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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
I ordered Reiss' book as soon as I heard about it, as I had just finished shooting my first feature film this summer. I wish we had this book last year! But we are still in post-production so we'll get at least a metric ton of valuable information even at this point in the process to put into use before we finish the final edit and release our film. Now, the question is: how will we release it?
Many people would tell you the film business is somewhat broken and you cannot rely on a huge win at a festival and having your film bought and vaulted to hundreds of screens. This being the case, you have to work a little harder, you have to know how to manage your rights (digital and otherwise), how to market and reach your audience yourself and more than you ever thought as a filmmaker. Jon's book is very timely, full of current information (but he should sell it with a PDF update for future revisions!) and has answers to all types of questions. Theatrical? Festival? DVD? VOD? Streaming? BitTorrent? And how much time and money does this all take to do this DIY (do it yourself) anyway? How do I use social media to reach my audience? There are a million questions and Jon covers them all, and ably, too. I cannot recommend this book enough, especially for the price. Get yours now before Reiss figures out what a goldmine he's got here and starts charging $2,995 for a seminar that covers the same! Seriously, you could spend a lot of money on seminars and such and not get as much value as you get in "Think Outside the Box Office."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
Everyone knows that no one knows exactly where the independent film world is heading - but the people who help it find its way will no doubt be greatly influenced by this book.

For the past year I have been reading all the great blogs and information that is out there. Among the best: Ted Hope's Truly Free Film, Power to the Pixel, The Workbook Project/ DIY Days. This book along with Scott Kirsner's "Fans, Friends, and Followers" are, in my opinion, the two most important books to have if you're committed to creating and building an audience for you and your film.

John's book contains the best current information and tools from all over the web in one place. This combined with his own personal experiences in DIY make it a bible for a new generation of filmmakers. But as he recognizes, this is a work that will continue to grow as filmmakers experiment with new tools and strategies.

Yes, it is dense. Good. We don't need more endless circle jerk conversations where everyone leaves more confused than when they entered. Lets start getting stuff done.

I've recently finished my first feature script and am in the process of putting together a strategy for my film using many of the ideas contained in this book. I keep it next to me 24/7.

The most exciting part of the book for me is that John recognizes that this industry is in flux - and therefore the conversation doesn't end with the book. He'll be launching a website soon where all of us can come and add to the conversation the book starts. What works, what doesn't, what are new tools we can use to make sure we're laying the foundation for long careers and not financial ruin.

I highly recommend ordering this book.

Jesse Shapiro

ps. I recognize I'm the first review and that always looks fishy. Full disclosure: I've never met John or spoken to him. I saw him from afar at the filmmaker forum this year. He looked like a nice enough guy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm just into reading this book, but find the step-by-step instructions/information very helpful. Reiss is not only an excellent filmmaker, he also knows his stuff here. based on my own research/knowledge the information presented is complete and maintains a conversational approach and independent perspective. For newcomers, the step-by-step method makes the BIG process of filmm aking and DIY distribution feel achievable and accessible.

Good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
(Context: Having been around around the block with my no-budget 1st feature distributor-free even after Sundance/Berlin, I saw the light and abandoned film for a webseries in '07. )

I'd never even heard of Jon Reiss or his doc BOMB IT when I bought my copy of THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX OFFICE at the IFP 09. (The extent of my relationship with Reiss is that I bought the book, he signed it, I said 'thank you' and months later I twittered about it once.) Wish it had been written two years ago as it would have saved me months of hours of trying to figure out the 'outreach'/distribution angle so critical to making web video production a paying (instead of a volunteer) job.

