His wisdom on the ins and outs of indie distribution is pure gold. Here are some snippets, then click the link for full article.
You’ve finally finished your film and have just received your first distribution offer. Now what?
Negotiation is an essential but little understood part of dealmaking. To make fair deals with good distributors, there are mistakes you must avoid and steps you need to take.
8 MISTAKES TO AVOID
- Don’t submit to festivals too early. Most filmmakers do and end up regretting it. If your movie is not as good as it’s going to get but you submit anyway, you increase the already high odds of being rejected. You should resist the siren calls of festival deadlines until you’re confident you’ve made the strongest film you can make. You need to put your best foot forward with festivals, press, and distributors. Utilize test screenings with strangers (rather than family and friends) to determine if your film is ready to premiere. These screenings will help you determine what changes need to be made. Then you can test screen a new cut for another audience.
- Don’t submit your film to distributors or producer’s reps without internally having a customized distribution strategy. This strategy should include your plans for each avenue of distribution. Too many filmmakers follow the old playbook and take a formulaic approach to submitting their movies to the usual suspects without having a clear vision of how they want their films to come into the world.
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