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The Self Distribution Option

The Self Distribution Option

For some films, festivals like Sundance are going to be the best launchpad opportunity to attract a larger audience. Folks across the country will be buzzing about the going-ons in Park City, and though they might be able to hit up a gifting suite with Demi Moore, they can get close by catching a movie that’s having it’s world premiere at the fest. IFC has their Sundance Selects projects. YouTube continues to experiment with different partnerships (remember that splitting your rights before your festival premiere will very likely force you into a de-facto self release). Last year Bass Ackwards self-released launching nationally right out of Sundance. There are a lot of resources that can help filmmakers wishing to explore this new world. Both Hope For Film and Think Outside the Box Office are great resources to start thinking about ideas and learning strategies. I’ve self-released before – both with a significant P&A commitment and without – and before you consider embarking on that route there are three questions you should ask yourself. Will I be able to commit full time to the release? Will I be able to pay my rent over the next 6 months while I’m working of the release? Will my partners (producers, director, writer) be able to commit full time as well (and pay their rent)? If the answer to any of these is “no,” figure out how to make it a “yes.” Remember self distribution is an incredibly exciting possibility. It’s also a shit-ton of work.

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