We’re going to look at 3 myths relating to distribution.  These myths may have kernels of truth in them. Yet they are by no means strict rules to live by, so we’ll call them “myths”.

 

MYTH #1 : YOU ONLY GET DISTRIBUTED IF YOU ALREADY KNOW SOMEONE IN THE INDUSTRY

 

Kernel of Truth: You must work with other people in order to get your project distributed.  However, you can still move forward if you don’t know anyone NOW. You just need to learn how to meet people.

 

The entertainment industry is insanely competitive.  The epicenter is in Los Angeles, regardless of how many other locations are involved in the actual production process.  That doesn’t mean you need to live in LA to be part of the industry; although it doesn’t hurt if you can get there at some point. 

We’re going to look at 3 myths relating to distribution.  These myths may have kernels of truth in them. Yet they are by no means strict rules to live by, so we’ll call them “myths”.

 

MYTH #1 : YOU ONLY GET DISTRIBUTED IF YOU ALREADY KNOW SOMEONE IN THE INDUSTRY

 

Kernel of Truth: You must work with other people in order to get your project distributed.  However, you can still move forward if you don’t know anyone NOW. You just need to learn how to meet people.

 

The entertainment industry is insanely competitive.  The epicenter is in Los Angeles, regardless of how many other locations are involved in the actual production process.  That doesn’t mean you need to live in LA to be part of the industry; although it doesn’t hurt if you can get there at some point. 

Copyright 2016-2017 Global Media Fusion, Inc.

Copyright 2016-2017 Global Media Fusion, Inc.

Pitch@MovieHatch.com

New York - Los Angeles

London - Austin

Pitch@MovieHatch.com

New York - Los Angeles

London - Austin

Everyone has a story to tell. 

Hasn’t everybody dreamt about winning an Oscar or a Golden Globe or Bafta or Grammy? That’s just a part of childhood daydreaming.

Yet how does YOUR story get told… and distributed around the world? 

It’s a complex question with no single answer.  

In fact, there may be as many paths to accomplishing it as there are stories being told… But some ways are better than others.

All industry professionals will have a point of view on this subject.  

We’re no different!   

Each writer, or producer, has their own unique set of circumstances, skills and desires.  

That simply means that any one piece of advice needs to be taken with the caveat that it should be tailored for an individual situation.

It’s your job (or “ours” if we end up working together) to sift through the options and find the best path for your project.

Everyone has a story to tell. 

Hasn’t everybody dreamt about winning an Oscar or a Golden Globe or Bafta or Grammy? That’s just a part of childhood daydreaming.

Yet how does YOUR story get told… and distributed around the world? 

It’s a complex question with no single answer.  

In fact, there may be as many paths to accomplishing it as there are stories being told… But some ways are better than others.

All industry professionals will have a point of view on this subject.  

We’re no different!   

Each writer, or producer, has their own unique set of circumstances, skills and desires.  

That simply means that any one piece of advice needs to be taken with the caveat that it should be tailored for an individual situation.

It’s your job (or “ours” if we end up working together) to sift through the options and find the best path for your project.

3 Myths of distribution

3 Myths of distribution

It’s likely you’ll be hiring a distributor at some point to help.  

Without a fully produced project, it’s as if you’re asking them to work for commissions but saying there may never be a commission. It means they’re taking a huge risk.

In order to do that, there must be a personal interest in the project, the subject matter, the creation of it or just believe it’s a home run.  

It’s your job to persuade them of those things.

So ultimately, you don’t need to have completed project to get distribution.  

But it’s going to take some creative, crafty work on your end to find someone to take it on.

MYTH 3 : U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION ARE THE SAME PROCESS

Kernel of Truth : Distribution in this industry has one definition – to get the project spread around the world. 

The literal process of distribution has similarities everywhere but the approaches to the U.S. and International couldn’t be farther apart.

The United States seems to be a holy grail of distribution for some people but the reality is that international distribution can actually be far more lucrative and easy to obtain.

