The Top Official Film Festivals To Send Your Film

In regards to film festivals, you may see many many film festivals to submit your film to. Unfortunately, you will see a greater percentage of unofficial film festivals than official. Also most film festivals work with the all the other film festivals and have a clause in their agreement that says if you submit your film to them, they own the exclusive premiere rights to showcase your film and you cannot show to another festival. This isn’t always the case, so check the film festivals’ rules and regulations before you enter and then you can make an informed decision.

The top official film festivals are Tribeca, Sundance, Cannes, Los Angeles, Berlin, Toronto, SXSW and AFI Fest.

Should you send your film to all top film festivals and receive a response, super!

If not, try to send to the intermediate official film festivals – Chicago International, Austin, Hamptons, Cine Vegas, Austin, Santa Barbara and Palm Springs.

This is not a full list, and there are many options, these are the just the most popular film festivals of the top of my head. WithoutaBox has a definitive list of all film festivals.

Please reply for any questions or comments on the bottom of this post or shoot an email to me, at moviedistributionfacts@gmail.com.

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DIRECT TO DVD FOR THE SMALL FILM BUDGET

 

Before you read this, please be informed that self-distribution Direct to DVD sales should not be your first choice or second.
Numbers will tell you that established distribution companies can make more money for you by distributing your film.
If you have not found a distributor, or just don’t prefer the traditional model, you can find solace in this blog post and you can make up to 800% profit of your film by self distributing and getting the best prices for what is needed to distribute a film.

Before you begin, you will need a UPC number to make your DVD official:

The official way to get a UPC is to become a member of the UCC (Uniform Code Council). However, they are very expensive for this budget and overall. So you can buy a UPC code from a reseller. Buy a Bar Code caters to small-time entrepreneurs, inventors, artists and musicians. You can purchase a UPC for $35 (after a one-time $75 registration fee). This is a great bargain; for your $35 you get emailed a TIFF of the actual bar code, so you can skip Step 2. If you are truly trying to minimize your initial expenses and you are sure you will need only one UPC you can purchase one (with bar code image delivered) for $89 from Rovix.
If you use Discmakers to duplicate your DVD, they’ll give you a free UPC bar code. Their prices for duplication are hard to beat and are the near the prices in this blog post.

The Budget :

You should for a sample small budget to at least sell 5,000 copies at $8 dollars each $40,000 dollars.
Of course in the next post, I will be covering sample numbers from a mid sized budget to a big sized budget.
For DVD sales, you can sell to two major outlets of out your 5,000 copies.
You can sell 1,300 copies to DVD rental places at 8 dollars each – $10,400 profit.
You can sell 3,700 copies to media stores at 8 dollars each – $29,600 profit.

Your costs will be : (excluding production and post production costs except for DVD Authoring)

DVD Authoring – From $1,000 to $3,000
DVD Replication: From $1000 to $3000 (DVD included)
DVD Cover Art from $500 or less and for design and per full color copy, about $1700.

That’s $4,200 in total costs, of course for any marketing effort you can add $800 or more, most of the time a lot more with that goes with a budget. If you check Discmakers – They’ll quote you about $5,000 dollars to streamline the whole effort.

For $5,000 or more you can have profits of 800% or less.
If you decide to do all of this in-house, it probably would cost more because companies specializing in these fields of post production are able to give breaks due to the high volume they do. Still, if your insistent, you would probably lose near half of your profit and time to do it as a one to three man job.

If we look at the price for a single DVD by DIY:

DVD replication – at least $.35 per DVD, DVD case – $.50 per DVD and DVD artwork – $1.00 per DVD

Total cost is :

$1.85 – $8.00 profit price= $6.15 = about 325% – 400% markup profit.
$6.15 x 5,000 copies = $30,750 Net Profit
$8.00 x 5,000 copies= $40,000 Gross Profit

If you create the DVD process yourself or with a few people, you would probably make about 325% – 400%. If you outsource DVD creation, at the very least you could make 600% profit.

Next we’ll cover how to market this small budget DVD to a mass audience using the Internet and Advertising.

For any other questions or comments please leave a response on this post below or contact me at moviedistributionfacts@gmail.com.

 

 

Answer to : What is the difference between Independent and Hollywood Movie Marketing

Thanks jerry for your question.

