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American The Bill Hicks Case Study

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					SXSW 2012 PANEL 14.00 MON 3 MAR




     How I Learned
     to Stop worryIng
     & Love vod                                                    (with apologies to Stanley K.)




     Moderator: Orly Ravid - Film Collaborative

     Case study: Matt Harlock - American The Bill Hicks Story

     Panel:
     Eamonn Bowles - Magnolia
     Nolan Gallagher - Gravitas
     Dylan Marchetti - Variance Films



                                                            © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
‘American The Bill Hicks Story’

“At last the true life story of the outlaw
comic who tried to save the world.”

Four years in the making, AMERICAN: The
Bill Hicks Story finally brings the amazing
tale of one of modern culture’s most iconic
heroes to the big screen.

Taking documentary to a new level, and
including many unseen performances,
AMERICAN uses a stunning new animation
technique to bring Bill’s inspiring story to life,
told for the first time by those that knew
him best.




                                                     © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Criteria for a funded feature doc

Bill who? Awareness of Hicks’ comedy in the UK:

• 350,000 unit sales track record in the UK
  - lively/active online community - 200,000 FB fans (ww)
  - voted 4th best Stand-Up Ever in recent UK poll...
  - books sell 40,000 copies (base) in UK
  - ‘the comedians’ comedian’ - Bruce/Pryor/Hicks

• Full life story had never been told before
  Bill’s family had never spoken at length, once 18 years ago

• BBC initially financed production through DVD and
  TV acquisition for $280K (incl. $60K for US DVD)
  nb. pre-sales are not typical and based on 2006 DVD market

• World Premiere at LFF led to press reviews led to UK theatrical

• BUT awareness of Bill was nowhere near same level in the USA...

therefore THe goAL oF THe FiLm was to firmly establish Bill Hicks on
the permanent cultural timeline in the US

                                                               © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Audience trailer must establish

• that this is an amazing theatrical, group experience
• that you don’t have to know Bill to like the film (inclusive)
nb. his fans will seek this out - our target is the peripheral & non-fan.
• Bill is a comedian, controversial, & unique.
• he has cult cool - “if you havent heard of him you should have.”




                                                                 © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Performance in lead up to US release

• international festival run – selected for 30+ international festivals incl:
London FF, SheffDocFest, Glasgow, SXSW, HotDocs, Seattle, Boston IFF,
winning at: Dallas, Downtown LA, Little Rock, Biografilm Bologna…

• major UK theatrical release may 2010
- American was the 2nd highest grossing theatrical documentary that year, ahead of
Capitalism A Love Story, Religulous and The Cove.

• Australian theatrical release through Madman
Sold out 3 week run in Sydney, ACMI in Melbourne
took $40K.

• Top 10 films of 2010 lists www.cinemablend.com
plus IndiePixFilms, yourturnheather & ScreengrabX.

• imDB rating of 8.2 out of 10 (in the top 50 best docs of all time)

• Driven by UK & festival press reviews
  - producers own money spent on PR in the UK from
    LFF to theatrical



                                                                       © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
‘American’ UK & festival press                 nb. becomes sales sheet

                   HHHH                                                       HHHH
     “immersive, inventive…beautifully told”                       “Extraordinary – a triumph”
                     Empire                                                   Uncut


                   HHHH                                                       HHHH
          “nothing short of astounding”                     “lovingly assembled…highly watchable”
                     Time Out                             One of the ‘Films You MUST See This Summer’
                                                                             Total Film
 “surely the most visually inventive bio-doc ever
             – a kinetic masterpiece”                          “a really impressive film biography’
                    The Observer                                           The Guardian


                  HHHHH                                                       HHHH
  “A flawless piece of work…utterly inspiring.                           “A total must-see”
Certainly our most anticipated movie of the year”                             Love Film
                     Maxim
                                                                 “A brilliant and beguiling film”
  “Visually, the movie’s fantastic…a fascinating                              Esquire
        & incredibly entertaining movie.”
                  Aint It Cool News                    “Thoroughly engrossing…a very fine piece of work.”
                                                                       Movie of the Week
                                                                    Mark Kermode, BBC Film 24
                   HHHH
  “hysterically funny and deeply moving tribute
           to a true American outlaw.”                                        HHHH
                    Daily Mirror                                     “Absolute perfection.”
                                                                            Loaded
“The groundbreaking comedian gets a step closer
   to immortality…has a compelling intimacy”           “Likely to be the pre-eminent documentary of 2010”
             The Hollywood Reporter                                        Clash Magazine


