! We so enjoyed talking with you at the Independent Film Week and love The Louise Log – http://anneflournoy.com/

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