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Film distribution & movie marketing seminar


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Film distribution & movie marketing slides from 4/29/10 seminar at Jimmy's in NYC. Podcast will be available soon. For updates on the audio file, join newsletter at: or follow on Twitter @AllenChou

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Film distribution & movie marketing seminar

  1. 1. Allen Chou, President 732-321-0711 [email_address] Follow me on Twitter @AllenChou Passion River Films Film Distribution & Marketing Seminar 04/29/10 - Jimmy’s #43, New York, NY
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Distributor’s story </li></ul><ul><li>Slides meant to drive panel discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Quick Q&A after presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Panel discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Panelist Q&A </li></ul><ul><li>Spread the love - meet & greet </li></ul>
  3. 3. Tweet questions using #Film429
  4. 4. Who is Passion River? <ul><li>DVD distributor (retail, on-line, & library) </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Theatrical & Theatrical </li></ul><ul><li>Educational sales </li></ul><ul><li>Digital delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcast licensing </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Exclusive </li></ul><ul><li>Netflix partner company </li></ul>
  5. 5. What’s your story?
  6. 6. Who’s sitting next to you?
  7. 7. What’s YOUR problem?
  8. 8. Got competition?
  9. 9. 229 titles per week 2009 Total DVDs released= 11,934* *Per
  10. 10. What’s my challenge?
  11. 11. Your Fear is my Fear
  12. 12. My needs My competition
  13. 13. Basic film evaluations <ul><li>Story </li></ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Buzz </li></ul><ul><li>Market potential </li></ul><ul><li>Piece of the pie </li></ul>
  14. 14. Great Film Challenges <ul><li>B&W </li></ul><ul><li>Comedies </li></ul><ul><li>Shorts </li></ul><ul><li>Problems </li></ul><ul><li>No Buzz </li></ul><ul><li>No Team </li></ul>
  15. 15. Big Guns!
  16. 16. What do theaters want? <ul><li>Built in audience </li></ul><ul><li>Mailing list </li></ul><ul><li>Long lead time </li></ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul><ul><li>Low cost </li></ul>
  17. 17. What Do Stores Want? <ul><li>Strong consumer interest </li></ul><ul><li>Fast sales & turns </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable pricing </li></ul><ul><li>Demographic match </li></ul><ul><li>Money </li></ul>
  18. 18. What do libraries want? <ul><li>Build collections </li></ul><ul><li>Service community </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant content </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable </li></ul><ul><li>Digital rights </li></ul><ul><li>PPR? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Big Sales Still DVD Retail
  20. 20. So Who’s My “Buyer”?
  21. 21. Are These My Buyers?
  22. 22. Maybe She’s My “Buyer”?
  23. 23. He’s a Buyer?
  24. 24. They’re All Buyers! <ul><li>Retail store buyers purchase what’s best for THEIR store </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers are the real clients– not stores! </li></ul>
  25. 25. Don’t cash the check…
  26. 26. Returns
  27. 27. Returns
  28. 28. Returns
  29. 29. Returns Suck!
  30. 30. Retail Store Blues <ul><li>Sam Goody, Music Land, Tower Records, Circuit City & more close </li></ul><ul><li>Blockbuster 4585 US stores 7/09, 3525 1/10 </li></ul><ul><li>Less shelf space & no budget </li></ul><ul><li>Highly competitive </li></ul><ul><li>Returns likely </li></ul>
  31. 31. On-Line Renting Changes Everything!
  32. 32. •  Over 14 million subscribers On Netflix •  Over 1-2 million subscribers on Blockbuster •  Consumer getting used to renting special interest titles on-line • Stores less interested in indie titles
  33. 33. 15+ million on-line renters Is this good for your film?
  34. 34. DVD Kiosks <ul><li>DVD kiosks placed in retail locations </li></ul><ul><li>No retail shelf space </li></ul><ul><li>Some kiosks offer burn-on-demand service </li></ul><ul><li>RedBox over 20k locations </li></ul>
  35. 35. So does RedBox want you?