You asked : what is the difference between Independent and Hollywood Marketing?

I wanted to show a most current example, so I used internet marketing to illustrate the answer.

Internet Marketing is on the rise, and many companies take new ideas from the web and apply it to conventional non-internet marketing. Studies have shown that there is a difference between the ways Independent filmmakers market their film to the way Hollywood does. In the conference papers of the International Communication annual meeting in 2007, they discussed Charles Hoffader’s ideals, a popular scholar in general web marketing activity and they applied it to the film industry.

According to Hoffader, there is four levels of interaction in websites. They are Communication, Sales, Content and Networking. “ We can say that the first two, Communication and Sales reflect promotional goals through sales from different movie distribution outlets of the Independent/Hollywood filmmaker. The second two interactions are content and networking, that reflect goals of maximizing and audience interaction to develop demand and profit for the films themselves.” (Intl’ Communication Association meeting, pp.2)

Consider websites from popular movies such as “Fun with Dick and Jane”, “Saw 2”, and “Chronicles of Narnia” vs. an Independent film such as “Man From Earth” and reflect on the Sales and Communication to the Content and Networking of each other.

Man From Earth encourages an audience member to participate in networking by creating links in their home page, which you can rate or write a review for the movie on Blockbuster, Yahoo or Amazon etc. With “Fun with Dick and Jane” all that is on the website is to buy the DVD and it’s based on a film critic you don’t know and doesn’t say much to convince you.

A Filmmaker can tell a lot from a website about if you want to Independently distribute or Hollywood distribute. Your success will depend a lot on the fan devotion and effective audience creating based on history and your idealism of Independent Film.

You can market yourself towards a “moviegoer audience” based on monetary merchandising, i.e. Harry Potter, or you can market your film through viral marketing and simplified networking, which includes individual interaction or rating and reviewing your movie.

Using the All Time 50 Top Box Office Movies to Market Your Film

If you wanted to create a film, but wanted to know what genres are the most popular movie genres, you could start by analyzing the top box office movies of all time.

Similarly, if you completed your film and want to successfully promote it, you might see from the list of the top 50 box office movies below that your film might not fit into the most popular movie genres using this research below. For example, since comedy is one of the most popular genres, you could decide to add a cutscene(s) of a humorous conversation between two people if the movie can accommodate it in terms of plot. That way, when you go to a distributor, you could find “yet” another way to market your film!

There are many variations you could come up with, you just have to be creative and find new ways to market your film! A chart is below of the top 50 Top Box Office Movies, their top grosses, what genre(s) they are and out of the top 50 films, how popular is their genre(s).
Please let me know if you had any creative thoughts and still want to explore them by posting a comment and/or emailing me, Jonathan at moviedistributionfacts@gmail.com.

The results from the graph below show the top 50 box office gross hit movies of all time. They are separated into multi genre movies with information from IMDB.com categorizing them into genres. The top movie genres are Drama, Romance, Action, Adventure, Animation, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Comedy, Crime, Family & Thriller. Other genres did not make the list. The results are not out of 100%, rather 50 x the number of genres.)The movies are with their respective genres the highest in obviously Action- 52% (26 out of the top 50 movies had the action genre in the film) of the 50 movies and even higher in Adventure- at 66% (33 out of the top 50 movies had adventure.) This is of course obvious that people go to see action and adventure the most.

Lets concentrate on the other most popular genres below :

Sci Fi, Comedy, Fantasy and Romance are the most popular. 16 Sci Fi movies have made over 200 million box office receipts, the same as comedy. Following this Fantasy and Romance share the same split, 20% each of the top 50 movies.

What to learn from this research?
To add as many genres to your film as possible to market it!