                                                                         © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
The 2 pager sales/performance sheet

• The producer’s most valuable sales weapon
• summarises film’s appeal in several different ways “at a glance”
• constantly updated, always have on hand




                                                                 © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Producers split-rights decision


• had talks with major distributors but no ‘right’ offer emerged

• we had met partners we liked offering a viable theat/VoD strategy
  (albeit with a risk/investment involved)

• we had experienced the positive audience reaction,
  convincing us it was a ‘theatrical’ film

• press reaction had been very strong - to use it,
  the film needed to be theatrical
   - & banked interviews/press interest for release on theatrical assumption

• we knew (hoped) that Bill’s US fanbase/community was out there
   - Our Facebook Groups up to 12,000 by this point
   - our website getting 2000 hits a day during SXSW

• if we did not make the right impact in America with the film,
  we would have considered it to have failed

SO...
                                                               © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Theatrical release factors

• Variance agreed to defer part
  of their low 5 figures fee

• as producers, we had skillset to
deliver print artwork and trailers at
no/minimal cost

• decided that 35mm trailers were worth
the cost to hit right theatres

• PR was the most valuable money
spent due to Bill’s story potential
ie. important American comic who’s not
as well known as he should be, British
filmmakers tell American story about
freedom of speech




                                          © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Targeted marketing materials

• Research - we asked all our US friends, festival heads,
  producers, marketers and comedians what worked - with some surprising results




                                                       © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Designs phase 2

• Final set of designs sent out for feedback round 2




                                                       © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
The ‘silhouette’

• our feedback pool
unanimously chose the
‘silhouette’ design

• As with trailer,
must quickly establish:

• Bill is a comedian -
controversial, & unique.

• he has cult cool - “if you
havent heard of him you
should have.”

• that this is a full bio and an
amazing rollercoaster life
(not death)

The ‘non-subermersible’
elements must be identified
with each film to be brought
out in trailer/poster.
                                                       • 2ndary use at small sizes
                                                         eg. banner ads



                                   © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Theatrical/VOD day-&-date release April 8th 2011




                                                   © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Release support PR/marketing

Theatrical/VOD release - April 8th 2011
nb. this day&date strategy affected some cinema/chains decision to take the film

1. Trailer 250,000 views then (now 400,000+)

2. Variance marketing via Facebook & limited advertising - budget $500

3. US press reaction/awareness via PR spend
   - placement generated via release of exclusive clips/content
   - Grit TV, Sirius XM, KCRW, KLBJ, GATW, AICN...
     “Fascinating portrait of a born funnyman”                “Fantastic...incredibly entertaining”
                       Variety                                          Aint It Cool News

  “thought-provoking, heartbreaking, and hilarious”    “By far one of the best documentaries I’ve seen.”
                      NBC.com                                       WASHINGTON Square News

      “incredibly inspirational…deeply moving”          “Excellent doc...great exploration of the man.”
                       IFC News                                       HUFFINGTON POST

  “Possibly revolutionizing the documentary genre”            “I loved the film, totally inspiring.”
                     NYPress.com                                  Bob Edwards, SIRIUS/XM RADIO

        “The groundbreaking comedian gets               “Fascinating – we can see why he was glorious”
           a step closer to immortality”                             The New Yorker Magazine
                 Hollywood Reporter




                                                                      © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Release support PR/marketing

4. Screening support & comedy community/online outreach
  - month long tour of Q&A screenings, comedy community outreach,
  - prize giveaways & ticket promotions in return for posting online/iTunes links
  - filmmakers hit est. 200,000 comedy fans directly via club mail lists
  nb. this is time consuming stuff

Outreach partners:
Austin Film Society - screening/prizes
Alamo Drafthouse - special screenings
Austin Chronicle - giveaways
CapCity Comedy - Houston
- 10,000 mail list
Comedy Store LA - 20,000 mail list
Comics Comic website
GATW - clips & DVD giveaway
Improv Comedy chain - free screenings
KCRW - interview & giveaways
KLBJ Austin - screening, prem host
Laughbutton
Mondon Tees - bespoke poster
Satiristas - 20K impressions
SXSW - ticket giveaway
Waterloo Records Austin
- 20,000 mail list giveaway
                                                                       © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Release support PR/marketing

5. generate interest through leveraging champions relevant to project...

