ARCoverage: Digital Cinema Society Talks Indie Film Financing and Distribution

On August 6th we had the pleasure of hosting a Digital Cinema Society panel on the subject of Indie Film Financing and Distribution with speakers such as:

Alex Daly who’s company, Vann Alexandra, has successfully fundraised for 14 projects.

Roderic David, CEO of Thunder Studios in California as well as a new initiative called Thunder Funder.

Frederic Lumiere, Indie Filmmaker and CEO of Lumiere Media, Inc.

Simon N. Pulman of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, a transactional attorney focused on entertainment and media law.

Mark Pederson, CEO of Off-Hollywood Pictures, formed to develop, co-produce, and produce original content as an adjunct to their technology and production services division.

Highlights of the evenings talks included the following quotes from our panelists:

“The one message for anyone who wants to get into show business is to forget the show and remember the business part. Because that’s what it is, it’s a business. And if you think it’s all show, you’re not [going to] get very far.” – Frederic Lumiere

“The interesting thing about the crowdfunding space that I’m in (donation-based crowdfunding) is that you raise this money in a short period of time and then you don’t have to pay any of it back. What you end up getting is an audience of people. Also, you have complete control. It gives a lot of freedom to the artist to do what they wanted to do [with their film] in the first place.” – Alex  Daly

“Investing is a risk and investors want to minimize that risk. And if you’ve had success before, they think you are a sure bet. So you have to be patient and climb the ladder.” – Frederic Lumiere

“One of the things I would recommend to all filmmakers particularly for the first time is see if you, through your contacts, get a distribution schedule for a distributor. That’s going to be enormously helpful for you in determining what physical deliverables you’re going to need.” – Simon Pulman

“The thing that I would say [about deliverables] is that it is changing for the better very quickly. Most every one of the leading VOD platforms are moving towards ProRes as their mezzanine file. We’re just finally getting more universal acceptance of scope, letterboxed in 16:9 aspect ratio […] In the future I honestly believe that your deliverables will be down to a single mezzanine file.  You’ll deliver a single mezzanine file in 4K UHD in this new ProRes codec and you’ll deliver all your RAW media on LTO6, LLTFS and that’s it.”  – Mark Pederson

“In the word ‘crowdfunding’ I think that the word ‘crowd’ is more important than the ‘funding’ […] It really validates the filmmaker that they […] are getting marketing out of the film, they’re getting audiences out of the film, they’re getting personal validation for it. So, yeah the money is important but it really is the crowd that I find more important.” – Alex Daly

“Look at your children. Look at what they’re doing. See how they’re engaging content today. And then get with the program. It’s not the money it’s the crowd. It’s audience engagement before you’ve spent investor’s money.” – Roderic David

In case you missed it, you can watch the entire event below with all its indie film financing and distribution knowledge.

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