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Category: Creative Distribution Initiative

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From the Archives: The 3 Things It Takes to Be an Independent Producer

As the spiritual closing of Sundance Institute’s Creative Producing Summit, Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper wrapped up the weekend with the “One Word Challenge.”Cooper’s challenge to his three keynote guests was simple: “It is 2011, and the most important thing a producer needs to survive is …” Panelists were given this one-word task by email before arriving in Utah and told to bring their best thinking to the audience of creative fellows and advisors. The experiment is both simple and profound, and audience members were invited to play along with cards of their own.

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‘I Knew People Wanted to See It’: The ‘In Reality’ Team on Why and How They Self-Distributed

In part one of this interview, In Reality writer/director/star Ann Lupo and producer Holly Meehl shared how they got their anti-romantic comedy feature off the ground. In this second and final part, we explore how they navigated self-distribution.
Were you building an audience along the way? How did you keep people engaged?
AL: During post-production I took on a side project editing a short for Casey Neistat called “Filmmaking is a Sport,” and it completely changed my perspective on YouTube.

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We Spoke to Dozens of Independent Film Distributors; This Is What They Want in a Project

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in January 2019, and a few updates have since been made to reflect changing distributor names and offerings. I’m a writer/director, but because I’m in the micro-budget indie feature world, I take on a lot of producing duties as well. As with a lot of my colleagues, I looked at all the films that had inspired me and assumed a lot regarding how they got out into the world.

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Filmmaker Tips for Exploring Creative Distribution

After eschewing traditional distribution offers following their run at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, the team behind Columbus opted to self-release their feature film with the support of the Sundance Institute Creative Distribution Fellowship (more on that here). The ongoing shifts in distribution, including new digital opportunities for film and television, have led creators to take a closer look at their options before jumping at the first distribution offer. And where a traditional deal may lighten the load on the filmmaker, it also calls into doubt the team’s creative control with the film moving forward.

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2018 Festival Panel Offers a Sneak Peek into Columbus and Unrest Distribution Case Studies

It’s that time of year when more than a hundred filmmakers hit the mountains of Utah to showcase their work in hopes of landing a dream distribution deal. The Sundance Film Festival is unique compared to other festivals in terms of acquisition offers: last year close to 95% of the films that played the Festival ultimately received distribution (more than 20% of which had distribution going into the Festival). The likelihood of receiving some kind of offer, whether all-rights or split-rights, is extremely high.

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How Being Open to Change Can Maximize Your Film’s Reach

In our last article, we discussed the importance of data for filmmakers and provided some key analysis and digital marketing terms to know. Now I’d like to contextualize these terms by explaining the practice of analyzing data through the use of feedback loops and providing examples of these systems found in the independent film industry. Let’s start with a production feedback loop example: Dailies.

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Why Is Data Important for Independent Filmmakers? A Guide

In today’s independent film industry, data analysis is the unknown for many and a superpower for the elite few. For giants like Netflix and Amazon, data analysis permeates their overall strategy and acts as a key driver of success. However, the information flow stops there; there’s an iron wall between indie filmmakers and the proprietors of this data.

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