             SXSW                                                       New York
             Richard Linklater                                          Keith Olberman
                                                                        Jamie Kilstein




                                        Los Angeles
                                        Paul Provenza
                                        Bob Weide
                                        Colin Hanks

                                                          © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Cable VOD reach & marketing

Theatrical awareness, strong reviews & the tour helped the online
campaign, leading to: banner ads on iTunes, featuring in Comcast’s
VOD barker and :30 second spots on Dish Network -
all of which were free because the these providers
saw the film in advance and got behind it.

1. 100million home reach in North America
    - featured in Comcast’s VOD barker

2. Dish Network takes the film
  (usually $10m Hollywood product)
  - incl. free :30 second ad spots

3. VoD reach via
   Warner Digital Distribution:
  • Comcast
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Cox
  • AT&T
  • Charter
  • Verizon
  • Apple
  • Amazon
  • Sony Playstation
  • X-Box
                                                            © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Film positioning/placement by operators
Operators understand customers like
seeing films that are in theatres available
on-demand - leading to them promoting
the film in ‘Now in Theatres’ & ‘New release’
type categories.




                                                © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Internet VOD performance

Transactional VoD: Top 10 in iTunes Doc & indy charts for 10 weeks
after release (incl. no.2 for first 2 weeks behind oscar winner inside Job)

Banner advertising




AVoD: No.1 on Hulu on release Nov 2011




                                                               © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
American theatrical/VOD revenues

Theatrical gross: $7K opening w/end at Cinema Village NY
                  $90,589 - producers break even

VOD revenues:
Windows          Price point                    Term         Transactions             Gross
Cable VoD        $6.99 during theatrical        2 months     28,600                   $200,000
Cable VoD        $4.99 after DVD avail          6 months     35,000                   $175,000

DTR              $3.99 rentals iTunes           ongoing       10,000                  $ 40,000
DTo              $15.00 to own                  ongoing       1000                    $ 15,000

SVoD             Netflix + Amazon Prime         2 years       Subs                    $ Low 6 figs

AVOD             Hulu Rev. based on plays tbc   ongoing                               $ 5 figs
                 (No.1 on release)


                                                Gross EST over 3yr term               $ 600,000

TV sale
None as yet, VOD/DVD rights not available has affected interest


                                                             © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Deciding on a split-rights release strategy

American’s producers had talks with major distributors but no ‘right’ offer emerged,
leading to the decision to fund theatrical to drive VOD. The criteria were:

1. Film reaches top tier festivals
   - this allows crucial access to partners
   - partners see film perform with an audience

2. Film inspires positive press/audience reaction
   - bank interviews/press interest for release

3. Subject has a fanbase/community (or at least is known)
   - see Jon Reiss on PFM, Peter Broderick on suitable subjects
   - Facebook Likes min 5000, ATM 17,000, DMT 150,000(!)

4. Producers prepared to spend another year releasing film
   - leads to question: what kind of filmmaker are you?

and the two you may not be able to do:

5. Confidence/cash to fund a theatrical to publicise VoD release

6. Have your film’s title start with A to D - unfortunately not a joke

                                                                       © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
SXSW 2012 PANEL 14.00 MON 3 MAR




    How I Learned
    to Stop worryIng
    & Love vod
    Moderator: Orly Ravid - Film Collaborative

    Case study: Matt Harlock - American The Bill Hicks Story

    Panel:
    Eamonn Bowles - Magnolia
    Nolan Gallagher - Gravitas
    Dylan Marchetti - Variance Films




                                                               © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Gravitas VOD releases




  Billionaire                                              Elephant in the Living Room
  Synopsis: The story of DHL-Founder and tycoon Larry      Synopsis: Praised by critics as one of the best films of
  Hillblom who disappeared mysteriously in a plane crash   the year, director michael Webber exposes the controversial
  leaving his unacknowledged children to fight for their   American subculture of raising wild predators as common
  share of his vast fortune.                               household pets.
  gross VoD Revs:         $200,000+                        gross VoD Revs:         $350,000+
  Release Year:           2011                             Release Year:           2011
  Theatrical Box:         $0                               Theatrical Box:         Under $100K
  Film Festivals:         Tribeca                          Film Festival:          Santa Barbara
  marketing element:      occupy Wall Street, 99% v 1%     marketing element:      Large number of worldwide pet
                                                           owners, Zanesville animal release tragedy in oct. 2011

