You've hammered your way through pre-production, survived all of the ups and downs of production, and nearly fell apart during post. But you're here and your documentary is done. Not to mention, it's spectacular! Now what? It may seem as though your job as a documentary filmmaker is complete. However, the long road to distribution still lies ahead of you. Distribution is the key to getting your completed documentary off of your shelf and into the lives of the viewing audience. That was the whole point of making a documentary in the first place, wasn't it -- to share the experience with the world? There are many avenues you can take, however, it may take several tries before finding a means of distribution that works for you and your project. Here are a few do-it-yourself ways to distribute your documentary:March 16th, 2011
- Four Walling: Basically, this means you find and rent the theater or space where you show your movie. Depending on the arrangements you make with the property owner, it's possible to make a profit in ticket sales. On the down side, you may shell out more cash than you get back if no one shows. At any rate, this means of distribution has a lot of potential, and has worked for many independent filmmakers.
- Online distribution: The possibilities of online distribution are nearly endless. There are many online video sharing sites these days, such as Vimeo, Openfilm, and YouTube to help you get your documentary viewed. But don't stop there, you can promote your documentary through social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook, and by creating a website specific to your project.
- Festivals: Getting your documentary into the right festivals can be like hitting a gold mine in the world of distribution. Festivals provide a viewing audience, hype for your movie, and could put you in contact with those already working in the industry. However, as with any means of distribution, festival success requires more work than simply submitting your documentary.