Indie Film Secrets: 7 Ways to Get Your Film Out There!

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Libertaria: The VIrtual Opera

Video on Demand, YouTube, Vimeo and more. What's a Filmmaker to Do?


Recently I joined the throngs of indie filmmaker's with my first feature length film Libertaria: The Virtual Opera, a cutting edge animated sci-fi opera that delves into futuristic apocalypse, genetics, and complex family relationships and is complete with singing death scenes as all good operas are! 

So now that I have my own indie film, what do I do? 

There are a few options: Send out to film festivals, hope for distribution, scope out theaters for screenings, self distribute, sell the film on a street corner. 

The results are endless. Fortunately for me, this is the 21st century. Instead of trekking rolls of film to Hollywood and trying to hock the film, indie filmmakers have a lot of options. Considering that Libertaria: The Virtual Opera was created using crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, a volunteer cast and crew, and self-funding, I don't need to worry about investors clamoring at my door waiting for a return on my film. Instead I have total freedom and control (great for a megalomaniac in the making, as all true directors are), and can choose the option that fits my film best. 

FILM FESTIVALS

There are literally thousands of film festivals out there. Finding the right one to send your film to is tricky. If you have a bizarre niche, you might be better off looking at specific festivals that are into your niche (ex. horror, sci-fi, animation, music video, etc.)

Withoutabox
If you haven't set up your film with Withoutabox, I suggest setting that up if you want to send your film to major film festivals with big names. Big caveat: Because Withoutabox charges so much to festivals, be ready to pay unnecessary fees if you use this service. However, it does streamline the process considerably and has useful tools like deadline reminders and a pretty good search engine. If you want, just search for festival names and see if you can submit for free directly through the site. Currently about half of all festivals don't use WAB (especially smaller indie film fests), so you do have a lot of options if you are low on cash. 

Animation-Festivals.com
I love this site! You can search for animation festivals quickly and find the info you need. Many use Withoutabox, but there are many that give you options to upload or send via snail mail. 

The Big List of Horror Film Festivals
This is an AWESOME list of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy film festivals. It's enough to make you scream, no literally! 
You Tube is a great place to share your movie trailer, movie extras, cast interviews and more!
Libertaria: The Virtual Opera Movie Trailer on Youtube.

VIDEO STREAMING and VIDEO ON DEMAND (VOD)

Needless to say, there are hundreds of video streaming options. Choosing which one to go with takes a little bit of legwork. You also want to figure out if streaming online will affect your film festival submission entries since some film festivals have restrictions on streaming online.

Distribber
For those that want to get into the big leagues with Hulu, Netflix, or just want to get their film on iTunes, checking out Distribber's services may be worth looking at. While the upfront costs may be daunting for some smaller indies, the cost is well worth the chance to sell your film to some of the biggest players in video streaming today.

YouTube
The behemoth of video streaming sites with billions of hits. Becoming a Youtube star has become considerably harder now that over half of its content is produced by professionals and corporations (even the "indie" looking ones). All the same, it is a great way to get news of your film out there!

Vimeo
Vimeo has a sleeker look. Of course, to get the perks you need to pay. The professional subscription allows you to set up Video on Demand options. Not a bad idea if you don't mind forking over the $199 a year for this service.


Amazon Instant Video
Amazon takes its ebook model to film with the Create a Space VOD options for Amazon Instant Download. Submit your film for free and then set up the selling price. To be honest, this is my first choice for my film Libertaria: The Virtual Opera. I like the free part, plus I already have good experiences as an author in the Kindle Direct program with Amazon. You can also sell physical copies of your video through Amazon.

(If you are interested in more VOD options, this article from the Real SEO guide covers a few more options: http://www.reelseo.com/monetized-video-sell-your-videos-online/)

Traditional Video Distribution

If you think that your film has a specific audience or if you are an entrepreneur that has the know-how to sell your film to large video distributors, traditional video distribution may be your best bet.  

Sundance.org provides some useful hints regarding distribution, digital distribution, and more: http://www.sundance.org/artistservices/distribution/article/tips-for-navigating-digital-distribution/

Well I hope that was helpful. Now I have some work to do, like making the Director's Cut for Libertaria. 

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Award-winning composer S. Peña Young creates mind-numbing sci-fi media works that have been screened in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Young's debut feature length film Libertaria: The Virtual Opera is an exciting sci-fi animated musical about a young rebel who escapes from a genetics factory and teams up with her addict father to blow up the evil Collective. The Libertaria Soundtrack (Special Edition) is now available at iTunes and at a special discount rate at CD Baby.

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