Why?

It’s all about numbers.

The U.S. has a few major networks and a handful of major cable players.  

There are plenty of small cable networks but they don’t have the same audience figures so fall into the shadows sometimes.

The rest of the world?  There are hundreds of countries and networks to call on.  

It’s a complex, time-consuming process, but the potential is there.

It’s likely you’ll be hiring a distributor at some point to help.  

Without a fully produced project, it’s as if you’re asking them to work for commissions but saying there may never be a commission. It means they’re taking a huge risk.

In order to do that, there must be a personal interest in the project, the subject matter, the creation of it or just believe it’s a home run.  

It’s your job to persuade them of those things.

So ultimately, you don’t need to have completed project to get distribution.  

But it’s going to take some creative, crafty work on your end to find someone to take it on.

MYTH 3 : U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION ARE THE SAME PROCESS

Kernel of Truth : Distribution in this industry has one definition – to get the project spread around the world. 

The literal process of distribution has similarities everywhere but the approaches to the U.S. and International couldn’t be farther apart.

The United States seems to be a holy grail of distribution for some people but the reality is that international distribution can actually be far more lucrative and easy to obtain.

Why?

It’s all about numbers.

The U.S. has a few major networks and a handful of major cable players.  

There are plenty of small cable networks but they don’t have the same audience figures so fall into the shadows sometimes.

The rest of the world?  There are hundreds of countries and networks to call on.  

It’s a complex, time-consuming process, but the potential is there.

Maybe you’ll encounter someone are trying just like you to break in. 

The more people you network and talk with, the more people you’ll have on hand when an opportunity does break.

Maybe your “commiseration buddy” from the online local writer’s group meets an important industry player and brings you along because they need your skillset.

And then, poof.  You DO know somebody in the industry!

The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t throw your hands up in defeat just because you don’t know someone influential in the industry at this moment in time.  

Keep focusing on your immediate goals and you’ll get where you need to go.

You can also keep in mind that it took Leonardo DeCaprio over 7 years to get THE WOLF OF WALLSTREET produced and distributed, and he knows everybody in the industry.  

So what does that say?

That is isn’t necessarily WHO you know but how hard you keep pushing forward.

Maybe you’ll encounter someone are trying just like you to break in. 

The more people you network and talk with, the more people you’ll have on hand when an opportunity does break.

Maybe your “commiseration buddy” from the online local writer’s group meets an important industry player and brings you along because they need your skillset.

And then, poof.  You DO know somebody in the industry!

The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t throw your hands up in defeat just because you don’t know someone influential in the industry at this moment in time.  

Keep focusing on your immediate goals and you’ll get where you need to go.

You can also keep in mind that it took Leonardo DeCaprio over 7 years to get THE WOLF OF WALLSTREET produced and distributed, and he knows everybody in the industry.  

So what does that say?

That is isn’t necessarily WHO you know but how hard you keep pushing forward.

You might be at the proverbial Hollywood coffee shop or buying jeans in Macy’s.  

The person at the table next to you will most likely be working on a script and may ask to borrow your sugar. 

The person in the next fitting room might absentmindedly ask for your opinion on how something fits.

It happens.

That’s when you get a chance to say a few words and strike up a conversation.

Networking is a critical part of any business or industry.  Otherwise we all just work in that vacuum called our living room. 

 And yet we no longer need to be in the same room as a person in order to network effectively with them.  

If you can’t get to that coffee shop in LA, you can join online industry forums or groups.  You may tell yourself this is different from networking in-person, but the only difference is the communication method.  

One is in-person verbal, the other written.

You’ll need to have a verbal exchange at some point in order to get anything of significance accomplished. 

It’s just a matter of when.  That can be a phone call or a Skype or Facetime call.  

Unless you’re incredibly wealthy and can pay your way through an entire process, you’ll need to collaborate to get your work out there.  

