That’s how I’m viewing the festival circuit. I’m planning on using festivals as a springboard to a platform release. When I say platform release I mean the festival becomes the first step in a distribution strategy that I’ve put in place. It becomes a vehicle for promotion, a way to push the publicity and exposure towards monetizing the film. Platform releasing isn’t something new – it’s used by the studios, the mini majors and many independent distributors. But it isn’t something that most filmmakers tend to do when considering their festival strategies. Here’s a breakdown of what I’m planning.
- Start selling foreign territories at the Cannes Film Market next month
- Domestic festival screenings early summer through fall
- Promotional and speaking engagements – horror conventions and various industry conventions starting in May and continuing into the Fall
- Limited theatrical release on 5 to 8 screens starting a month before the street date of the DVD
- Fall street date for the DVD which places the film in retail and rental outlets nationwide (I’m also currently working on a deal for the soundtrack, which would place it everywhere from iTunes to retail outlets across the country.) So the DVD and CD would street the same day.
- International festivals before and after the release of the DVD in the states
- Attend the AFM in Nov. to continue foreign sales
- Continue the international festival circuit after US street date for about a year to help push sales overseas
- Starting NOW and continuing through the end of the platform release I’ll be working the press - pointing everything towards the DVD release date.
So how does one go about creating a platform release? It depends on many factors; who’s the audience, what are your resources, and what do you hope to gain from distributing your film. The above strategy targets a wide audience from horror fans to the general viewing public. It works with a foreign sales agent, a DIY theatrical release combined with smaller DVD and music labels that have national distribution in place. And last but not least it will get the film seen by a large number of people here and abroad, which in the end will help me to make more films.