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“Cut. Print. That’s A Wrap!” Now What?

Independent filmmakers and creative entrepreneurs dedicate their lives to create a story for the world to watch, but most don’t even question: “How will I get my film distributed?”.  Film distribution, is pivotal in the filmmaking process. In simple terms, distribution allows your film to be viewed by a larger audience. A film distributor, would determine the marketing strategy, the medium it will be exhibited on, set the release date and other matters. Securing a distribution deal with a distributor separates amateur from professional. Distributors are looking for ways they can make a sufficient return on their investment. How much money can your project bring in? This part of filmmaking can be very intimidating and because of this most shy away from pursuing distribution deals and settle for self-distributing services. With the ever-changing digital world, film distribution is conforming with tech trends. Companies like YouTube and Video Demand allow you to upload your work for free or for a premium subscription. Self-distributing your film sounds hopeful with the world at your fingertips, but how do you get the world to come watch what you put out? YouTube and Video Demand leave you stranded to come up with all marketing aspects of your film. On top of that, you must pass a viewing threshold, in order to start receiving monetary reward. Streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, iTunes each come with set stipulations for distribution. However, overall all big named services encourage all independent filmmakers to be matched with established or approved distributors in order for your work to be considered. iTunes only accepts feature-length motion pictures or documentaries that were initially released in theaters or directly to video and short films of theatrical/DVD quality. Therefore, you need a reputable distributor in your corner.  Babatunde Odesanya, founder of Black and Latino Filmmakers Coalition (BLFC), has created African Studios, where BLFC members can make their vision turn into reality. Working in all stages of the filmmaking process, from development through distribution, African Studios is the brains behind your project. It was established in 2001 and since has worked their way to allowing filmmakers to distribute their films. African Studios is open to all filmmakers. African Studios has relationships with many screening outlets like Amazon, Lionsgate, Theaters, and much more. African Studios has a larger focus on Amazon because they have a great partnership, but their outlets are not limited to only Amazon. This company provides an opportunity for filmmakers to receive compensation for their work. A lot of outlets don’t measure up to Amazon’s earning potential, which is why African Studios uses Amazon’s platform more frequently. It is easy to forget that the goal is to get people to watch and enjoy your film. So be ahead of the game and have a distribution plan ready when pursuing your project.