The Insider's Guide to Independent Film Distribution / Edition 2

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Film distribution is the most pressing issue for most independent filmmakers. Many are dreamers who pour their heart, soul, and credit into making a movie that all too commonly will never see the light of day. The key to getting a movie seen is to find a reputable distributor, convince them to pick up your film, and then negotiate a good deal. That's a lot easier said than done. With thousands of films made each year, distributors are highly selective. It's much easier to get into Harvard than to get a film picked up! "The Insider's Guide to Independent Film Distribution" is the ONLY book written by an actual film distributor with years of experience. Stacey Parks shows hungry filmmakers how to make a film that distributors will find marketable, then get a distribution deal so they can recoup the costs of production and get their film out to audiences. There is a serious dearth of information on distribution, so this book will be very well-received by filmmakers with a movie in the can, as well as those who are just starting out. Key features include: - Interviews with film acquisitions executives and filmmakers provide real-world perspectives - Valuable forms and data, including sample distribution agreements, a list of key distributors, and expenses required to market and distribute an indie film - How to navigate the film festival circuit: what are the first and second tier festivals and how to get a film shown - Detailed information on how to get foreign distribution

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Well written, concise and (most importantly) honest! A must-have for indie filmmakers."—Kate Pearson, SVP, Programming, The Documentary Channel

"Finally, a contemporary and practical book about film distribution that explores this often mysterious and misunderstood part of the industry. As an academic text the approach is both classroom and reader friendly, providing information not easily found elsewhere."—Sharon Badal Faculty, New York University Tisch School of the Arts Kanbar Institute of Film and Television

"The book is well worth a read especially for those filmmakers who take the business of filmmaking seriously." - Karen van Schalkwyk, SCREEN AFRICA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240817552
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 290,065
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Stacey Parks is the author of the "Inside Guide To Independent Film Distribution” (Focal Press), a comprehensive educational program for filmmakers and producers dedicated to film distribution and the marketplace. Stacey has worked in independent film for over 10 years, and is currently a sales executive at the BBC Worldwide in Los Angeles. She was previously a foreign sales agent for many years. You can join her film distribution community on the web at

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. State of the Market: A Reality Check

Add a brief history of film distribution
Add interview with Dylan Leiner of Sony Pictures Classics (or comparable source) on how the U.S theatrical market has changed over the last 5-10 years.

III. Before you start Production: Getting a leg-up on Distribution
a. Getting in touch with the market: Doing Market Research
b. The importance of genre and format
c. Casting for distribution
d. Financing options - to include domestic and foreign pre-sales, private investors, completing a business plan, etc.
Add interview with Packaging agent from William Morris Agency
Suggested Exercises: (will add in 3-5 suggested exercises to appeal to academic market)

IV. Production Geared Towards Distribution
a. Shooting digital vs. Film
b. The importance of stills
c. Starting publicity during production: blogs, production diaries, hiring an PR agent, etc.

Interview with Michael Baker, head of Acquisitions and Development for Think Film

Suggested Exercises:

V. Post-Production geared Towards Distribution
a. M&E Tracks
b. Trailers
c. Music
d. Third party feedback
Add short interview/blurbs from buyers and distributors on post-production elements and what they mean in terms of getting distribution.
Suggested Exercises:

VI. It's in the can, now what: Creating Your Distribution Strategy
a. Creating a campaign
b. Applying to film festivals: what are the first tier, and second tier film festivals
c. Finding Producers Reps and Sales Agents
d. Navigating International Film and TV markets
e. Should I have a Distributor screening for my film?

Add interviews with Foreign Sales Agents in the UK and France
Suggested Exercises:

VII. Getting a Distribution deal
a. The U.S Distribution deal
b. Foreign Sales and What to Expect
c. Non-theatrical distribution and ancillary markets
d. Diagram/Table of expenses required to market and distribute an independent film
Add in interviews/blurbs with filmmakers who were NOT successful getting distribution and what they would do differently.

Suggested Exercises:

VIII. Dealing with the Distributor After you get a Deal
a. Anatomy of a Distribution Contract
b. How much will I make: Realistic Sales Projections for your film
c. When will I get paid? Typical cash flow situations
Suggested Exercises:

IX. Alternatives to Traditional Distribution
a. On Demand DVD distribution
b. Video on Demand distribution
c. Online film and television markets
d. Platform theatrical release
Interview with Betsy Chasse 'What the Bleep Do We Know'
Suggested Exercises:

X. The future of Distribution
a. How technology is changing Distribution

XI. Conclusion
Interview Stephen Winter 'Tarnation'

Appendix A: Ten successful indies and what made them successful
Appendix B: Distribution Agency Guide (US and outside US)
Appendix C: Anatomy of a Distribution Agreement
Appendix D: Sales Projections per Territory

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