Following a Twitter chat this week, I wanted to highlight some fantastic people you should follow on film distribution and marketing from a direct distribution perspective. Filmmakers need to think like marketeers. Who’s your audience? How can you reach them? What’s your marketing and distribution strategy for your film?

A lot of what I write here is to try to give insight into how traditional distribution works from my experience as a sales agent.

Traditional distribution is all about risk mitigation and the mass market.

It’s becoming the pipeline for films that reach the lowest common denominator.

I’m a huge believer in direct distribution. Direct distribution gives filmmakers the chance to connect with their audiences, control their content and get paid for their work.

These people give great guidance and advice on how to navigate direct distribution. Add them to your bookmarks.

Ted Hope

Producer and Hollywood veteran, Ted Hope is a passionate advocate for building a better system and a new film culture and infrastructure. He’s worked on extraordinary films including Happiness, Eat Drink Man Woman, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 21 Grams and American Splendor.

Check out his call to arms Say Goodbye To Bizarro World: Time To Make Business Of Art, his keynote speech at the Fera General Assembly.

His site Truly Free Film is an amazing resource on all aspects of the film business. The Distribution Case Study Masterlist is an invaluable resource for filmmakers considering direct distribution.

He has a new book out, Hope for Film: From the Frontline of the Independent Cinema Revolutions, which is on my to read list.

Sheri Candler

Sheri Candler is a digital marketing expert, the Director of Digital Marketing Strategy for The Film Collaborative, a non-profit film distribution and filmmaker education organisation and the co-author of Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul and Selling Your Film Outside The US.  Both books are a must read for indie filmmakers, with great case studies with hard numbers from filmmakers on their distribution experience.

She writes regularly on distribution on The Film Collaborative. Check out her series on Distribution Preparations For Independent Filmmakers with Orly Ravid, which gives a great overview on marketing and distribution.

If you’re an indie filmmaker in LA, I’d encourage you to join the Film Collaborative and take advantage of their workshops, panels and distribution analysis services for film.

Jon Reiss

Jon Reiss is a filmmaker, media strategist and author of Think Outside The Box Office: The Ultimate Guide To Film Distribution And Marketing For The Digital Era based on his experience releasing his documentary Bomb It. He’s also the co-author of Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul and Selling Your Film Outside The US.

Jon came up with the concept of the Producer of Marketing and Distribution (PMD), putting forward the idea that every film needs someone devoted to marketing and distribution from inception. It’s an idea that’s gaining traction and is going to become crucial for independent film. 

Jason Brubaker

Indie film producer and online distribution expert, Jason Brubaker worked in distribution as Manager of Film Acquisitions for Chill and Director of Operations for video on demand aggregator, Distribber. He’s a contributing author of The Independent’s Guide to Film Distributors

Here’s Jason in an interview with Film Courage talking about how to get your movie on iTunes, Netflix and Hulu.

Agree, disagree, questions, thoughts? Think there’s someone I missed? Hit me up in the comments

Picture Credit: Dead Poets Society. Robin Williams – extraordinary human being. He’ll be missed.

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