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Old 11-23-2016, 05:30 PM   #1
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Question Hopeful filmmaker

Hey guys, my name is Jack and I'm looking thinking about going to a film program at a local community college next year after I get my Associates in English. My friends and I have been kicking around an idea for a horror movie for several years, and I have been letting them down every step of the way. Anyway, next month some of them will be moving and believe that I can get the movie filmed before then, my biggest question is this: what is the best route I should take for distribution? I want the movie to get out there once it is made, and I know I shouldn't even worry about that until it is already shot, but that's exactly why I have waited so long to shoot it, because I am nervous that I will just be left with a 90 min home-video on my laptop. Is self-distribution via VOD really feasible? Is even getting accepted to film festivals feasible? Do I need to contact distributors directly and gauge their interest? Any advice would be helpful. I just really want to get this thing done and feel confident by the time I start film school.
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:40 PM   #2
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:29 PM   #3
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Actually, you're right to be thinking about distribution now, that's a good thing. Honestly though, unless you guys are film making prodigies, the chances of it getting picked by someone are extremly slim.

What's your budget? If you really want to get distribution, your best bet is to find a producer who knows what they're doing and believes in your script. They can help you get funding and a distributor.

Another path would like what the guys on Saw did. Make an amazing short based on the feature, then use that to get financing. This is a good plan because it also shows you can make something and are not just another wannabe.

Another option that's becoming more and more common is YouTube. Don't be afraid to put your movie on there for free. You can monetize it with ads. This route will take longer to make money, but if it's really good, people will see it. I went this route with my last film. I had sold 200 DVDs myself and decided to just stick it on YouTube to see what happens. I had like just 200 subscribers at the time, so I chose my keywords carefully. The first year, nothing really happened. A view here, a view there. By the second year it started to gain some traction and has increased since. It's now been online for four years and has half a million views. The budget was only $2000 and has easily been made back with the ad revenue. So if could be a good option if you have no money and little experience.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:52 PM   #4
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I agree; it's good to think about distribution before you make your
movie. Self distribution via VOD is feasible.

Yes, getting accepted into film festivals is feasible. Do you go to any
film festivals?

Yes, you should contact distributors directly to gauge their interest.

My advice: go to several film festivals to see what films they are
accepting. Look up the distributors of films that are similar to yours.

Start by asking yourself; how many movies do YOU pay to watch via
VOD monthly? Then ask your family; how many to they pay to watch.
I'm talking about no budget movies made by filmmakers you don't
know with actors you've never heard of. What made you pay to watch
those movies? How did you find them?
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Old 11-24-2016, 03:43 AM   #5
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The answers you've already received pretty much cover all your questions. However, I just wanted to pick up on this...

Originally Posted by thejackhammer View Post
...next month some of them will be moving and believe that I can get the movie filmed before then...
This really doesn't sound feasible. There's a lot of work to be done. It doesn't sound as though you even have a script written. You have a lot of pre-production to do. Planning before the shoot will be your key to success. Do you have any kind of a budget yet? Do you have actors willing to work for you?

Personally, I'd suggest making a short in that time. Truth be told, if you have no experience whatsoever, it's not likely to be any good. But you need to treat it as a learning experience.

By the way, I'm not against people jumping in a making a feature length horror movie with no experience and no budget (I love that sort of stuff!), so this isn't aimed at you personally. But you need to plan, plan and plan some more before you even think about production. Otherwise, everything that can go wrong will, and you'll be left with a bunch of footage that you can't do anything with.

Good luck!
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Old 11-25-2016, 04:39 AM   #6
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I appreciate everyone's answers and advice, I just wanted to clarify a little that I have, though not as much as other people on this forum I'm sure, a little cinematography and editing experience, and my cast has a backgrounds in improv. Since posting this all of the shots have been storyboarded and besides myself who will play the antagonist off screen, the other cast members will be largely bound and gagged with the focus on me. I made that choice because I have the most acting experience. I do not expect that I will be accepted to any big film festivals or maybe even smaller ones. Mostly, I just want these guys who have stuck by me with all of my failed attempts in the past to have something they can look proudly back at; and heck if I can make enough money to do it all again, even better, right?
I will keep everyone up to date on our progress. I know it is highly unlikely be we are now shooting to be done and have it submitted to Tribeca before the late entry deadline December 14th, a few days before my friend and one of the leads moves halfway across the country. We start filming Saturday, and I will let you all know how that goes; thanks again guys.
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