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Distribution Case Study Masterlist
By Ted Hope
Okay, I am disappointed. Again. This is 2013. It’s not what I thought the future would look like. Don’t get me started, but I did think things would be better for us, and certainly in the Direct Distribution world. I thought we knew that we were all in this together. I thought we knew that if we shared information it would lift us all up higher. That is why I created this blog after all. But of course if knowledge and information changed behavior, no one would smoke, eat refined sugar, or have unprotected sex. But I digress… I went looking for all the Distribution Case Studies I could find, and have compiled them for you. Maybe I am not a good researcher. Maybe you are not either, as this is really a crowdsourced list. By my count it currently is only six films long, plus the great collection that Film Independent has pulled together of another TEN films. I was going to wait until I found ten, but I figure that would mean I would not post until 2015. Ted’s Note: Since posting this, many of you have shared. I have grown pleased with this list, and very pleased that we are all working to build it better together. Please keep emailing me or placing in the comments any additions you have. Please read some of these before making your next (or first film)! DISTRIBUTION CASE STUDY MASTER LIST:
- AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story http://bit.ly/1alXFCE (US doc; hybrid strategy)
- BASS ACKWARDS (US narrative, micro budget, used “Sundance as a publicity platform for releasing the picture directly into the marketplace; to subvert the system of selling one’s film at a major festival and instead to use Sundance as a vehicle to go directly to the audience”) http://bit.ly/1aPXpOb
- BEING GINGER http://bit.ly/GNJcXa (Scottish doc) and update on how hard it really is:
- BLAST! http://bit.ly/15MR054 (US Doc; direct distro; strong education market exploitation). Not so much a “case study” as an overview article.
- BONES BRIGADE http://bit.ly/1aa7fHz (US doc, utilizing great merchandise; direct distro)
- ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW: http://bit.ly/HqntWs (US Indie feature; direct distro via PDA) Okay, it’s not a case study — just a release of intial D&D VOD numbers, but it’s a start.
- FAVOR http://bit.ly/1mXvxj7 (US Micro Indie Theatrically Released via crowdsourced screenings)
- A FIELD IN ENGLAND: http://bit.ly/IpWBFY (UK micro-budget feature, day&date UK multiplatform release)
- I AM BREATHING: http://www.iambreathingfilm.com (UK doc on ALS, not a case study but a good example of a direct distribution website)
- INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE http://bit.ly/19zh9rk (Canadian doc; direct distribution)
- LUCIA (The First 10 Days Of Online Release) http://bit.ly/17VODO1
- OBJECTIFIED http://bit.ly/Kci5qy (US Doc, filmmaker toured with film)
- SOUND IT OUT: http://bit.ly/17JTrSH (UK doc, utilizing crowd funding)
- STAINED (2010): http://bit.ly/1aRaggY (Canadian horror film)
- TRANSCENDENT MAN: http://bit.ly/1c203lh (US doc, a hybrid model utilizing a special event tour, collapsed windows across all mediums, and innovative new portals through which to share the film.
- THE WAY WE GET BY: The DIY Chronicles (US Doc)
- WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY: http://bit.ly/1aaIizJ (US narrative)
CASE STUDY COLLECTIONS — COURTESY OF FILM SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS: BFI – Great listing of films & case studies of how distribs are using new ways of reaching audiences, such as using new marketing techniques, new distribution platforms or innovative exhibition models. bit.ly/18p4i8M Film Independent has a good listing of case studies. http://www.filmindependent.org/case-studies/
Including BURN (US Doc) – which is already recognized as a great example of DIY.
IndieWire did a brief overview of what was working with 6 Doc films from HotDocs in 2010. Jon Reiss, Shari Candler, Orly Ravid & The Film Collaborative put out the book “Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul” which has several case studies of DIY in it. CASE STUDIES ON ASPECTS OTHER THAN JUST DISTRIBUTION Okay, this one is not “Distribution” but back before The Celebrities took to crowdfunding for 7fig raises, Jennifer Fox had record success with “MY REINCARNATION” (US Doc) and shared it with us all:
- The First 6 Tips For A Successful Kickstarter Campaign
- The Next 14 Things I Learned From Our Successful Six Figure Kickstarter Campaign
NOT CASE STUDIES… BUT GREAT EXAMPLES OF METHODS OF DISTRIBUTION, MARKETING, & ENGAGEMENT Austin-based Brian Briskey just did a whole lot of good work for all of you! The list below focus on those that benefit from Direct To Community (I think it a lot more than D2Fan) engagement (again, more than just marketing). I will organize this at a later date but for now check out all these great examples!
- One of the largest crowdfunded and crowdinvested - http://www.ironsky.net/
- One of the largest crowdSOURCED films - http://en.cosmonautexperience.com/
- Freemium model with strong Direct To Fan Marketing - http://www.roadhomefilm.com/
- Indie horror example in collaboration http://www.thetunnelmovie.net/
- Commercial driven and crowdsourced movie experience - http://www.insidefilms.com/en/
- Up and coming horror director building a relationship with her audience - http://www.karenlamfilms.com/
- Any and all collaborative things by Tiffany Shlain - http://letitripple.org/
- Collaborative movie project on the Occupy Movement - http://www.99percentfilm.com/
- Advocacy and activism online - http://www.ecowarriorsrise.com/
- Niche and innovative evangelism - http://www.ridethedividemovie.com/
- Strategicly partnering and fostering good will - http://flatlinetofinishline.com/
- Niche and well executed online campaign/crowdfunding - http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/
- Collaborative and Niche (formerly Blue Potato) - http://beneaththeharvestsky.com/
- Direct to Fan oriented - http://www.objectifiedfilm.com/
- Transmedia excellence - http://www.collapsus.com/
- Crowdfunded,sourced,supported,etc. - http://www.kickstartedmovie.com/
- Humanitarian series of featureless - http://respectfulrevolution.org/