SXSW ’13 Interview – Fandor BONUS

Tweet Part of the fun of SXSW is not just the sessions, the films, the Chevys and the parties but the people you meet, waiting in line for films. Such was the case for Jonathan Marlow of online distribution platform Fandor and me. We were waiting to see press screeners at this year’s SXSW and voila an interview was born! Check it out below. It’s in 5 parts. This is Part 5. Check out Parts 1,  2 , 3 and 4. Sometimes the unexpected happens during an interview. This one was no exception. The good folks at SXSW Music were kind enough to let us use their interview room to conduct ours as the Film Fest began to wind down and Music began to ramp up. Listen as Jonathan Marlow and I take a quick moment to geek out over a mutual idol we spotted in the room So hopefully you’ve read all of the interview parts. Would you consider using Fandor to distribute your...

SXSW ’13 Interview – Fandor on Digital Distribution

Tweet Part of the fun of SXSW is not just the sessions, the films, the Chevys and the parties but the people you meet, waiting in line for films. Such was the case for Jonathan Marlow of online distribution platform Fandor and me. We were waiting to see press screeners at this year’s SXSW and voila an interview was born! Check it out below. It’s in 5 parts. This is Part 4. Check out Parts 1,  2 and 3.   JM …That is one of the issues with the complexities of rights. Unless you’re working directly with the filmmaker and they’ve retained all of their digital distribution rights, it becomes necessary to piece the assorted rights together from numerous locations. For instance, we’ve recently licensed the short films of Jay and Mark Duplass. I’ve adored their short films since the first time that I saw them. I would like to license their features, too, but each one has a different distributor. It is rather difficult to create a comprehensive selection of their works. The same is true with David and Nathan Zellner. We have nearly every short film they’ve ever directed. We also have their second feature on the service. Their third feature is available from IFC and we do not presently have a licensing pact with them. The Zellners’ latest film, Kid-Thing, is in theaters now through Factory 25. We have a great relationship with them and, at some point, Kid-Thing will debut on Fandor, too. But the entire process is particularly convoluted. To do this correctly, it represents a ridiculous amount of work. BTBO: So you tend to get films after somebody else has them?  JM: Not necessarily. I noticed that...

SXSW ’13 Interview – Getting Paid for Your Indie Film by Fandor

Tweet Part of the fun of SXSW is not just the sessions, the films, the Chevys and the parties but the people you meet, waiting in line for films. Such was the case for Jonathan Marlow of online distribution platform Fandor and me. We were waiting to see press screeners at this year’sSXSW and voila an interview was born! Check it out below. It’s in 5 parts. This is Part 2. Check out Part 1. BTBO: How does it work? JM: Nearly all of our agreements are non-exclusive. However, we have a number of what I refer to as de facto exclusives where individual filmmakers have made a licensing arrangement with us but they have no great desire to do any other deals. Or, perhaps explained somewhat better, filmmakers who have otherwise been reluctant to distribute their work digitally are ultimately convinced to do a deal with us and then they’re not inclined to work with anyone else. We also have a number of folks who approach me after they’ve done a deal with Fandor and ask, “Is it okay if somebody approached us about making our film available elsewhere?” We encourage our partners to license their work whenever and wherever they’re able. If I were someone that made shoes, I wouldn’t try to sell them only in one place. I’d want them available wherever people who were looking for shoes would go. If you’re a filmmaker, you should want your work in front of the people who want to see films. BTBO: You mentioned that your model is very different. How do filmmakers get paid? Is it a lump sum?  JM: I would say that there...
SXSW ’13 Interview – Submitting Your Film to Fandor

SXSW ’13 Interview – Submitting Your Film to Fandor

Tweet Part of the fun of SXSWis not just the sessions, the films, the Chevys and the parties but the people you meet, waiting in line for films. Such was the case for Jonathan Marlow of online distribution platform Fandor and me. We were waiting to see press screeners at this year’sSXSW and voila an interview was born! Check it out below. It’s in 5 parts. This is Part 1. BTBO: What do you do for Fandor? JM: I co-founded the company with Dan Aronson and Albert Reinhardt. We created the founding principles in mid-2009, launched the beta version of the service in September 2010 and debuted Fandor to the public at SXSW six months later. Albert comes from a design and product background and Dan is a technologist and serial entrepreneur. I bring the entertainment industry side of the equation and I am responsible for film acquisitions. Every film that appears on Fandor passes by my desk at some point. BTBO: And how many films are on Fandor right now? JM: There are nearly 4,000 films available on Fandor at the moment. As a curated service, we are always looking for great documentaries and narrative films from around the world. We’re duration agnostic–we have films that are less than a minute in length to one that is twelve hours long–and we’re not particularly concerned about the year in which they were made (though recent releases tend to perform quite a bit better than older films). We’re also very particular about the quality of what we make available on the service. In many cases, we’ve licensed a film and we’re waiting for...

Online Film Distribution 101 – Download or Stream Your Movie – Part 2

Tweet This is a follow up to the previous post called Online Film Distribution 101 but with new entrants to the streaming market: WatchFilm, PreScreen, Constellation and FilmDIY. They each have a slightly different approach and here I just focus on what’s important.  I am eager to hear your thoughts on them, whether you’d consider using them or you have used them.    WatchFilm A new entrant to the streaming video scene, WatchFilm is comparable to Dynamo and Distrify. They take a cut, have no monthly fee, seem to be focused on the UK as the currency they use when I looked at it last was Pounds Sterling. Of the four, WatchFilm takes the least as of this writing, in the neighbourhood of 25% I believe. The viewer sees a trailer of the film then can buy or rent  your film for 24 hours.  They also support iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices.   Prescreen   Prescreen takes a slightly different tack. This was created by the founder of Groupon and you can see the influence.  Each film is up for 30 days. They start off on the first day with a lower price and encourage people to share with their friends to encourage sales. After the first day the price goes up. Upon signing up for an account some basic demographic information is collected. That information is shared with you the filmmaker to help you target your marketing after (or while for that matter) your film is up on the site. They take half of the proceeds.     Constellation Constellation employs the theater/ticket model Tribeca Film Festival has...
Online Film Distribution 101 – Download or Stream Your Movie

Online Film Distribution 101 – Download or Stream Your Movie

Tweet   Here’s a quick primer on making your film available for download or streaming. Download means you make it so that your film will reside on someone’s computer or device. Depending on someone’s internet connection it might take a while for them to access your content, however, this method is good in that once your audience has it, they have it and in high quality. Your film won’t be subject to choppy video, stops and starts etc. In order to do this all you need is to upload your film to your website, create a link to the file and it’s available for people to download. iTunes is another popular way to make your content available for download onto a PC. iTunes only works with aggregators to get film content, unlike music where they are far more open. So you will have to submit your film to an aggregator who will then submit it to iTunes for approval. Examples of aggregators are Indieflix, Distribber and New Video Group. Oh, that’s another thing to notice, Apple has to approve your film. This process is not instantaneous but I have heard 2 weeks is about the average amount of time. There are ways around this though. How do I make money on iTunes? When you make your content available for download, you can charge people before they download it. iTunes has this capability built in. iTunes does a 70%/ 30% split with the content creator getting 70% of the price. The aggregator may take a portion of this depending on their business model or they may just charge you a flat fee...
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