Whilst in the post production process, I have looked further into how I am going to distribute my film. I need to look into how I can meet the requirements of different festivals through different factors such as film length and other technical and physical requirements. I have set myself a few ideas of how to work towards furthering myself and my project through the distribution process:
- Build up an interested audience through the social media outlets I have created to create a buzz around the film.
- Use the film as a personal portfolio piece to show my prestige as a documentary film maker.
- Get some form of involvement in a festival to help give my film and myself a coup.
- Get some of the money back that I have invested in the project/make a profit from the production so I can reinvest in making new and exciting projects.
When looking at the film festivals survey in 2013, there were currently around 3,000 active film festivals. (Follows, 2013) This number is likely to have risen even more in recent years. This statistic shows that it clear that film festivals are very much a viable and smart option to distribute your film. However, with the popularity incurs a significant cost, as I will have to pay to enter any film festival with any level of prestige. As I am working with a very low budget, allocating money for distribution is something that will be taking up a large part of my budget. However, festival entry will be imperative in helping achieving my aims of being successful in this project so I must scrutinise the choices I make to make the right decision in terms of cash allocation and matching my project to the right festival.
A lot of acclaimed festivals are not in the United Kingdom, for example Sundance is in the United States, Venice Film Festival (Italy), the Cannes Film Festival (France), the Toronto Film Festival (Canada). Whilst it would be incredible and prestigious to be involved in any of these, it isn’t financially viable for me to be travelling out of the UK. So, I must narrow my vision to those based locally. Sadly, only 5.5% of film festivals are based in the United Kingdom, as represented in the graph below.
The three main festivals I am targeting to enter are Sheffield Doc Fest, London International Documentary Festival and Open City Documentary Festival. These 3 festivals meet the criteria of being local, all being based in the UK, and of being in the documentary format.
Creating an online presence for my project is a free option of marketing my project, and with the use of Google adsense, (Google, 2016) I could potentially make money from the use of adverts that get placed before my documentary. This could be a very helpful tool in helping regain some of my investment in the project. A short 15 minute lesson created by YouTube themselves details how you can make money from your content. (YouTube, 2016). They go into detail of how successful this money making technique can be, giving relevant examples, and this has assured me that this is a worthwhile marketing route to go down. However, they say that the more popular the video gets, the more high value your adverts will become. So whilst it is important to focus on maximising your revenue via this platform, I need to raise interest elsewhere to get more viewership visiting my project. So I have signed up to this service so I can maximise my earnings on both YouTube and Vimeo from my documentary. Whilst this is a good idea in terms of revenue, it may hinder my entry into film festivals as 28% do not accept films that are available online. (Follows, 2013) So I must way up the pros and cons of this move before deciding.
As my documentary offers a topic which is prevalent in popular culture at the moment, I can look at reach out to groups that already exist and ask them to spread my documentary out to their audience. Twitter and Facebook groups on Tinder are numerous and I will be reaching out to the ones I deem to be professional enough so their sharing will be beneficial to my cause. After being aware of my audience that I will be distributing to even further, I feel confident that my editing style will match the intended distribution audience.
Follows, S. (2013) Film Festivals Pt 1: The Truths Behind Film Festivals [online] available from <http://stephenfollows.com/film-festivals-pt1-the-truths-behind-film-festivals/> [26 April 2016]
Google. (2016) Make Money Online Through Website Monetization | Google Adsense – Google[online] available from <https://www.google.com/adsense/start/#?modal_active=none> [30 April 2016]
YouTube (2016) Make Money With Youtube [online] available from <https://youtube.com/creatoracademy/page/lesson/revenue-basics> [30 April 2016]