                                                                           © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Gravitas VOD releases




  DMT: The Spirit Molecule                               Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
  Synopsis: The Spirit molecule explores the enigmatic   Synopsis: FAT, SiCK & NeARLY DeAD is an inspiring film
  dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychedelic molecule       that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health
  found throughout nature, including humans, and         while traveling across America, juicer in tow, and inspiring
  potentially every living organism.                     others to do the same.
  gross VoD Revs:         $200,000+                      gross VoD Revs:            $350,000+
  Release Year:           2011                           Release Year:              2011
  Theatrical Box:         $0                             Theatrical Box:            Under $100K
  Film Festival:          San Francisco Doc Fest         Film Festival:             Sonoma
  marketing element:      over 150,000 Facebook likes    Marketing Element:         Enduring interest in self help
                                                                                    and dieting issues

                                                                          © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Gravitas VOD releases




  5 Star Day
  Synopsis: Jake sets out to find the three people born
  the same time and place as himself to see if their birth-
  days proved to be as disappointing as his own in an
  effort to disprove Astrology.
  gross VoD Revs:           $1,250,000+
  Release Year:             2011
  Theatrical Box:           Under $100K
  Film Festival:            Newport Beach
  Marketing Element:        Over 12 million people get
                            horoscopes from Facebook

                                                              © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
                  ?                                                  ?
Gravitas VOD releases




  Anonymous Award Winning Doc                        Film starring comedian friend of
  Reasons Why Film Struggled:                        Adam Sandler
  Film went out on VOD 7 months after theatrical.
                                                     Reasons Why Film Struggled:
  Title name began with letter at end of alphabet.
                                                     VoD release occurred 3 months after DVD,
  gross VoD Revs:          $50-$100K                 poorly coordinated marketing
  Release Year:            2009/2010
                                                     gross VoD Revs:           $100K-$150K
  Theatrical Box:          Under $100K
                                                     Release Year:             2010/2011
  Film Festival:           Top 3 Film Festival
                                                     Theatrical Box:           None
                                                     Film Festival:            None


                                                                     © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Variance theatrical case study
                                 Until The Light Takes Us
                                 Theatrical release without Day/Date VOD

                                 Results driven by a niche musical genre (black metal) with a rabid fan
                                 base that was engaged early by the filmmakers, coupled with reviews and
                                 marketing that was able to expand the film past the core audience.

                                 Theatrical Box:          $140k
                                 Theatrical P&A:          $25k

                                 TV Pre-sale:             $27.5k - Sundance Channel,
                                                          included non-excl. “on demand FVoD”)

                                 VoD Results:             $38.5k total

                                 (VoD windowing was backwards - first Sundance Channel and Netflix
                                 streaming, then VOD - therefore VOD revenues affected by delay.)

                                 Netflix/SVoD            $30k
                                 Cable VoD/amazon/itunes $3k
                                 Filmmaker’s website     $3.5k

                                 DVD:                     Low-to-mid six figures and sales holding up.


                                 VS. Anonymous Niche Musical Documentary with Day/Date VOD

                                 A lesser known subject without a rabid fan base,
                                 mediocre reviews, and a minimal release budget hurt this title.

                                 Theatrical Box:          $12,000
                                 Theatrical P&A:          $14,000
                                 VoD Results:             Poor, low five figures
                                 DVD Results:             TBD
                                                               © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
                  ?                                                            ?
Variance theatrical releases




                                                         vs.


  Anonymous Action Film                                        Anonymous Action Film
  with Day/Date VOD                                            without Day/Date
  Good festival placement, but mediocre reviews.               No major festival placement, but big cult awareness to start
  Good marketing drove all results on this title. Only had a   and solid reviews. initial release of 20 screens, including
  ten city release due to small P&A spend and limited the-     major chains that don’t play VoD day/date. P&A driven higher
  aters available for title.                                   by materials (35mm and digital print) and advertising costs.

  Theatrical Box:          $60k                                Theatrical Box:          $220,000
  Theatrical P&A:          $45k                                Theatrical P&A:          $160,000
  VoD Results:             Low-to-mid six-figures & rising     VoD Results:             excellent, high six figures
  Home Media Results:      Above average                       Home Media Results:      Outstanding

                                                                                 © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Orly’s Top 3 Takeaway Tips...

