Filmmaker Direct: Access to Millions of Viewers? At a Fair Flat-Rate?

Distribber, a pioneer in digital distribution, has partnered with Brainstorm, one of the oldest aggregators of theatrical films for VOD, to offer filmmakers flat-fee access to VOD. According to this January 24th, 2011 press release, films offered on the new "Filmmaker Direct" label will funnel 100% of profits (after a flat fee) directly to the filmmaker.

While it may not be for everyone, the Filmmaker Direct platform provides yet another option for filmmakers who aren't offered (or decide not to pursue) the old world all-rights deal. If you're thinking about DIY (also known as "split rights" or "new world" distribution) you should run the numbers and understand the responsibilities you're taking on for marketing your film. Every film - and therefore every new world distribution plan - is different. But filmmakers who think they know how to market their films and choose to maintain control (paying for distribution services only as needed) can avoid the "distribution fees" typically charged by VOD aggregators. Distribution Fees (charged by sales agents and old world distributors) are notorious for enriching the middlemen - often without any revenue trickling back to the filmmaker. For filmmakers willing to take on the marketing challenges that once were left to the "experts," Filmmaker Direct offers a clear alternative: You no longer have to pay a traditional "distribution fee" (a percentage of gross revenue) to get on cable, satellite and telephone VOD. After paying a flat fee to get your film on Filmmaker Direct - all the VOD revenue will be yours to keep.

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Randy Finch's Film Blog:

Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.