Selling independent films is a very hot topic right now in the indie film industry. Filmmakers are struggling to get any decent offers for their films and are being forced to seriously consider Do-It-Yourself distribution models. Even playing at top film festivals isn't helping their cause as much as it once did. Though the festivals are still an important part of securing a top sales agent and interest from distributors.
Each year thousands of independent films are made and are submitted to the same top sales agents, festivals, and distributors. It's inevitable that some will be the chosen few who get the premiere launch with the best agents and festival slots, and the others will find themselves floundering on their own, trying to figure out how to navigate the world of sales. If the latter happens to you, don't despair. You are not alone.
Most of us chose the career of being an independent filmmaker because we had stories to tell and we wanted to tell them on our own terms. Along with this independence comes the responsibility to figure out how to get our films in front of an audience. It can be demoralizing though to get rejection after rejection from festivals, sales agents and distributors. You have to be able to deal with the rejection and keep fighting for your film to be released. Without your conviction, your film will go unnoticed.
So take that passion that started you on the road to telling your story and use that positive energy to help sell the film. It's going to be hard to not let the rejections take the wind out of your sails but you must hang in there. Eventually, you will find a home for your film, even if it means offering the film for sale yourself off a Web site that you create. And perhaps this heartwrenching experience will allow you to learn how to make your next film more sales friendly or you will have built an audience yourself that you can continue to serve with stories that you want to tell.
Really great post! I love how you stressed the importance of making your next film more sales friendly. Even better, I like how you pointed out that we chose to be independent filmmakers so that we can tell our story on our own terms.
That's definitely something I value as an indie filmmaker - not really having to answer to anyone.
Paul Del Vecchio
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