Selling at Sundance: What Factors Do/Don't Affect the Indie Film Market
Becoming a successful filmmaker is easy. right? All you have to do is make a movie, get it into Sundance, sell it, and then spend the rest of your days jackknifing into your millions like Scrooge McDuck. Um -- no. Making a movie is relatively straightforward compared to somehow getting your film screened at Sundance -- let alone finding a buyer. But, if you're one of the lucky few to be looking for one at the festival this year, Emily Best and her team at Seed&Spark have collaborated with information design company Accurat to develop an infographic that sheds light on this rather obscure part of the filmmaking process in hopes that their data will help you take some informed steps as you go about selling your film at Sundance.
As a fledgling filmmaker, I remember being offered a job as a ticket taker for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and thinking, "This is my chance." (It's okay to point and laugh at me.) Obviously it takes much more than your (literal) box office cred to get your film shown at Sundance -- let alone bought -- let alone make a profit on the sale.
What Best and her crew have done is broken down complex sets of data and developed them into an informative infographic that takes a closer look at factors, like budget, sale price, genre, even duration, that have influenced the sale and box office of films that have sold at Sundance in the last 3 years.
Check it out below:
If you managed to get your film into Sundance, that's an amazing accomplishment all on its own, but what if your film sells for less than it cost to make it? As the infographic shows, films like The Way, Way Back -- ones that sell for a great deal more than their budget -- are few and far between. But that's only scratching the surface. The graph also measures different factors that affect box office gross, like genre, duration, setting, and the number of awards a film wins (which strangely doesn't seem to have much of an affect).
Be sure to check out Seed&Spark's publication Bright Ideas Magazine for more.
What conclusions have you come to after digesting all of that data? Do you have any insight into the Sundance indie film market? Let us know in the comments below.
[Infographic courtesy of Flickr user Seed&Spark]