Top Box Office Movies Total Box Office Film Gross (In Millions) Genre(s) Total Movies % out of 50 movies – genre popularity
#1 Titanic $600,788 Drama, Romance Drama-8/50=16%

Romance-10/50 =20%

#2 Star Wars : Episode III Revenge of the Sith $460,998 Action, Adventure, Sci Fi Action-26/50= 52%, Adventure-33/50=66% Sci Fi-16/50=32%
#3 Shrek 2 $437,212 Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Romance Animation-7/50=16%

Adventure-33/50=66%

Comedy-16/50=32%

#4 E.T: the Extra Terrestrial $434,974 Adventure, Drama, Sci Fi Adventure-33/50=66%

Drama-8/50=16%

Sci Fi-16/50=32%

#5 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace $431,088 Action, Adventure, Sci Fi Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66% Sci Fi-16/50=32%
#6 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest $423,416 Action, Adventure, Comedy Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66%
Comedy-16/50=32%
#7 Spider Man $407,681 Action, Crime. Romance, Sci-Fi Action-26/50= 52%

Crime-4/50=8%

Drama-8/50=16%

Sci Fi-16/50=32%

#8 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith $380,270 Action, Adventure, Sci Fi Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66% Sci Fi-16/50=32%
#9 Lord of the Rings : Return of the King $377,192 Action, Adventure, Fantasy Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66%
Fantasy-10/50=20%
#10 Spider-Man 2 $373,377 Action, Crime, Romance, Sci-Fi Action-26/50= 52%

Crime-4/50=8%

Romance-10/50=20%

Sci Fi-16/50=32%

#11 The Passion Of Christ $370,773 Drama Drama-8/50=16%
#12 Jurassic Park $357,067 Action, Adventure, SciFi Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66% Sci Fi-16/50=32%
#13 The Lord of the Rings : The Two Towers $341,748 Action, Adventure, Fantasy Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66%
Fantasy-10/50=20%
#14 Finding Nemo $339,714 Action, Adventure, Comedy Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66%

Comedy-16/50=32%

#15 Spider Man 3 $336,530 Action, Crime, Romance, Sci-Fi Action-26/50= 52%

Crime-4/50=8%

Romance-10/50=20%

Sci-Fi-16/50=32%

#16 Forrest Gump $329,693 Comedy, Drama, Romance Comedy-16/50=32%

Drama-8/50=16%

Romance-10/50=20%

#17 The Lion King $328,538 Animation, Adventure, Drama Animation-7/60=14%

Adventure-33/50=66%

Drama-8/50=16%

#18 Shrek the Third $320,706 Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Romance Animation-7/60=14%

Adventure-33/50=66%

Comedy-16/50=32%

Romance-10/50=20%

#19 Transformers $319,222 Action, Adventure, SciFi Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66% Sci Fi-16/50=32%
#20 Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone $317,575 Family, Adventure, Fanatsy Family-8/50=165
Adventure-33/50=66%
Fantasy-10/50=20%
#21 The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship of the Ring $314,163 Action, Adventure, Fantasy Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66%
Fantasy-10/50=20%
#22 Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones $310,676 Action, Adventure, Sci Fi Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66% Sci Fi-16/50=32%
#23 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End $309,302 Action, Adventure, Comedy Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66%
Comedy-16/50=32%
#24 Star Wars: Episode VI – Return Of The Jedi $309,206 Action, Adventure, Sci Fi Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66% Sci Fi-16/50=32%
#25 Independence Day $306,169 Action, Sci Fi Action-26/50= 52%  Sci Fi-16/50=32%
#26 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black
Pearl
$305,411 Action, Adventure, Comedy Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66%
Comedy-16/50=32%
#27 The Sixth Sense $293,506 Drama,  Thriller Drama-8/50=16%

Thriller-3/50=6%

#28 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix $292,000 Family, Adventure, Fantasy Family-8/50=16%

Adventure-33/50=66%

Fantasy-10/50=20%

#29 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and
the Wardrobe
$291,709 Action, Adventure, Fanatsy Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66%
Fantasy-10/50=20%
#30 Iron Man $290,601 Action, Adventure. Drama Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66%
Drama-8/50=16%
#31 Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back $209,272 Action, Adventure, Sci Fi Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66% Sci Fi-16/50=32%
#32 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire $290,013 Family, Adventure, Fantasy Family-8/50=165

Adventure-33/50=66%

Fantasy-10/50=20%

#33 Home Alone $285,761 Family, Comedy, Crime Family-8/50=16%

Comedy-16/50=32%

Crime-4/50=8%

#34 The Matrix Reloaded $281,538 Action, Adventure, Sci Fi Action-26/50= 52% Adventure-33/50=66% Sci Fi-16/50=32%
#35 Meet the Fouckers $279,167 Comedy, Romance Comedy-8/50=16%

