Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Indie Filmmaker Nightmare Does Happen: Royalties Being Delayed

Indie filmmakers and indie film lovers, a distributor of one of our titles is claiming they can't pay our royalties to us when owed. Our title made them (is making them) a lot of money on which their company is surviving (they're still getting their paychecks), leaving us to struggle yet again. They are paying the debt off their other titles with the money our title has earned and saying they will give us money when they are able in drips and drabs. This is happening - despite having contracts in place. 

Indie film lovers, whenever you can, please buy films direct from the filmmakers or support them when crowdfunding so the filmmakers are assured of getting some funds to live. This is why indie filmmakers can't make livings and why we need to really invest deeply in distributing our films ourselves! 

We need to figure out proper monetization on self-distribution and effective forms of indie film marketing. Please be aware of the struggles of indie filmmaking and hopefully try to buy or rent direct from filmmakers whenever you can. 

Please don't be afraid of sites like or or or and buying or renting titles from them. They are legit and helping indie filmmakers survive! Thanks all! Wish us luck as we go up against Goliath...


Phantom of Pulp said...

Sorry to hear that, Jane, but it's not news to me. The majority of distributors are scum of the earth, and their way of doing business makes it impossible for honest filmmakers to make an honest living.

It's best to self-distribute and/or use commercial portals such as Amazon and iTunes, even though iTunes play all sorts of games, too, and commits robbery of another kind... as does Netflix.

Ultimately, the ideal is a dedicated website from which your films can be purchased, streamed, or downloaded prior to a commercial transaction.

If more filmmakers starved these distribution criminals of product, the tide would turn.

My condolences to your profits, and I hope you can recover them without a crazy legal cost to do so.

janekk said...

Yes, I agree, but we need those tools for indie filmmakers to handle sales themselves to be stronger. The major factor is marketing and reaching an audience on our own. How do we do that effectively? A start is building our audiences project by project and an email database and Facebook and Twitter presence for our work. But that only goes so far. We need even better ways to reach an audience in order to make enough sales to pay back our investors. What are some more ideas?