Film distribution is going through a seismic shift.

Traditional models of distribution have been disrupted by online piracy and streaming. DVD numbers are tumbling, with chains like HMV and their international counterparts closing down due to plummeting profits. DVD rental is a relic of the past, like VHS and 8-track tapes.

Video On Demand (VOD) is growing, but not fast enough to make up the short fall in revenue from DVD sales and rental and piracy is undercutting profit and business across all platforms. As a result, film distributors are more risk averse and conservative, with minimum guarantees falling and acquisitions shifting to a narrower range of films, with a focus on big name cast, strong production quality and the kind of movies that can be marketed easily to the broadest base of viewers.

At the same time, there’s never been a more exciting time to be an independent filmmaker. Alternative options for distribution are growing, allowing you to connect directly with your audience and get your film out in the world the way you want.

You can cut out the middlemen – sales agents, distributors and reach out to your viewers directly, whether that’s organising your own theatrical releases, brokering deals with VOD platforms and broadcasters, taking a hybrid approach, working with traditional distribution and newer options to maximise revenue and audience for your film. If you’re smart, entrepreneurial and savvy, you can control your film’s destiny like never before.

This blog seeks to discuss trends in film distribution and take a closer look at the new models out there. How do you find your audience? How do you get paid for your work? What sells and what doesn’t? How can you make your film commercial?

As a sales agent turned producer, I hope I can shed some light on how the industry works and offer some advice for independent filmmakers on how to navigate the world of distribution. If you have any questions or topics for discussion, drop me a line in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter @Nadin_Hadi.

Agree, disagree, questions, thoughts? Hit me up in the comments.

Photo Credit: House of Cards

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