1. PLAN YoUR STRATegY & KNoW YoUR AUDieNCe:
 Plan ahead, long before you finish the film so that you can
a. premiere at the best fest possible or in the most appropriate medium;
b. premiere with an already growing fan base and community around your film so you can...
c. limit the time between the buzz build-up and the actual release.
Plan ahead and you can fast track the best distribution for your film while fresh in people’s minds
for it’s VOD life. Plus not all audiences consume films in the same way so plan ahead with
that knowledge in mind.

2. KEY THINGS TO ASK YOUR DISTRIBUTOR OR AGGREGATOR:
a.   Their FEES and also their splits (especially with Cable MSO / platforms)
b.   Expenses being recouped
c.   If they have to go through middlemen to get to any key platforms / digital stores.
d.   What they do, if anything, to support and market the film from both a business-to-business side
     and consumer facing side.

3. WATCH YoUR WiNDoWS - Timing is key:
a. If you stream or distribute digitally before Cable VOD, you will often lose that opportunity.
b. Festivals will often not program a film if it’s available digital or at all commercially.
c. Broadcast and SVOD are competitive with each other so compare distribution results/maximum benefits.
d. Consider Reverse Windowing (VOD BEFORE theatrical) eg. Magnolia
e. Ad Supported VOD (AVOD or FOD (free VOD) (e.g. regular HULU) or broadcast airings can be useful for maxi-
mum awareness, are relatively significant revenue generators, and can drive transactional VOD
(as opposed to AVOD/FOD being seen as cannibalizing business.

www.thefilmcollaborative.org
                                                                             © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Orly’s Top Takeaway Tips 4 - 9

4. DeViL iS iN THe DeFiNiTioN
The term VOD means or includes different things to different users. These terms are becoming more customary
but are not fully standardized so have ALL terms related to digital rights DEFINED.
And the space keeps changing so be sure to stay current.

5. KNoW YoUR RigHTS & oTHeR WAYS To PRoTeCT YoURSeLF iN A DeAL
Before giving rights away for longer periods of time, think about the future. For example, the category of DTR
(download-to-rent) is growing as is SVOD (Subscription VOD). So you will want to make sure your splits are
strong in your favor for growing categories, and Cable VOD and transactional DTO (download-to-own) or EST
(electronic sell through) are strong too. Instead of focusing on rights classes, one may also want to address gross
revenues ie. get an appropriate share of revenues at certain gross thresholds. Digital distribution in Europe is not
as mature as it is in the US but it’s growing.

6. CHeCK ReFeReNCeS: BEFORE YOU SIGN A DEAL...
check references not only from the films the distributor or aggregator referred but others.

7. DiY DigiTAL oFF YoUR SiTe(S)
Always try to carve out the ability to sell off your own website. And one can always GEOFILTER if one has to
(meaning limit a territory). DIY digital service providers we recommend are: Dynamo Player, Distrify, EggUp, to
name a few. But monetizing your film off your site can be good business and is wise to do.

8. KeeP Time BeTWeeN ReLeASe WiNDoWS To A miNimUm...
If you cant use piracy by monetizing it/to drive awareness, then reduce the time between your release windows
and when you first start handing out DVDs and getting a lot of buzz for your film. Some piracy cannot be helped, if
if you want there are anti-piracy services one can employ. (nb. DVD is a bigger source of piracy than digital.)

9. KeY ART for THUmBNAiL DigiTAL SiZiNg: Take good photography on set so that you have best marketing
possible, even for the THUMBNAIL version for DIGITAL/VOD. Remember most people won’t actually see your
theatrical poster.
                                                                              © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Dylan Marchetti’s Takeaway Tips...

1. KNoW AND ReSPeCT YoUR AUDieNCe
The sure-fire route to a theatrical/VOD success story is knowing your audience: where to find them,
where they watch films, and how to reach them. But respect them - don’t talk at them, talk with them.
They’ll pay you back.

2. WATCH YoUR WiNDoWS
The #1 reason we turn down films is the film itself. The #2 reason is that someone didn’t watch their
windows and jumped the gun. Theaters are barely coming around to day-date VOD as it is, but if you’ve
been selling DVDs for three months, they’ll balk - and we do have to tell them.

