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Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing for the Digital Era Paperback – December 8, 2009
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It s no secret that indie film has gone through an amazing period of growth for any number of reasons, not least access to cheap but high quality cameras and computers/editing systems. The way we watch indie film has changed drastically too, from art house cinemas to DVDs that arrive in the mail or from a kiosk in a supermarket, on demand via your cable or satellite TV provider, or online via iTunes, Netflix, Amazon.com or, gasp, Bit Torrent. . . Now that the retail DVD market is dying we re finding new ways to bring our films to their intended niche audiences, and that s exactly what Jon s book is all about. What worked yesterday is failing today and won t work at all tomorrow. The only hesitation I have in recommending this book to every single independent filmmaker today is that armed with the information in this book, a filmmaker is potentially equipped to bypass distributors like Disinformation completely! But, in the spirit of information should be free, buy a copy today disinformation.com --disinformation.com
Filmmaker-turned-author Jon Reiss has just released his new book, Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distributing and Marketing in the Digital Era, which aims to put the current independent film distribution crisis in better perspective. Having been through the wringer with his own documentary Bomb It, Reiss has done a lot of work to study the situation from many different angles and come up with ways for filmmakers to think creatively and proactively about getting their work seen. I was just in Cophenhagen at CPH:DOX, where Reiss presented his latest 10-point manifesto. You can buy Think Outside the Box Office right now at the book s official website, which includes many bonus gifts if you buy it there. I look forward to reading it myself, because my natural instincts are to run flailing from anything involving self-promotion, outreach, marketing, and distribution. But to shun those concepts these days isn t just silly. It s suicidal. The main revelation I had while listening to Reiss talk in Copenhagen is that these post-film duties, which have always felt like brutal chores to someone like myself, should in fact be considered part of the fun, as creative a task as writing the screenplay itself. It will be fascinating to look back on 2009 in five or so years to see what happens. For now, all we ve got is our instincts and Reiss book to help guide us along. ----Michael Tully Hammer to Nail
Written in a light conversational tone and beautifully organized over 354 pages, Jon, a noted filmmaker (Bomb It, Better Living Through Circuitry) and CalArts teacher, passionate about connecting filmmakers to their audiences, arms filmmakers with the arsenal needed for a killer DIY direct to fan film marketing campaign. This book drills down to specifics that allows the reader to form an actionable strategy, and is destined to become required reading for all filmmakers. The book also includes steps to create better engagement on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube, and then in the next breath puts a call out to festival directors to see themselves as distributors, aggregators of quality indie content for traditional and new media. It seems so complete I m still reading on hoping he addresses ways not to trip up Oscar qualification with day and date online screenings. An incredibly valuable resource. --Content NOW
From the Back Cover
The independent film community is a buzz with the collapse of the traditional independent film distribution model. No longer can filmmakers expect their films to be acquired and released nationally. But just as the digital revolution created a democratization of the means of production, a new hybrid model of distribution has created a way for independent filmmakers to take control of the means of distribution. This hybrid approach is not just DIY or Web based it combines the best techniques from each distribution arena, old and new. Jon Reiss spoke with countless filmmakers, distributors, publicists, web programmers, festival programmers and marketing experts to create this ultimate guide to film distribution and marketing for the digital era. Unlike any other book on the subject, Think Outside the Box Office is the first to address the new distribution and marketing landscape facing filmmakers today. Throughout the book, Reiss redefines the process from a filmmakers point of view empowering the reader to create unique strategies for their individual films. Filmmakers are hungry for information on how to distribute and market their films. No single resource exists that combines all of the knowledge and tools now available to them. Think Outside the Box Office fills that void. The book is a break through step-by-step nuts and bolts guide to distributing and marketing a film. Each chapter addresses an essential aspect of a films release and offers specific techniques so filmmakers can take control of their distribution and marketing destiny. Instead of buying multiple out of date books and searching the web for hints and tips now all of this information is available in one place for the first time. Topics include: o Audience identification and targeting o Negotiating split rights agreements for your film. o A reclassification of film rights from a filmmakers perspective. o Your distribution and marketing team. o Integrating marketing into your production and post o Social networking crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. o Budgeting for distribution and marketing. o Redefining the theatrical release. o Booking a conventional and unconventional theatrical release. o The new role of film festivals. o Conventional and web marketing. o How to sell DVDs with a distributor and on your own. o How to negotiate with digital distributors and aggregators. o How to DIY your digital rights. o Using transmedia for marketing and expanded creativity.
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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.
Beyond arming me with a wealth of ideas and step-by-step guides, this book changed my mindset of distribution. It is a reality check and a call to arms - you cannot count on anyone to swoop in and distribute your film for you. You need to take the bull by the horns and start the process yourself. Capitalize on the ravenous fans at film festivals and in your online social networks.
Everyone at Sundance 2010 was talking about this book, and there's a good reason. If you care about the future of your film, buy this book.
Making a film without a distribution and promotional plan nowadays is plainly naive. Thanks to Jon's book,however, even first time filmmakers can rely on a solid guidance to help them decide what moves to make when they embark into and during the filmmaking process.
A truly revolutionary tool in its DIY approach and in its revelation of some of the best kept secrets of film distribution.