  36. 36. How does my film get into the DVD retail marketplace? Home Video
  37. 37. Traditional US DVD Distribution <ul><li>Exclusive - little or no mixed rights </li></ul><ul><li>Features </li></ul><ul><li>Distributor handles keyart, marketing, & DVD replication </li></ul><ul><li>Fulfillment </li></ul>
  38. 38. DVD Release Workflow
  39. 39. DVD Release Points <ul><li>1 month between Order & Street Date </li></ul><ul><li>4 month lead time for new release </li></ul><ul><li>Street date driven sales- changing </li></ul>
  40. 40. Foreign Sales
  41. 41. Foreign Sales <ul><li>How does it work? </li></ul><ul><li>What does a foreign buyer want? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you find or meet the buyers? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the market soft now? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you sell finished DVD products? </li></ul>
  42. 42. Foreign Film Markets
  43. 43. Strategies for Foreign Film Markets <ul><li>Research - Research - Research </li></ul><ul><li>Attend markets, even if you do not have a completed film </li></ul><ul><li>Get last year’s “buyer’s list” before going </li></ul><ul><li>Get “market issue” trades (HWR, Variety,& Screen International) </li></ul><ul><li>When at a market get “buyer’s list” and collect related sales materials </li></ul>
  44. 44. Key Considerations For Foreign Film Markets <ul><li>Foreign buyers discover new titles at markets </li></ul><ul><li>Sales agents negotiate & license deals </li></ul><ul><li>Markets can be very expensive </li></ul><ul><li>Timing can be critical </li></ul>
  45. 45. DIY Foreign Sales <ul><li>Co-op booth space at markets </li></ul><ul><li>Get your own booth (expensive) </li></ul><ul><li>Can be non-exclusive </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit buyers BEFORE the market & set up appointments at “meeting locations” </li></ul><ul><li>Bring your own “standard deal memo” </li></ul><ul><li>Research Foreign Sales Companies </li></ul><ul><li>Consider making direct deals with buyers when attending </li></ul>
  46. 46. Strategies for selecting foreign sales company <ul><li>Research integrity of sales agent </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate catalog </li></ul><ul><li>Producer friendly contract </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable “market expenses” </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable commissions </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic sales figures </li></ul>
  47. 47. Digital Delivery & Sales <ul><li>Pay flat fee </li></ul><ul><li>Pay per view </li></ul><ul><li>Revenue Share </li></ul>
  48. 48. Digital Sale Points <ul><li>Must digitize to each site’s specs </li></ul><ul><li>May not be able to deal direct - may need to go through distributor </li></ul><ul><li>Streaming & Downloads help sell DVDs </li></ul><ul><li>Many “views” are not feature length </li></ul>
  49. 49. Streaming your film <ul><li>Pro’s </li></ul><ul><li>Great exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Piracy </li></ul>
  50. 50. Streaming your film <ul><li>Cons </li></ul><ul><li>• Contract review </li></ul><ul><li>• Low revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Possible propagation </li></ul><ul><li>Piracy </li></ul>
  51. 51. Think about your film’s release strategy <ul><li>How will you create buzz? </li></ul><ul><li>Who’s your marketing team? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you need film festivals? </li></ul><ul><li>What distributors could be interested? </li></ul><ul><li>Where can I sell my “product”? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do I start? </li></ul><ul><li>Day - Date? </li></ul>
  52. 52. Self Distribution
  53. 53. Where do you sell your DVD? <ul><li>Website </li></ul><ul><li>Groups, organizations, & institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Internet sites (Amazon, Ebay, etc…) </li></ul><ul><li>Independent Retail Stores </li></ul><ul><li>Local Barnes & Noble program </li></ul>
  54. 54. Keys To Successful Sales <ul><li>Create consumer awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media Optimization </li></ul><ul><li>Viral Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Word of Mouth </li></ul><ul><li>Easy access for purchases </li></ul>
  55. 55. Pro’s To Self Distribution <ul><li>You keep all the money! </li></ul><ul><li>Get payment fast </li></ul><ul><li>Rights retention </li></ul><ul><li>Your way - Your style </li></ul><ul><li>Get your film seen </li></ul><ul><li>Build customer list </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-sell other items </li></ul>
  56. 56. Con’s To Self Distribution <ul><li>Time consuming </li></ul><ul><li>Must understand movie marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Requires extensive resources (time & $) </li></ul><ul><li>Often requires hiring specialists (publicist, key art designer, web designer, & marketing consultant) </li></ul><ul><li>DVD replication, storage, & fulfillment </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t sell direct into big retail accounts </li></ul>
  57. 57. So how do I sell more DVDs, product, & book more events?
