You can find a film distributor just by turning over a DVD case. Seriously.
Every DVD you come across – whether the movie is good or bad – has to have a distributor. You can’t just send your film off to anybody that will accept it.
Choosing a distributor for your film is an enormous decision, and if you’re a first-time filmmaker you need to learn what qualities to look for in a distribution company. Here are some tips to find the distribution deal that’s right for you.
What’s their reputation like? Do all of the company’s releases look professional? Look into other filmmakers who have entrusted this company with their films, and see how satisfied they were.
Does the company distribute films like yours? A lot of indie distributors take all kinds of titles – and a lot don’t. If you have a genre film and you find a company that primarily distributes that same genre, you can rest assured that they’ll know how to sell your film.
Does the company do leasing or profit sharing? Will they pay you a fixed amount at the beginning, or take a percentage of the net profits?
Does the company want a global deal, or will you be able to split up the rights among different companies? Having one company for distribution on each market might sound nice, but you must be 100% comfortable with signing a completely exclusive contract.
How rigorously will the company market your film? Of course, you’re going to have to give them an incentive to really promote your film – by proving to them that it has a good chance of selling well.
Feel free to leave comments, questions and/or wise cracks in the comments section!