Monday, March 10, 2008

Abc's of DVDs

This was an interesting panel regarding distribution of DVDs, primarily from the independent filmmakers perspective. One mega-distributor was on hand and took a few shots from the small guys. Gotta put it to the man whenever you can. The talk was mostly centered around the independent and documentary filmmakers getting their material released to an audience. In fact that was one point that was brought during the panel, and that is, almost every film has an audience or community that can make it profitable for distributors and filmmakers.

When DVDs first came on the market, small distributors where able to take unknown titles with unknown talent and make a profit selling in the dump bins at Wal-Mart. That's no longer the case with so many titles that have since flooded the market. Consumers are no longer willing to buy a discount DVD without a recognizable title or a star name. 

Distributors can help independent filmmakers find a market for their films. Smaller distributors can get specialty films into venues like schools or museums to sell stock. Distributors know the market and can better steer the specialty films in the right direction. The panel did stress it was important that DVD distribution not be the only avenue to create a revenue stream. Online distribution is important to supplement earnings.

Cooper's post also stated that all panelists agreed that DVDs were not going anywhere anytime soon. There would probably be a collaboration of a hard copy DVD with multiple formats and online release of a product. Panelists seem to believe that consumers like the hard copy of a DVD with accompanying liner notes and supplemental information. 

1 comment:

Meagan Meyer said...

I agree that every film has an audience and can be profitable. Whether it be the big blockbusters,small independent films in the long tail , or even films that get terrible reviews,these are watched just to see how awful they are. The thought of DVD's becoming outdated has never even crossed my mind until I read this post. I think DVD's are the same as books, in that people like to own the actual DVD and put it on a shelf or in a drawer where people can see their collections. I think it will be profitable for DVDs to come out in multiple formats so that they can be used anywhere and still be owned by people at the same time.