  58. 58. Learn Marketing!
  59. 59. Yes. YOU. Did you think I was going to do it for you?
  60. 60. “ Advertising is a wasted pool of resources” The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly (Hardcover) , by David Meerman Scott (Author)
  61. 61. Challenge
  62. 62. Can your audience find your: <ul><li>Project ? </li></ul><ul><li>Subject Matter ? </li></ul><ul><li>Film Screening ? </li></ul><ul><li>Talent ? </li></ul><ul><li>DVD ? </li></ul><ul><li>Website? </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube Channel? </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter account? </li></ul>
  63. 63. Geting Found Without Advertising? What’s the plan?
  64. 64. Internet Marketing Strategy <ul><li>Identify your audience (customer) </li></ul><ul><li>Find your audience </li></ul><ul><li>Allow your audience to find you </li></ul><ul><li>Engage with your audience and offer something “special” </li></ul><ul><li>Participate with your “community” </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate a “call-to-action” & conversion strategy </li></ul>
  65. 65. Define Your Conversion Goals <ul><li>Website visits </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube views & ratings </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter followers </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook friends </li></ul><ul><li>Google page results </li></ul><ul><li>DVD sales </li></ul><ul><li>Blog mentions & Re-Tweets </li></ul>-Prioritize Your List-
  66. 66. Start with Content!
  67. 67. Content is King!
  68. 68. Keyword Research <ul><li>User intent? </li></ul><ul><li>Building KW list </li></ul><ul><li>Use a KW tool </li></ul><ul><li>Generate new related KW & long tail KW </li></ul><ul><li>Divide list into groups </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize groups & select top 10 KW </li></ul><ul><li>Create new content (text, video, image, & audio) </li></ul>
  69. 69. Keyword Tools <ul><li>WordTracker </li></ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword Discovery </li></ul><ul><li>More Free & Paid… </li></ul>
  70. 70. Word Tracker
  71. 71. Google
  72. 72. Keyword Discovery
  73. 73. Who’s your customer?
  74. 74. Understand your customer <ul><li>Where do they work, live, play? </li></ul><ul><li>What are their needs? </li></ul><ul><li>Married? Children? </li></ul><ul><li>What social class are they in? </li></ul><ul><li>How old? </li></ul><ul><li>Gender? </li></ul><ul><li>Religion? </li></ul><ul><li>What languages do they speak & read? </li></ul><ul><li>Interests? </li></ul>
  75. 75. “ Food Matters” Keyword Research Case Study
  76. 76. KW: Organic Food Google Adwords Tool popular Kw idea? Kw idea?
  77. 77. Long Tail Keywords Are KEY! Low volume search terms provide BIG aggregate traffic!!
  78. 78. Food Matters Keyword List <ul><li>Organic Food </li></ul><ul><li>Organic Food Stores </li></ul><ul><li>Organic Whole Foods </li></ul><ul><li>Organic Food Recipes </li></ul><ul><li>Organic Raw Foods </li></ul><ul><li>About Organic Food </li></ul><ul><li>Organic Food List </li></ul><ul><li>Organic Food Restaurants </li></ul><ul><li>Organic Vegetarian Food </li></ul><ul><li>Health Food Stores </li></ul>
  79. 79. Create Content <ul><li>3 U’s – Useful, Updated, Unique (Seth Godin) </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm new content ideas for Text, Video, Images, & Audio </li></ul><ul><li>Remember “Long Tail”! </li></ul><ul><li>Place content on your site, blogs, social networks, & everywhere else applicable </li></ul><ul><li>Content is KING! </li></ul>
  80. 80. Food Matters Content Ideas <ul><li>Text - articles from food experts featured in DVD </li></ul><ul><li>Video - Scenes that support articles </li></ul><ul><li>Images - Farming, medical, food, & expert speakers (not always production stills) </li></ul><ul><li>Audio - Clips from film, interviews with experts, filmmakers, & fans </li></ul><ul><li>Where would you place newly created content? </li></ul>
  81. 81. Define Silos <ul><li>Create a marketing plan for each silo </li></ul><ul><li>Target silos based on keywords </li></ul><ul><li>If silo is competitive or has a lot of “noise” try tier 2 keywords & long tail phrases </li></ul>
  82. 82. “ Organic Food” Silos <ul><li>Health Foods </li></ul><ul><li>Vegetarians - Vegan Lifestyle </li></ul><ul><li>Organic Food Fans </li></ul><ul><li>Food Shopping & Recipes </li></ul><ul><li>Cooking, Meals, & Dining </li></ul><ul><li>Farming </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy Lifestyles (Yoga, Fitness, etc…) </li></ul>
  83. 83. Social Media Marketing
  84. 84. Social Media Marketing Goals <ul><li>Generate links & traffic </li></ul><ul><li>New contacts that can help </li></ul><ul><li>Sales </li></ul><ul><li>Authority building </li></ul><ul><li>Identify influencers & authorities for your targets </li></ul>
  85. 85. SMM success based on: Creativity Quality of Content
  86. 86. Where can the traffic come from?