The book has no fat, no fluff. It's hard core, detailed, factual information covering everything from how to set up an effective website which search engines will be able to find, to the privacy settings you should use on the different types of fb GROUP accounts to maximize the splash of one fb post. Digital rights, merchandise, publicity, crowd sourcing are just some of the areas Reiss covers. There are a lot of actions he recommends taking which could take months of work even with an army of interns helping. Think of it like the course work for an MBA in monetizing media. As another commenter said, this book and Scott Kirsner's FANS, FRIENDS & FOLLOWERS are indispensable for anyone making media today. I'm grateful that Reiss 'rushed it out' with a few typos. It's gold.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If you are an indie filmmaker or producer, don't get this book. It's so full of amazing information that I don't want you to have it, too. It contains everything you should know about film distribution RIGHT NOW. Everything. It's an easy and quick read, but very dense with valuable facts and statistics that will give you the advantage over the sea of other struggling filmmakers.

Marketing has always been hand in hand with filmmaking, but this book proves that marketing is potentially more important than the film itself, if you want to see success. The best thing about the book is that it defines different kinds of success. Success doesn't just mean money. There are more significant measurements of success for the indie filmmaker depending on what level you are at and what your goals are.

Okay, I've said enough. Please don't buy this book. It will unlock too many secrets of film distribution and put you ahead of the game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
I heard Jon talk recently at the IFC Center and I stopped taking notes after the first 5 minutes because I knew I was going to buy this book. Many of these do-it-yourself, how-to, DIY books are written by people in the business, but they're rarely written by filmmakers. This was key for me as Jon has been in the trenches. As a filmmaker, Jon has sweated all the details, sacrificed and fought to get his films seen and is sharing invaluable information so you won't have to make the same mistakes. If you're serious about your film and recognize that the market for independent cinema has changed so dramatically that you're going to have to take distribution into your own hands, then you want this book in your corner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Yes, indie filmmakers have all heard about hybrid and DIY distribution, but the information is scattered and our understanding of it is piecemeal at best. Jon's book is the single most comprehensive and up-to-date resource for all things distribution. His own real world experiences, and interviews with other pioneers, offer an education both on the macro and micro levels of these new models. It's cutting-edge, inspirational and practical, if your movie wasn't picked up by a studio for distribution, this is the must-have book for all filmmakers working today. - Liam Finn, Rejouer - The First HDSLR Feature Length Movie - [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a new absolutely must-have for any filmmaker, aspiring or established. It successfully details the current (and sorry) state of traditional film distribution, while providing positive, realistic alternatives to take advantage of the digital world and the power of audience building to guide your project down a successful path. The book is clear, articulate, comprehensive and practical. A terrific resource for anyone interested in maximizing exposure and revenue for their film or digital media project.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was recommend to me at a film distribution seminar taught by Allen Chou. The book takes a different method from other similar books by presenting a step-by-step method for distributing and marketing your own film. The book also includes some topics not covered in Chou's seminar. Reiss' experience as a filmmaker really helps with real world examples of how he marketed & sold his film, rather than just "text book talk" from authors that have a primary background in education or journalism.
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on April 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
EVERY filmmaker should have this book in their library, period. In this day and age, you simply can't afford not to. More than that, the deal you're being offered by a distributor for your film (if you're being offered one at all) might not look as good as the "deal" you're willing to make with yourself for the movie you worked hard and sacrificed TONS for. Even if you decide not to self-distribute, you should know about the options available to you. You owe it to yourself and your film.

Think Outside the Box Office (purrrrrfect title!)is chock-full o' ideas on how to market, strategize and monetize your film. I found myself scribbling--"riffing"--from the ideas Jon offers and applied them to my own film. I am now in the process of devising a comprehensive marketing strategy for a pretty unique movie. The truth is, before I bought this book, I was dreading the marketing process; now, I can honestly say I'm really looking forward to it.

The writing is very filmmaker friendly-- that is, writing geared to "creative types" who would otherwise leave marketing, distribution to, well, marketers and distributors. Jon's easy style makes things simple to understand and implement, particularly to "non-tech saavy" folks like myself.

If you are really serious about taking your film/destiny in your hands hands AND YOU'RE WILLING TO DO THE WORK to get there, I cant see how you could go wrong with this book.

GOOD LUCK!!!

[...]
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