A film or tv show generally can’t be produced without a team working in the same location. 

Of course we hear about the exceptional one-man show– one person who writes, directs, acts and edits – but this is rare.

You might be at the proverbial Hollywood coffee shop or buying jeans in Macy’s.  

The person at the table next to you will most likely be working on a script and may ask to borrow your sugar. 

The person in the next fitting room might absentmindedly ask for your opinion on how something fits.

It happens.

That’s when you get a chance to say a few words and strike up a conversation.

Networking is a critical part of any business or industry.  Otherwise we all just work in that vacuum called our living room. 

 And yet we no longer need to be in the same room as a person in order to network effectively with them.  

If you can’t get to that coffee shop in LA, you can join online industry forums or groups.  You may tell yourself this is different from networking in-person, but the only difference is the communication method.  

One is in-person verbal, the other written.

You’ll need to have a verbal exchange at some point in order to get anything of significance accomplished. 

It’s just a matter of when.  That can be a phone call or a Skype or Facetime call.  

Unless you’re incredibly wealthy and can pay your way through an entire process, you’ll need to collaborate to get your work out there.  

A film or tv show generally can’t be produced without a team working in the same location. 

Of course we hear about the exceptional one-man show– one person who writes, directs, acts and edits – but this is rare.

BLOG

BLOG

3 Myths of

Distribution

3 Myths of

Distribution

Advice should be tailored for your individual situation

Advice should be tailored for your individual situation

There are dozens of ways to get your project distributed

There are dozens of ways to get your project distributed

MYTH 2 : YOUR SHOW/FILM MUST BE FULLY PRODUCED TO GET A DISTRIBUTION DEAL

 

Kernel of Truth : If a show or film is completed, the process is certainly simpler to distribute.  

A network or buyer can watch the project and decide “yes or no”.  

There are two choices only.  That’s quicker and more straightforward, for sure. 

While it’s simpler if you have a finished product in hand, it can also be problematic because a network or buyer can watch the project and decide “yes or no”.  

Yes, it’s the same sentence as above.

If you have something already produced, people can like it or not.  If they say no however, that’s it.  You’re done.

If it’s not produced yet, they can have input and what might have been a “no”, is now a “maybe”.  

So now you have a chance.

Our team has been working in the entertainment industry for a collective 60+ years.  

We’ve seen all types of arrangements and all types of deals.  Some big.  Some small.

We’ve had meetings with networks where they request a show that has only been presented in concept.  

Sometimes the concept hasn’t even been flushed out but meets the needs and requirements of the network.

It takes a LOT more work to find distribution deals without a finished product.  

Hours upon hours of work, promotional materials, sample reels and negotiation must take place and if there is no actual product, there is no guarantee that there ever will be one.

What does that mean?

Simply, that the person doing all the work to get the deal is sticking their neck out on a possibility

MYTH 2 : YOUR SHOW/FILM MUST BE FULLY PRODUCED TO GET A DISTRIBUTION DEAL

 

Kernel of Truth : If a show or film is completed, the process is certainly simpler to distribute.  

A network or buyer can watch the project and decide “yes or no”.  

There are two choices only.  That’s quicker and more straightforward, for sure. 

While it’s simpler if you have a finished product in hand, it can also be problematic because a network or buyer can watch the project and decide “yes or no”.  

Yes, it’s the same sentence as above.

If you have something already produced, people can like it or not.  If they say no however, that’s it.  You’re done.

If it’s not produced yet, they can have input and what might have been a “no”, is now a “maybe”.  

So now you have a chance.

Our team has been working in the entertainment industry for a collective 60+ years.  

We’ve seen all types of arrangements and all types of deals.  Some big.  Some small.

We’ve had meetings with networks where they request a show that has only been presented in concept.  

Sometimes the concept hasn’t even been flushed out but meets the needs and requirements of the network.

It takes a LOT more work to find distribution deals without a finished product.  

