You Don't Need Traditional Distribution: Orly Ravid
Orly Ravid has worked in film acquisitions, sales, distribution and festival programming for the last twelve years. In January 2010, Orly founded The Film Collaborative ("TFC") to provide services to independent filmmakers, describing TFC as a "nonprofit distribution" company. Orly would be the first to point out that "nonprofit" is a tax status - not a business model - and the goal at TFC is to find ways for filmmakers to make money from their films. Orly says that she began TFC - and organized her new company TFC as a nonprofit - to help filmmakers to make more money from their films. Orly has described the way TFC provides services to filmmakers as follows: "In some ways, it’s an oxymoronic phrase – “nonprofit distribution.” As a nonprofit we can be up for a grant, to do a series of films that are not inherently commercial enough to get traditional distribution. We can help filmmakers make their money back if a lot of the money isn’t going to a middleman, or lawyers who are charging more than the filmmaker can afford. We can justify it in a way that we’re not charging a lot from the filmmakers, but we’re making up for that through donation and sponsorship."
Orly is part of the New World of distribution that emphasizes self-help and hiring a distributor or consultants only as necessary. In this December 21st, 2010 blogpost on Ted Hope's Truly Free Film, Orly lists a number of recent deals to argue that you don't need traditional distribution: "For MOST of you, without special connections or name cast, MOST traditional distribution will not serve you. Most distributors don’t pay enough or do enough or are fair enough, and many of them have to raise P&A anyway, or hire the same service providers you can, so do the math, think twice, and be careful. And remember, buyers are happy to buy direct, especially many TV buyers and VOD platforms, and you can get inexpensive help negotiating."