  87. 87. StumbleUpon <ul><li>User driven popularity </li></ul><ul><li>Users vote thumbs up or down </li></ul><ul><li>Can drive large volumes of traffic, even more than Digg & Reddit </li></ul><ul><li>Videos and images work very well </li></ul><ul><li>Set up account & stumble your site </li></ul>
  88. 88. voting See next comments
  89. 90. Twitter Strategy <ul><li>Create transparent account </li></ul><ul><li>Include KW in user name if possible </li></ul><ul><li>Bio should speak to audience & include kw’s </li></ul><ul><li>Include target URL (conversion goals) </li></ul><ul><li>Tweet relevant content rich with kw’s </li></ul><ul><li>Follow & return follow </li></ul><ul><li>Show the love back </li></ul><ul><li>Use lists to find users </li></ul>
  90. 91. Twitter Tips <ul><ul><ul><li>Cultivate a strong community </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t just Tweet things that are interesting to you </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t leave air between conversation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t over Tweet </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t maintain a one-way channel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor your competitors & your KW’s </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use call-to-actions & use a URL shortner to track </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Important Tweets can be easily missed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tweet summaries 1x p/week as re-written content </li></ul></ul></ul>
  91. 92. Finding Followers -Search for like minded people- use lists -Use advanced search options -Find related influential accounts and review their followers & following -Add followers, then remove those that don’t follow back -Does your last Tweet contain relevant or useful info?
  92. 93. Bio & Url Followers ratio Keyword Rich
  93. 94. My Tweets Kw with CTA Answered question found when searching kw “Film Distribution ” Participated Useful info for My “audience” <ul><li>Key Points </li></ul><ul><li>URL redirects </li></ul><ul><li>Call to actions </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword Rich </li></ul><ul><li>Found opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>to speak & offer useful </li></ul><ul><li>& relevant info </li></ul>
  94. 95. Advanced Search
  95. 96. What your follower sees <ul><li>Is last tweet relevant or useful? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the image? </li></ul><ul><li>User name? </li></ul><ul><li>Spam test yourself </li></ul>
  96. 97. ReTweets <ul><li>Indicates your content is relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Increases your popularity </li></ul><ul><li>Gets you more followers & traffic to your URL </li></ul><ul><li>Thank users for RTs (DM or Reply) </li></ul>
  97. 98. Twitter Key Points <ul><li>GIVE - GIVE - GIVE </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute good relevant content to community </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor & find opportunities to participate with conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to what users are interested in </li></ul><ul><li>Develop conversion goals and re-direct traffic to target URLs or street level destinations </li></ul>
  98. 99. YouTube <ul><li>Ability to generate massive awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Video should include beginning and ending slates with cta </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize descriptions and content </li></ul><ul><li>Include url in description </li></ul><ul><li>Use target keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Choose target keywords in Tags </li></ul><ul><li>Label clip using target keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Upload other clips and change keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize profile </li></ul><ul><li>Ratings and votes are important socially, as well with SERP </li></ul><ul><li>Participate with comments & responses, including Bad reviews </li></ul>
  99. 100. Massive Views Content Not Optimized Massive Ratings Deep comments
  100. 101. Organic Foods - Food Matters Initial Image Link to Food Matters No URL Nice Ratings & Views
  101. 102. YouTube Key Points <ul><ul><ul><li>Think beyond the trailer - what’s your topic? (2-5 min) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content needs to relevant & interesting to viewer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>C reate a response video or link to related video </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Participate with user comments on your video & related videos </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E mbed YouTube onto your site to help increase views </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>L abel, tag, & write comments with KW in mind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Views, Ratings, & Comments are key for Google optimization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>C reate a channel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Add CTA onto video (first frame & last frame) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drive to increase conversion goals </li></ul></ul></ul>
