In the span of a few short years, distribution in the independent film world has leaped from DIY (“Do It Yourself”) to DIWO (“Do It With Others” — i.e., crowdfunding) to what Ted Hope recently christened “direct interdependent distribution.” The term highlights a new relationship between filmmakers and audiences that relies even less on middlemen — and in some cases cuts them out completely.
Dynamo Player, Distrify and Distribber are three companies enabling documentary filmmakers to self-distribute films digitally
My documentary Library of the Early Mind is at the back end of a 14-month run of screenings to very respectable audiences at universities, libraries and museums in the United States and Canada. We’ve done about 50 since our premiere at Harvard, and close to 10,000 people having seen the film. Many of those viewers told us directly they wanted to buy a copy for their libraries or classes. Others wanted to watch it again or recommend it to friends. And others, we’d heard, couldn’t make a screening but would have wanted to see the film. Digital delivery reaches all of these groups, making it a newly legitimate choice for any filmmaker with an audience (or the ability to find one). And it’s a path we’re taking in December (along with a DVD release). In the handful of years since my previous documentary, people have simply become more comfortable viewing films on digital devices (just as my newly released book appears to far to be racking up more sales in Amazon’s Kindle store than in paper-and-ink).
While video juggernaut YouTube launched a paid rental service earlier this year, there is a widening circle of companies offering direct distribution — and its catching on among documentary filmmakers like me. Dynamo Player and Distrify are two platforms for filmmakers confident they have the marketing skill to move consumers to buy their product from their own website, while tying streaming to theatrical efforts and a DVD release. Both link purchases to Paypal or Amazon, and take a 30 percent cut of each sale. Distribber, owned by the crowdfunding company IndieGoGo, takes a fee up front to place films on high-traffic entertainment hubs such as iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and cable video-on-demand. The percentages may rival a traditional distributor, but I know too many filmmakers who’ve rued the deals they struck with distributors whose idea of marketing was little more than an addition to a catalog.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Dynamo, Distrify & Distribber: Documentarians Test New Tools for Direct Distribution Online : via DocumentaryTech
Posted by siobhan at 5:58 AM