3. TALK To YoUR FeLLoW FiLmmAKeRS
You are not the first person to be where you are…and the community is incredibly supportive.
Use your festival trips, social media, and when all else fails, make a cold call to get advice.

4. mATeRiALS mATTeR
Don’t ever cut a lame trailer or make a crap poster and call it a day. They may be temporary, but once you
post them they will be out there forever, and this is how people will see your film - spend time on this, if not
a little money.

5. SHARe YoUR iNFoRmATioN
As a distributor, I don’t have the right to share all of your data with the public… but you do. Share your
VOD numbers with everyone, because the world is very curious and there is not a publicly available
source.
www.variancefilms.com

                                                                          © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Nolan Gallagher’s Top 5 Takeaway Tips...

1. WATCH WiNDoWS There is potentially big money in VOD if the timing of a release is coordinated by an industry
expert with deep contacts in VOD specifically. A filmmaker should avoid licensing rights to one VOD platform first in
an effort to “get the film out there.” Unfortunately, this happens often and can cost fillmmakers tens or even hundreds
of thousands of dollars. There are over one hundred different VOD platforms and they do not like to be disadvantaged
against other platforms. There are industry norms in the releasing of a film and by giving one platform an earlier win-
dow than the rest you may jeopardize both carriage and favorable merchandising placement.

2. REACH THE MASSES Today, filmmakers can reach over 100 million North American homes inexpensively.
VOD is also flexible, so that as technology evolves, your film will find ever more opportunies to be seen. Working
with knowlegeable companies that are on top of the daily changes in distribution will allow filmmakers to reach
a wide audience today and tomorrow.

3. eNgAge THe mASSeS Do spend a lot of time early in the process making sure that you are dedicating
someone to build out your social media presence. Facebook, Twitter, and even your own website can be very
powerful tools for getting your message out, but building presence take plenty of dedicated work. We have seen
remarkable results from producers who do this right versus those who go through the motions.

4. NoBoDY KNoWS eVeRYTHiNg Soak up VOD insights like a sponge. Talk among your filmmaking
community about what has and has not worked on past films. Read blogs, attend panels, follow industry people
on twiter and do not be afraid to ask distributors the tough questions. An informed filmmaker allows distributors to
be spend less time on basic education and more on finding creative ways to make your film release a success.

5. Be NiCe LiKe PATRiCK Patrick Swayze nailed this advice in Roadhouse. Courtesy goes both ways for
filmmaker teams and those distribution companies fortunate to work on a project. The entertainment industry is filled
with no shortage of interesting personalities and the nice ones often do finish first in the VOD.

www.gravitasventures.com
                                                                             © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
Matt Harlock’s Takeaway Tips...

1. Be very clear about the goal of your film
   - make money/get issue noticed (eg. Gasland)/get you noticed?
   - clarifying this will allow you to make all your release decisions

2. Seek release partners who really get the film and why/how it connects
   - this is something that you need to feel, not get from references.

3. Cultivate fanbase/community dialogue as early as possible
   - dont tell them things, ask them to do things
   - partner with organisations who’s goal is the same as yours

4. Be prepared to spend another year (or more) releasing your film
   - but do understand that no one will do it with as much passion,
     energy and enthusiasm as you will

5. TAKe CoNTRoL oF YoUR RigHTS!
   - Building VOD takes commitment and planning - building relationships with
     the right festivals, your partners and their operators, and with your audience.
   - There is no quick fix, its grinding it out, and spending money on ads etc
      is not a magic bullet.
   - This is a decision based on your commitment to the film’s life and who you are
      as a filmmaker, BUT you will learn about audience, marketing, distribution and
      make relationships that will take you tghrough your next film & beyond.

www.americanthemovie.com, www.halflifefilms.co.uk
                                                                         © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012
SXSW 2012 PANEL




How I Learned
to Stop worryIng
& Love vod
Presentation design/panel organiser: Matt Harlock
Moderator: Orly Ravid
with thanks to Nolan gallagher, Dylan marchetti & eamonn Bowles
Janet Pierson & erin mumy of SXSW.

This presentation available as a FREE pdf at:
www.halflifefilms.co.uk
www.thefilmcollaborative.com
www.americanthemovie.com

How To Sell Your Film Without Selling Your Soul pdf avail at:
www.thefilmcollaborative.com


                                                                © Halflife Films, Jackamo TV & The Film Collaborative 2012

				
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