Had a great production meeting with my co-producer, Lorie Marsh yesterday and these are a couple of the DIY/website distribution logistics we discussed.
A huge part of our distribution model consists of the DIY approach (with flexibility, of course). And a huge part of that strategy is being able to play God and forecast the future of filmmaking, which is really everyone just making an educated guess with the most fickle audience ever. Luckily, Lorie's completely savvy with thoughts of these possibilities constantly swirling around in her head. It just makes me dizzy, personally. :)
Our website is our linchpin - a forward thinking mechanism for extreme revenue with little overhead costs. Yesterday, Ted Hope posted a link on twitter about online video watching (click on link above). June was the highest month for video watching, since internet birth. This particularly struck me happy. If you've been studying the trends, you know that this is way we're moving. There will always be the movie-goers, but that's not what we're talking about. What if that's not part of the plan for your movie? Or what if it is, but you don't make it that route for some reason? We're basically considering how our movie will be SOLD. Are people going to be downloading it or buying a hard copy?
Aside from the netflix or blockbuster rentals, buying a one-time rental online (and having 30 days to watch it!) is most feasible for my pocketbook. These days, people are watching movies on their computers or ipods. Or they're plugging computers into televisions and watching! I usually can't afford to spend $20 unless I'm a true fan. Which brings up another point. There WILL be TRUE FANS. But when you're looking at projections, you have take into consideration the majority of your audience (LIS is an art house film) and make sure they have an option to invest in the experience. The last thing I want to do as a filmmaker is make a beautiful film and not allow its audience to see it just become of their income level. If there was a huge studio backing the film, it wouldn't be an issue. They could spend their $10 at the theater, no problem. But with a limited theatrical tour planned, it may not be in their city! Then what?
Ask yourself: Who's your audience? Are you considering community building? Where/How will they find you? How will they buy it? How will you implement, then navigate the process to reach them? What will they see when they get there? Are you merely trying to be 'flashy' and entertain, or do you want to interact - bring them back?
These are just a couple of things to consider when business planning around a DIY model. Here's a good article by Jon Reiss.