Remember, this is an exploration of how to distribute an independent film online... we by no means already have the answers. No one does. The ability to reach out to the web community and actually make a profit off your film is a relatively new opportunity and most producers are scrambling trying to figure out how to best take advantage of this new distribution era.

The first thing we did was make sure our film was available anywhere in the world in a manner that would allow us to ensure a good quality "stream" and allow us to track and make a profit. We are using as our platform. They also enable you to sell dvds, merchandise and list showings. Steven (director and brother) and I made sure our trailer and feature film downloads were in working order through many beta tests (which simply means trial and trial and trial).

The trailer and the feature film are working fine. Now we needed a home for the trailer. Distrify is not a website that you can browse to find cool films. They created a system that allows you to place your trailer on any website and sell/rent your film from the trailer itself. That gave us the freedom of creating our own website with and also our films own Facebook page:

Yeah, Distrify works on facebook. 

Next came the big question: how much should we charge? We set the price for a low 2.99usd keeping in mind that Redbox rents for as low as a buck and Youtube has many films you can stream for free. Distrify themselves recommended 2.99 so we opted for that pricing. 

At this point I was a little overzealous and I could hardly wait to launch "Mix" so I shared the Mix site with all my friends on Facebook. I have just over 300 friends. Exactly one of them streamed our film. This absolutely shocked me!

But of course I had made the classic mistake... I had not figured out my Target Audience. My friends were a mixed bag of individual artists, advertising pros, writers, fashion designers, family members, VFX producers and on and on. Most of them had already seen the film or apparently were just too busy with their lives... or more likely they did not even notice that Mix was on my Wall. Most professionals do not have time to gawk at each others Wall, they are too wrapped up in their own creative endeavors.

First of all, you need to know who your target audience will be. The narrower the profile, the easier it should be to find them. Steven and I decided on "College Students" and "Clubbers", since our film won several awards from student audiences and the film is about a DJ, the soundtrack packed with exquisite club music.

So now we know who we want to reach. How will we reach them? Maybe we should try out a region and see if it works there before we muddy the waters in the States? I ran across a cool social media website called DreamGrow Digital. They are headquartered in... Estonia.  Let's see if they have any tricks up their sleeves to help us seed our  trailer video with the right target audience. 

I will also investigate other professional companies who will seed your video for a cost... but I prefer to see if we can do this for little or no money to start with. 

Robert Lovy

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