Hours upon hours of work, promotional materials, sample reels and negotiation must take place and if there is no actual product, there is no guarantee that there ever will be one.

What does that mean?

Simply, that the person doing all the work to get the deal is sticking their neck out on a possibility

A sure thing - meaning fully produced -is easier to sell than just a concept or possibility of a show/film

A sure thing - meaning fully produced -is easier to sell than just a concept or possibility of a show/film

Why else would shows like American Idol or The Voice or Friends have syndication and licensing deals set up all over the world?  

Because the numbers are there.  

There are over 7 billion people in the world right now.  

There are almost 1.6 billion television households and the United States only accounts for about 120 million of them.

That means there are FAR more outlet opportunities outside the U.S.; they just don’t all have the prestige of American networks.  

Collectively, however, they can add up to far more coverage, and revenue. 

For instance, if you can’t get into Italy, try France.  

If you can’t get in to France, go to Russia.  Or South Africa. Or Brazil.  

The list goes on. 

When you can only get a small licensing fee from a small country, you may think it’s not worth it.  

However, when you have dozens of small countries, you’ll look at it differently.

It takes a lot of time, money, connections and patience but it can be done.

We’ve had shows that do well in countries outside the U.S. and that fact alone makes them more appealing to U.S. outlets.  

It’s a reverse process if you’re based in the U.S., but it works.

Bottomline, keep your mind, and eyes, open when thinking about your distribution strategy.  

Not everything you hear is 100% true and may not apply to your unique situation.  

Don’t ever let ‘chatter’ stop you from persevering and marching forward with your dreams of distribution.  

If you want more advise or information, reach out to us.  

We’ll post more blogs on the subject but also offer coaching and pitching feedback sessions.  

You’ll find them in the Work With Us section of our website.

Please join us for further discussions on FB, twitter or our FB private group

Why else would shows like American Idol or The Voice or Friends have syndication and licensing deals set up all over the world?  

Because the numbers are there.  

There are over 7 billion people in the world right now.  

There are almost 1.6 billion television households and the United States only accounts for about 120 million of them.

That means there are FAR more outlet opportunities outside the U.S.; they just don’t all have the prestige of American networks.  

Collectively, however, they can add up to far more coverage, and revenue. 

For instance, if you can’t get into Italy, try France.  

If you can’t get in to France, go to Russia.  Or South Africa. Or Brazil.  

The list goes on. 

When you can only get a small licensing fee from a small country, you may think it’s not worth it.  

However, when you have dozens of small countries, you’ll look at it differently.

It takes a lot of time, money, connections and patience but it can be done.

We’ve had shows that do well in countries outside the U.S. and that fact alone makes them more appealing to U.S. outlets.  

It’s a reverse process if you’re based in the U.S., but it works.

Bottomline, keep your mind, and eyes, open when thinking about your distribution strategy.  

Not everything you hear is 100% true and may not apply to your unique situation.  

Don’t ever let ‘chatter’ stop you from persevering and marching forward with your dreams of distribution.  

If you want more advise or information, reach out to us.  

We’ll post more blogs on the subject but also offer coaching and pitching feedback sessions.  

You’ll find them in the Work With Us section of our website.

Please join us for further discussions on FB, twitter or our FB private group

Join us on social media:

www.Facebook.com/MovieHatch

www.Twitter.com/MovieHatch

www.instagram.com/MovieHatch

    

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Please share this blog with your friends:

 

Want to see some of our other blogs?

 

Why We Care So Much for TV Characters

Pitching Do's and Don'ts

Confidence for Creative People

The Film & TV Process

Join us on social media:

www.Facebook.com/MovieHatch

www.Twitter.com/MovieHatch

www.instagram.com/MovieHatch

    

It’s not fair not to share!

Please share this blog with your friends:

 

Want to see some of our other blogs?

 

Why We Care So Much for TV Characters

Pitching Do's and Don'ts

Confidence for Creative People

The Film & TV Process