Should Filmmakers Self-Distribute Their Work?

Filmmakers have many choices for distribution, now more than ever before. There's online (video-on-demand) distribution such as, iTunes, Hulu and Netflix. There's distribution to theaters, on DVD and to television broadcasters. There's international distribution and educational licensing.

For the first time in history filmmakers can build their own audiences through social media and e-marketing strategies.

In addition, there are distribution companies and experts you can hire to get your film out to the marketplace, but expect them to take a hefty fee for their services.

It can be head-spinning to understand the options and negotiate the deals. Many filmmakers take the route of self-distribution to keep more of the profits and more control of their films.

But how smart is that strategy?

Adam Leipzig is the Publisher of Cultural Weekly and Former President of National Geographic Films. In this video, he addresses the question of whether or not filmmakers should self-distribute.

What do you think about self-distribution? Leave feedback and comments below.

Comments for Should Filmmakers Self-Distribute Their Work?

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Dec 08, 2019
by: joey

I am self distributing my movie which was just released via internet ..I am renting through my own portal and partnered with PayPal to keep 94 percent of a 5 dollar rental
Check me out @
FB and Instagram @ charliesmovie
All made for 9k..all in ..I blended the cinematic camera and the iPhone camera...I coin...Cinmeaphone

Feb 25, 2013
self-distribution catch 22
by: Liz

I am a documentary filmmaker and chose the route of self-distribution when I released my film ten years ago. At that time, social media wasn't an option. In hindsight, wish that I had gotten a distribution expert to help out. It's a catch 22 because with self-distribution you keep more of the profits, but without good distribution, there are less profits overall. Tough choice for sure. Definitely my next film I'll engage the help of a distribution expert or sales agent.
Thanks for the insights!

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