Friday, July 14, 2006

The Buzz I Didn't Get To Talk About:

So, I had an extremely interesting time last night with Philip, Mike and Greg over at Digital Production Buzz. They have a nice little setup there and really know their technology, and how to use it for maximum effect.

If you can get through my "Ummms... and generallys" the podcast is an okay interview. I would have liked a bit more time to go in depth on what we were talking about. Had it not been a live broadcast they could have edited it to make me sound far more intelligent than I am.

Oh well.

There are several items of interest for those who listened last night - and for the rest of you folk - so I'll go into them here.

The DVD business made around $28.6Billion last year. The DVD Premiere end of the business was around $4Billion. This revenue is more than television and theatrical combined.

There are so many entrepeneurs out there who want to distribute themselves and to them I have to say - don't. While there are a lot of rewards for successful distributors, if you are a writer-filmmaker, then be that. The business of DVD will suck you in and leave you NO time to create. Understand the business, but don't fall prey to it.

There is a lot of opportunity out there right now for people to get their work seen by the industry. Take advantage of those free opportunities - Youtube, myspace, blogger, etc... and build your audience for the stuff that you are doing.

Do something. Don't just talk. Do.

Endeavor to do something well. Don't just throw something together and expect the world to kiss your feet. Plan it. If it isn't right - fix it. Hold yourself to a professional standard. If it doesn't work, people will tell you and you'll learn for the next time.

Every time think it's going to be your last time - so pull out all of the stops.

Now go out there and take no prisoners...

8 comments:

Gregory Conley said...

Had a good time listening to you on the podcast Bill. My uhhhs are just as, if not worse, than yours.

One of these weeks when the new release list is lacking you'll have to come on my show and go in-depth on the industry. It'll make a good lesson.

And since I'm a shameless self-promoter, here's the link to the podcast - http://www.yourvideostoreshelf.com/blog

Bill Cunningham said...

You've got ROUGH CARGO for your avatar?

I'm so sorry...

deepstructure said...

excellent points bill. i wholeheartedly agree with your point about not getting sucked into the distribution business.

lately that's been a theme for me - not getting distracted trying to do everything with the short film i just shot. it's always tempting to try sometimes it's best to just let others do what they do best and do the same yourself.

btw, a friend of yours was in my short film. the one that just arrested tom jones. :)

Bill Cunningham said...

Did he tell you that he also played THE SCARECROW at VSDA?

Aric Blue said...

I understand the thing about not being a distributor also, but from a filmmaker's standpoint, it seems to be the place that makes the money.

So it's very tempting to try...

(creating the work and watching someone else 90% of the money from it can be pretty infuriating)

Bill Cunningham said...

You have to make the choice: do you want to be a filmmaker or a distributor?

Distributors are on the phone constantly selling your film.

Distributors create new art based on retailer feedback so they can get the maximum value from your film.

Distribs send out emails, attend markets, and spend a lot of money selling films.

Distribs set up credit lines with sub-distributors.

Distributors take out big insurance policies to make sure they aren't sued.

You want to be a millionaire? Start with a billion and become a distributor.

The fact is that unless you're willing to devote ALL OF YOUR TIME being a distributor - you are going to screw up at it.

Aric Blue said...

<< You have to make the choice: do you want to be a filmmaker or a distributor?>>

Yeah, but it's not as easy as simply saying that you want to be a filmmaker. You have to make money at it.

If you don't, people won't invest in your movies, and then you're not a filmmaker.

And if the filmmaker and investors are the ones taking the lion's share of the risk, they should be the ones getting the lion's share of the profits.

Which doesn't happen.

And most of your examples apply to a distributor with a lot of films--I'm simply wondering, really, how hard is it to get one's own movie into Blockbuster and Hollywood Video and the other big stores on your own?

(get E&O insurance--maybe $10-12K)
(create master dvd--$4500-$7000)
Then the per cost of individual units and shipping.

Sure, paperwork and whatnot is involved. So you get someone to handle that--it's gotta be cheaper than what the distributors are taking from their cut.

Am I missing stuff? I've been mulling this stuff over since my first film, and now I'm finishing the 3rd, so...

Bill Cunningham said...

I pulled out an old marketing checklist I had to refresh my memory of what it takes for just one title to be distributed:

E& O INSURANCE - $10,000
MASTER DISC - $5,000 (includes subtitles in spanish)
KEY ART - $2,500
MPAA RATING - $1,500
SELL SHEET DESIGN - $250
SELL SHEET PRINT - $400
DVD CASEWRAP(S)DESIGN - $250
CASEWRAP PRINT - $400
SPANISH CASEWRAP PRINT - $400
HOLLYWOOD CASE PRINT - $400
DVD SCREENERS - $1000
DVD WALLETS - $1000
MAILINGS (SELL SHEETS AND SCREENERS) - $1000
PR (2 MOS.) - $5000

INDUSTRY ADS:

INGRAM - $4500
B&T - $4500
WAXWORKS - $3000
VIDEO BIZ - $4000
HOME ENT. RETAIL - $3000
VPD - $4500

DESIGN OF ALL THE ABOVE ADS - $1000

REPLICATION:

10,000 DISCS X .40 = $4,000
STICKERS - X .05 = $500
ASSEMBLY - X .05 = $500
SEAL AND PACK - X .03 = $300

SHIPPING COSTS - ????

You will not receive your first check until 90 days after they receive and shelve the product on its street date.

Total thus far is $58,900 and that doesn't include warehousing, phone, fax, travel (yes, there is travel involved) salaries while the film is getting sold because distribution is a full time job in and of itself!!!

And this is only domestic distribution. Imagine if you had to also fulfill the needs of licensees around the world too!

DISTRIBUTION IS A FULL TIME JOB. DO YOU WANT TO STOP WRITING AND SHOOTING IN ORDER TO DO PAPERWORK?