Thirty years ago when I started filmmaking I luckily received grants to fund my films. TV sales, semi-theatrical screenings, universities and film festivals were my goals for distribution. Most of my films were funded and on broadcast.

In 2008, with great enthusiasm, I embarked on a new film project, a film about homeopathy. Homeopathy is one of the most controversial forms of medicine ever invented and I thought I would easily secure funding in this day and age of our national ‘healthcare crisis’. Surely, foundations would share my passion. How wrong I was. I was rejected from every grant for which I applied. I then turned to individuals.

Through the span of 8 years, a variety of creative crowdfunding campaigns, email blasts, and a ton of tenacity, we raised over $316,000 from 800 strangers all over the world. Not only did we raise the money, but equally important, we built a group of solid followers.

This ”slow drip” crowdfunding method laid the groundwork for the fan-based grassroots distribution of the film. I built a “tribe” of people who were hungry to share this film with their community, friends and family. 

But many of these people lacked the knowledge and/or resources to produce a screening event. I suspected it could be a potential nightmare if I left them to do this on their own. This is where Cinema on Demand was a perfect match.

 

 

After almost three decades, I have seen a dramatic shift in the documentary world. Today, most indie filmmakers rely on crowdfunding and private donations. Fundraising and distribution have become as innovative as making the films themselves and the two are intrinsically linked.  If you have used any kind of crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, email blasts, etc) your stakeholders have been on the ride with you from the beginning. They have some skin in the game and you have built a substantial audience for the film. These people are your amplifiers! You are utilizing your organic grassroots fan base to help distribute your film. 

My film was released April 2017.

Cinema On Demand (COD). Tour began end of July 2017. Still active. 

100 COD screenings (Australia, UK, NZ, Canada and USA)
Audience average: 110
Total box office gross: over $125,000

Total community screenings (including COD). 

200+ Screenings worldwide
33 different countries
Subtitled into 18 languages

We had no marketing budget, no ads, no publicist and no traditional press. This was all done utilizing innovative and consistent digital marketing: social media and emails. More than just making money, these screenings, followed with Q&A’s build communities, inspire dialogue, raise awareness, motivate change, and educate!  It is an evening of entertainment that brings people together around a topic about which they are passionate. And, it is a lot of fun

I have become deeply passionate about the potential of grassroots driven screenings to distribute our films. I want to share my knowledge with you, fellow filmmakers, to maximize your screenings, impact and revenue. 

Through a lot of trials and errors and speaking to many of the hosts, I have gathered ideas, tools, and techniques.  Every film and audience is different, and will present unique challenges. At the same time, there is a formula to follow, which you can adapt for your specific campaign. 

Some of the ways I can help you:

  • Build a strategy for your campaign.

  • Learn how to find your "tribe", grow your "tribe", and keep them engaged.

  • Identify your Call to Action. Develop clear and consistent messaging. Champion your cause!

  • Develop branded promotional materials to use on social media.

  • Teach your hosts how to use the COD promotional materials

  • Explore ways to make your screenings unique events.

  • Identify distribution partners and sponsors for your campaign and tour.

  • If you have already started, explore ways to get a higher % of your screenings to "tip" and sell out.

  • Understand the philosophy behind crowdsource distribution and how to use that to your advantage.

  • Have FUN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT ABOUT OTHER KINDS OF SCREENINGS?

What if you don't want to use COD? What about countries that do not have the COD model? Or organizations/individuals who prefer to screen the film outside of the COD? (conferences, private screenings in businesses, small indie theatres, etc.)  I can help you develop an on-line screening package and system that is unique to your film that can include:

  • A hosting kit

  • Materials to help them promote their event (editable posters, memes, press releases, etc)

  • Template and system for subtitles

  • Pricing link

  • Screening license

  • System to upload/download your film to clients.

  • Suggestions for how to organize your screenings and revenue.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO SEEK MY ADVICE?

Great question. 

The best time is before you complete your film. Because crowdfunding is linked to building your audience and using them to help distribute your film, there is no time that is too early.

If you have already completed your film, bring me in when you are starting to think about a distribution strategy.

If you have already started distributing your film, I can help you make your campaign even better, reach more people, and inspire more of your followers to help you distribute your film. We will identify what is unique to your film/campaign, where you feel stuck, your strengths, and how you can create the most successful campaign and experience.

I am eager to help you in any way I can. For maximum benefit, best to work with me at the beginning of your campaign and throughout your run. 

YOUR FILM NOT COMPLETED YET?  EVEN BETTER!

Many of the principles of COD apply to fundraising and pre-production. In fact, building your tribe and partnerships while making the film is essential to laying the foundation for the successful distribution of your film. I have helped filmmakers during all phases of pre-production through to distribution. 

CAN I HELP YOU GROW YOUR AUDIENCE BEYOND THE COD PLATFORM?

Of course!  I can explore with you about many unique ways to continue to reach and grow your "tribe".  Always thinking outside the box!

WHAT WILL THIS COST?

As an advisor, I would help you as little or as much as you need. I could guide you in setting up your campaign and strategy, throughout your campaign at regular intervals, and be available on a per need basis. I have different pricing packages depending on your campaign and your needs. 

INTERESTED? CONTACT ME