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Why Newly Formed BOND360 Hates the Term “Self-Distribution”

Why Newly Formed BOND360 Hates the Term "Self-Distribution"

Marc Schiller, who heads up BOND Strategy and Influence, a publicity and marketing firm that worked on “Exit Through The Gift Shop,” “SENNA,” “The Way,” and “Brooklyn Castle,” has just announced the creation of BOND360.  According to the BOND press release, the new label will “provide strategic consultation, marketing, public relations, financing, and technical support to help filmmakers connect their films and related products directly to their fans.”

According to the release, BOND360’s tenets are:

1. Filmmakers retain copyrights to their films and products

2. Filmmakers control access to their communities and data

3. The most profitable distribution “windows” are prioritized up front

4. Filmmakers are involved and consulted on all creative and business decisions

Writing on the blog for the Independent Film Project, Marc Schiller explained why distribution outside of the establishment is more than just a back-up plan.

The reality is that a filmmaker who decides not to sell their film to a distributor often has the ability to put together a “dream team” of talent that the traditional distributors can’t. To create efficiencies that can accommodate their sheer volume of releases, distributors have locked themselves into a specific group of “vendors” (another demeaning word) – designers, publicists, social media agencies, etc – who work across an increasingly large slate of releases and are hired not always because they’re the right person or company for the job, but because they’re cheap and efficient for the distributor to work with.

And in saying so, Schiller also points out that self-distribution isn’t done by the just one person — or team — at all.  Writing on Twitter, Ted Hope preferred the term “direct distribution” over “self distribution.”   This term emphasizes the audience-building that needs to go on before the release of a film on whatever platform, a subject Schiller wrote about in another IFP post, “Want to be a successful filmmaker?  Then start acting like a rock star.” republished on Indiewire here

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