Romance-10/50=20%

#36 Shrek $267,665 Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Romance Animation-7/50=14%

Adventure-33/50=66%

Comedy-8/50=16%

Romance-10/50=20%

#37 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets $261,979 Family, Adventure, Fantasy Family-8/50=16%

Adventure-33/50=66%

Fantasy-10/50=20%

#38 The Incredibles $261,435 Animation, Adventure, Action Animation-7/50=14%

Adventure-33/50=66%

Action-26/50= 52%

#39 Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas $260,031 Comedy, Family Comedy-8/50=16%

Family-8/50=32%

#40 Jaws $260,000 Adventure,  Thriller Adventure-33/50=66%

Thriller-3/50=6%

#41 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Scull $257,620 Adventure/Action Adventure-33/50=66%

Action-26/50= 52%

#42 I Am Legend $256,386 Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller Drama-8/50=16%

Sci-Fi-16/50=32%

Thriller-3/50=6%

#43 Monsters  Inc. $255,870 Animation, Comedy, Family, Animation-7/50=14%

Adventure-33/50=66%

Thriller-3/50=6%

#44 Batman (Original, 1989) $251,190 Action, Crime, Sci-Fi Action-26/50=32%

Crime-4/50=8%

Sci-Fi-16/50=32%

#45 Night At the Museum $250,863 Adventure, Family, Comedy Adventure-33/50=66%

Comedy-8/50=16%

Family-8/50=16%

#46 Men In Black $250,156 Action, Comedy, Sci-fi Action-26/50= 52%

Comedy-8/50=16%

Sci-Fi-16/50=32%

#47 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban $249,538 Family, Adventure, Fantasy Family-8/50=16%

Adventure-33/50=66%

Fantasy-8/50=16%

#48 Toy Story 2 $245,852 Animation, Adventure, Family Animation-7/50=14%

Adventure-33/50=66%

Family-8/50=16%

#49 Cars $244,082 Family, Animation, Comedy Family-8/50=16%

Animation-7/50=14%

Comedy-8/50=16%

#50 Bruce Almighty $242,704 Comedy, Fantasy, Romance Comedy-8/50=16%

Fantasy-8/50=16%

Romance-10/50=20%

For any questions, please reply to the post or to moviedistributionfacts@gmail.com.

International Co-Distributions – Sell Your Film to the World Before Production!

International investing has always been a fruitful idea for the filmmaker, you can make more money on your film than in the US, by having an international distribution company invest for you.

While film distribution houses were making deals, watching screeners, attending to clients and reading investment memorandums, a new form of free funding was born out of presales. More often than not, while presales are still common, others were getting badly burned from investments. International Co-Productions grew out of pre-sales,(see blog post on presales for more info) what exactly they were was the distribution companies taking a large amount of stake in the film’s success by acting as insurance that the film was correctly made for maximum profit.

Currently, there is a demand for documentaries and special interests films abroad, says Parks. Using common sense anybody could figure that documentaries will always be of interest. If you traveled to Saskatchewan and filmed their landscape and put some narrative to the A &B roll, you bet some international or U.S. Distribution Company would buy it. Even if they didn’t, you probably could get enough funds from the Saskatchewan government to create a documentary focused on tourism to that country. No government that doesn’t have enough tourism in their economy would turn a filmmaker down.

When it comes to financing for your film, you have to be creative in the best way you can. Although financing from a distribution company would be a better step in the right direction because only they can guarantee success and not individual investors or private people not in the distribution industry.
When selling your film abroad, it’s important to know ask and take prices by territory. Territory means country, an “ask” price means what’s market value for you to ask in terms of money for what your movie is worth and a “take” price is what is the least amount you can get.

A sales agent agreement usually has the numbers for different countries. This by far sets forth an agreement that a producer/filmmaker of an independent film has the same control as the U.S. distributor in a different country to enter in a contract with an international distributor. (Stroock, Stroock &Lavan LLP, 2000)
In Stacey Parks book, “The Insider’s Guide to Independent Film Distribution” a chart on page 36 is shown that depicts what countries ask and take prices are. At the top is the U.S. that asks for 100K, followed by the UK with 50K, and trailing along behind from 20K-25k is Germany, France, Italy and Japan. The rest of the countries’ ask price is between 10-15K.

