No longer can I focus on the traditional means of garnering a return on an indie film. The old model of taking your film to a festival, hiring domestic and foreign sales agents, selling your film through their efforts and overseeing a release by the distributors who buy the film is no longer realistic -- even for the most successful festival pieces.
I am putting much more emphasis on the creative team and the validity of the project as well as the grassroots efforts we will make in building an audience. Sponsorships from organizations and companies are going to be very important to explore. Instead of relying on distributors to release your film. We need to rely on ourselves to create the best overall plan for the release and find the means ourselves to get the film in front of an audience.
The onus is on the filmmakers' shoulders now more than ever. And if any of you are like me, you're propensity is for the creative, but we need to focus just as much on the sales/publicity/marketing/distribution side as we do story. And that is exactly what I am doing.
I consider sales and distribution to be just as challenging and take just as much time and energy as finding the financing for my film. It sounds incredibly overwhelming and it is. The more the responsibility of knowing how to be an expert in every facet of making and selling a film, the greater the stress and time commitment a producer experiences.
The producer credit needs greater protection now more than ever! Shockingly, I still experience others trying to take a producer credit when it's not deserved -- going so far as telling others they are a producer on the film, even when their deals state another title. That needs to stop.
Producers need to build support systems as they navigate the new world of indie distribution. I see a huge need for indie film distribution consultants -- people whose sole purpose is to guide producers through a successful self-release of a film. It's just too hard and inefficient to be all things to all people. We producers need support as the weight of their films' needs continue to increase. Let's take it all one day at at time and we will get there.