Very solid points here. Ultimately, I think this comes down to whether or not distributing a film directly 1st is really shooting oneself in the foot.
As for finding sales agents, we asked around and met with a few, all of them had the exact same answer - they didn't know how to sell our film internationally without any name talent or genre appeal. Now, we could have spent more weeks getting the same answer until we found someone willing to risk it with our film, but the deals probably wouldn't have favored us very well. We'll never know.
Thing is, I know people like the film (we've tested it in front of a variety of audiences) and I know how to market it (I have a background in online marketing), so spending the time and money to promote and release Layover ourselves wasn't really a risk at all - especially given the budget. You're right on the money, it is the safest way to pay everyone back but also the fastest way to actually cut people in on the profits. As for finding people who'll give us money for our next film, Layover has been all that we needed.
I like the saying the devil always shits on the biggest pile. I'm banking on proving there is a demand and a paying audience for Layover and then leveraging that into a sales agent and/or distributor. We'll see if it works that way but, then again, that's all part of the experiment. It's all part of the expansion model we're trying out with Layover's release.
I was really hoping that Chill would take off. I actually know the co-founder from my past in startups. They had a good idea but I think the execution was lacking. VimeoOD seems to be a blind spot for a lot of film lovers. There's some great films on there!!!
Hey Aaron! I don't have as deep an understanding of the music distribution side of iTunes but from what I've seen on TuneCore it's an almost identical service.
Elizabeth, Ri is correct. In terms of the process, it varies. Some say 6 months, some say one month. Depends on the platform and the film.
Hi Santi! We didn't jump into VOD right away. Honestly, we weren't sure what to do after our WP. Thankfully, after SIFF we garnered some interest from distributors and aggregators who wanted to help distribute Layover on VOD. Nobody even offered theatrical. That's how things are these days with distributors. Unless your film is in a genre or has celebrities in it, your chances of getting a theatrical run in the US are slim to none. We could have four-walled the film or organized a tour, but we're approaching production for our next movie so we're reserving that kind of strategy for later. There's no rule that we can't have a tour at a later date or Tugg campaign after being up on VOD. If anything, I'm hoping that the buzz from our VOD release makes that a more viable opportunity. Indiegame the Movie had something like this happen where they got theatrical engagements AFTER their VOD release. The concept of windows is shutting fast and really only exists for films that are marketed and distributed in the traditional manner. Hope that helps!
Hope you enjoyed the article. If you have any questions for Joshua or myself let us know here in the comments or on Twitter @Joshua_Caldwell or @Tobewan