Film distribution is a way to showcase your creations or films to the world. Generally, independent films need distribution through external sources since they do not have a big production house. Indie films or short films are examples where the distributor needs to take care of the budget since these films have a low budget and sometimes they also use crowdfunding.
Film festivals used to be the most effective means of distributing and gaining massive exposure for the creators. However, after the arrival of COVID, things went south when the world became digital and social distancing became a norm.
These days the pandemic is at peace and everything is normal again. However, the majority of the crowd now accesses entertainment through streaming platforms. This means that people do not want to return to offline film festivals because online platforms provide them with much more convenience.
In this case, creators need a different approach toward marketing and distribution plan for film. Let’s discuss the film festivals distribution.
The Alternatives To Distributing Your Film
Even big film festivals like Cannes and Sundance are not a solution for film distribution. Here are the alternatives that new creators may consider for their independent film distribution strategy and make it a success.
Getting Featured On Streaming Platforms
Similar to Netflix and YouTube, there are 100 more streaming platforms. To handle the distribution of your film, you can choose these platforms as alternatives. The idea of choosing alternatives instead of the mainstream platforms works because of the less competition they have.
One should always choose a streaming platform that includes all your expectations and innovative features as well.
If some creators hesitate at the thought of streaming their film online, they can opt for a theatrical release. It might be a costly affair and you should do it only if the budget allows. Also, presenting your film on the screen in front of the local audience may excite you more.
Creators can also feature their movies in different theaters, and participate in the question and answer session to advertise it well. Meanwhile, you can always try a film festival if you want to and if you think it is worth doing so.
Other than submitting your film on some VOD platforms and theaters, you can also consult with some third-party aggregators. These people work as middle layers and brokers who arrange everything on your behalf and take care of every aspect of the independent film launch strategy.
These aggregators also have connections with the VOD platforms; new creators who have fewer chances of getting accepted might contact the aggregators if budget is not a constraint.
Awards are another way to create the buzz and try your luck as well. Creators whether they are into documentaries or short films should submit their creations to different awards. You might win some regional awards or the bigger ones as well.
To create the best short film strategy, you need a platform like GUDSHO which is also known for its premium content. The OTT motivates new creators to upload their content and monetize the same. They welcome all filmmakers and help them release their creations and make them reach the right audience. GUDSHO is more niche-specific and supports Healthcare, Educational, and Film content.
They let you earn via revenue options such as SVOD, TVOD, and Donations. Hence with GUDSHO you can earn by charging your viewers the subscription cost or can also conduct a fundraising event. If you are into featuring more exclusive content, you can opt for the rental option.
VPlayed is an OTT platform that lets content creators upload and monetize their content. The platform allows multiple monetization methods giving creators the flexibility to choose their preference of revenue model.
Marketing tools and in-depth analytics liberate you to track the demographics of your viewers and prepare the advertising strategy accordingly. The platform supports devices such as Android, iOS, Web Apps, Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV & Smart TV.
First launched in 2004, Vimeo has been ruling since then and is one of the most popular streaming platforms. The platform offers live streaming and is a major supporter of the B2B segment. The player offers enough customization options to make your videos look more branded and to support your independent film strategy.
The adaptive bitrate capability plays the videos as per network conditions which ensures smooth streaming without buffer time.
Multiple monetization methods let you choose your audience and content to earn revenue. You can also enable live chat to transfer messages with your audience in real time.
You will love Wistia as it does not set any limit on bandwidth hence you can upload any videos without thinking about storage space. This is especially beneficial for filmmakers as movies generally require more space than usual videos.
Uploading on Wistia ensures that your videos remain secure as they provide password protection, domain restrictions, and other security features. However, if you are looking for live streaming, then this platform is not for you.
Wistia does provide a fully customizable player which lets you do branding and its adaptive bitrate makes video streaming smooth. Those who want to dig deeper into the analytics would benefit from this platform as they can dig deeper into the demographic information.
Brightcove is a powerful VOD platform that provides advanced tools regarding uploading content, privacy, and marketing. With its marketing tools, users can have detailed analytics and plan their marketing plan accordingly. Here you can monetize your videos via ads; with live streaming you can showcase your creativity in real-time.
The platform works amazingly well for both media and enterprises. They help monetize the content and increase traffic while being cost-effective.
UScreen is another short film distribution platform that lets creators upload and monetize their work. Viewers can access your content on various screens and browsers and hence it imposes no limits on accessibility.
The platform provides white-label solutions which means that you can use their services with your brand name. Creators get complete control over their content and customization capabilities. The advanced security features ensure that your content becomes secure against piracy and any such thefts.
Multiple monetization methods let you choose the most preferred way of earning revenue as per the content you upload. Their video analytics let you know the demographics of your audience in detail.
Tips To Consider While Distributing Your Film
While choosing a streaming platform to distribute your film, there are a few things you should consider.
- You do not have to place your film on a platform like iTunes or Amazon. This will become an expensive matter which new creators generally can’t afford. Paying $2K for publishing and giving it on rent for just $4 is not a good idea.
- Produce closed captioning when your whole film is in English and does not have subtitles. When your film is not in English, you can produce subtitles instead of closed captioning.
- However if some part of your film is not in English, then you need to create closed captioning as well as a Forced Narrative Subtitle file.
- Keep the audio of your film in stereo; blend the L & R tracks properly and make sure the film is not dual mono. You can utilize a software program like Audacity to ensure the same.
Film festivals used to be an incredible way of showcasing the creativity of independent filmmakers. However, with digitalization and everyone preferring the convenience of being at home, streaming platforms became the number one choice.
Theatrical releases and third-party aggregators are also some of the ways to distribute your film and prepare a short film strategy. Creators with no budget constraints may prefer these two ways. But if you want your film to reach a global audience while not being heavy on your pocket, streaming platforms are the way to go.