  102. 103. Other Video Sites: <ul><li>Metacafe </li></ul><ul><li>Google video </li></ul><ul><li>Vimeo </li></ul><ul><li>More… </li></ul>
  103. 104. Flickr <ul><li>Get found in image search </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize images with target keyword descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Use keywords for file name & tags </li></ul><ul><li>Find related discussion groups & participate </li></ul><ul><li>Search by topic, location </li></ul>
  104. 105. tags discuss
  105. 106. Social Networking <ul><li>LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><li>MySpace </li></ul><ul><li>FaceBook </li></ul><ul><li>Ning </li></ul><ul><li>Forums & Mailing Lists </li></ul><ul><li>And more… </li></ul>
  106. 107. LinkedIn <ul><li>Optimize your profile </li></ul><ul><li>Connect with people & groups </li></ul><ul><li>Can generate nice traffic to your site </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in Q&A section </li></ul>
  107. 108. <ul><li>Set up fan page </li></ul><ul><li>Get friends </li></ul><ul><li>Join Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Create Events </li></ul><ul><li>Private Message influencers & authorities </li></ul><ul><li>Consider FB ads </li></ul>FaceBook
  108. 109. <ul><li>Create a social network based on primary & related keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Engage & participate with networks found </li></ul><ul><li>Consider geographic </li></ul>
  109. 110. Key Points for Social Networking <ul><li>Give- don’t take </li></ul><ul><li>Engage & participate within community </li></ul><ul><li>Be transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Win friends & influence people </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate with “you” & “your” </li></ul><ul><li>Build trust </li></ul><ul><li>Offer FREE gifts </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusive or direct access to YOU </li></ul>
  110. 111. Forums & Mailing Lists <ul><li>Newspaper Forums </li></ul><ul><li>Craig’s List (community, discussion, etc…) </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo! Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Google Groups </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Industry specific sites (,, IDA, etc…) </li></ul><ul><li>Newsletter blasts from industry sites (some organizations have 100,000’s of subscribers) </li></ul>
  111. 112. Social User Reviews <ul><li>Join the community & participate </li></ul><ul><li>Write reviews & add friends </li></ul><ul><li>Build a solid reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful if “self-reviewing” </li></ul><ul><li> (cross linking & listmania) </li></ul><ul><li>Netflix, Yelp, Yahoo & Google Answers </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Fickr </li></ul>
  112. 113. On-Line Publicity Strategies <ul><li>Journalists bombarded </li></ul><ul><li>On-line PR often read by consumers </li></ul><ul><li>PR are distributed via RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Getting your story “picked up” & re-written onto a site is best </li></ul><ul><li>Indexed as “News” on search engines, so date & time sensitive </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t send releases at end of the week </li></ul>
  113. 114. Submitting a Press Release via Wire Service <ul><li>Releases distributed on the internet should be SEO </li></ul><ul><li>Use wire services: PRweb, PRNewsire, & dozens of free wire services </li></ul><ul><li>Some services are expensive </li></ul><ul><li>Writing services available </li></ul>
  114. 115. Unique Press Releases <ul><li>Integrate traditional promotions </li></ul><ul><li>Contests </li></ul><ul><li>Give aways </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusive interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Etc… </li></ul>
  115. 116. Google Alerts <ul><li>Sign up & monitor your keywords, including your name, project, & competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Participate immediately, especially for damage control </li></ul>
  116. 117. Website Analytics <ul><li>“ ABC” - A lways B e C onverting </li></ul><ul><li>“ ABT” - A lways B e T esting </li></ul><ul><li>Track your progress </li></ul><ul><li>Where is your traffic coming from? </li></ul><ul><li>What keywords were you found with? </li></ul>
  117. 118. “ Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want” Dan Stanford A reminder that failure isn’t just acceptable- but essential.
  118. 119. Recommend website: <ul><li>www. SearchEngineWatch .com </li></ul>
  119. 120. -Remember- Hope is not a marketing strategy
  120. 121. Thank You! Be our friend on FaceBook- Passion River Follow me on Twitter @AllenChou Join our mailing list at: www. MarketMyMovie .com