For any other questions, please reply to this post or send an email to me, at filmdistributionfacts@gmail.com.

Market Publicity for Your Film Using Character Toys (The Auxillary Market)

In 1975, George Lucas started his epic Star Wars, however, people were at odds about the movie’s popularity and instant saleability. He went to Twientieth Century Fox, with his concept and they approved it. He also told them he would take a paycut in exchange for a full rights to his toys he created to sell on the market. Fox said to him, sure, keep your shitty toys (in other words, of course..). What they didn’t know, is that his toys went on to gross more than 10 times the movie made and with having exclusive rights from now till eternity, he would make 100 times more than any of his movies with the toys. Eventually, distributors smartened up and began to take advantage of the auxillary market ( toys, games, t-shirts, etc…)

There is a doubt that you can do this and outsmart a distributor, but you may know now, the market value of toys.Why not make your own toy of a character in your film?

You may be able to convince a distributor to distribute your film with a little buzz marketing on your part.

Sure it may seem outrageous at first, but simply do this. Picture in your head marketing your characters, and pick a character from your film, a main character perhaps. Then draw a schematic drawing of a bite size variety. Then, look up toy manufacturers in the US, and contact with a few to get pricing of your character for 500 of them. Then, when you receive the toys, hire a crew on craigslist.com to hand out advertising of your film to come hand out your toys to little children. The media will eat this up!
Have your crew go to Grand Central in Manhattan for example, (or any big city will do) to have them distribute your character toy and advertorials about your movie. At a minimal price, about one thousand, you have created an audience. Bring this to the distributor table as your marketing efforts.

Examples of action figures now on the market : Spiderman, Batman, Harry Potter, Transformers.. You do know that these are popular..but why not yours? What you might think never would happen, George Lucas made it happen..and what is best is that it doesn’t even have to be a “action figure” just a person, as a collectible. It will sell.

Please reply to me, Jonathan with any questions atmoviedistributionfacts@gmail.com or add a comment.

What’s included in Film Budgets? How to Make a Film Budget?

In this post, I will show a film budget for a typical independent film that has a 500 thousand budget. Most Independent films or small budget films have a budget between 500,000 and 7 million. If you are just starting out, you can study this table below to find out what are typical above the line costs and below the line costs. Usually, the director makes the most amount of money, but most A-list Actors would make more than a B-List Director, because he is hungry to get their name on the screen to market the film around that actor.
For the most part, above the line makes less than below the line when you combine it together, only because of the very few above the line and the many below the line technical staff. In a film budget, everything is guestimated and cannot go more than the guestimated amount. Then, the budget is re-written to show on a film distribution memorandum to show actual costs. I cannot stress this enough: The budget is your most important investment and marketing tool to show to a distributor. Here is the budget below :

BUDGET TOP SHEET

Story, Copyrights & Other Rights 0
Direction and Supervision $84,250
Cast, Day Players & Stunts $24,576
Travel & Living $2,000
Legal $1,000
Office Expenses $6,722
TOTAL
ABOVE-THE-LINE
$118,348
Production Staff $33,889
Extra Talent $750
Art Direction $13,036
Set Operations $15,750
Wardrobe $11,018
Set Dress Operations $11,940
Makeup & Hairdressing $5,638
Electrical Riggers $39,301
Camera Operations $27,000
Production Sound Operations $10,364
Transportation $3,398
Locations $7,100
Production/ Lab & Film $30,556
Tests $1,000
Office Expenses $5,238
TOTAL
PRODUCTION
PER.
$216,106
Editing $34,130
Music $5,000
Post Production Sound $11,200
Post Production/ Lab & Film $50,126
Main & End Titles $3,000
Office Expenses $5,238
TOTAL
EDITING PERIOD
$107,000
Publicity $32,000
Festival Expenses $6,400
Insurance $30,000
TOTAL OTHER CHARGES $39,600
TOTAL ABOVE-THE-LINE $118,348
TOTAL BELOW-THE-LINE $363,404
TOTAL OF ABOVE & BELOW-THE-LINE $481,772
GRAND TOTAL $499,922

Please reply to the post for any questions or comments or at moviedistributionfacts@gmail.com