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Preparing to Distribute Your Project

Whether you’re hoping Universal puts its full weight behind your project or you’re just happy to upload it to YouTube, being prepared will give you more leverage. Think back to your vision for this project, as well as all the work you’ve put in to get to this point. What is the minimum you need to consider this thing a success? Money, control, artistic integrity, etc. – knowing what’s most important to you will guide your next steps.

Photo: Caleb Roenigk | https://www.flickr.com/photos/crdot/

Involvement

Do you care at all about the sales and marketing of your project? Of course you do, or at the very least you care about all the marketing you’ve done to this point. However, are you ready to let others take it out of your hands? Distributors have varying definitions of collaborative and they certainly don’t care about your creative mission statement. So don’t be surprised when the trailer for your romantic comedy-drama suddenly makes it look like a psychological horror-thriller. If being involved is a deal breaker for you, know that you may have to give on some other things in favor of a company that really cares what you think.

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Control

Of course, even if you do care a little about promoting your project, do you actually have the time and resources to spend on this? As many stories as there are about studio and network marketing departments killing projects through bad promotion, they are technically professionals. And a lot of smaller distributors will hire boutique publicity agencies that specialize in indie-sized projects. So if you realize your talents are more suited to storytelling than advertisement, perhaps this is one place you’re willing to give up a little control.

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Money

Then again, maybe it’s not all about your needs. Who else has a stake in this project? Maybe the investments in your project are legally binding, which forces you to consider how much money you need to make. Or maybe you would just feel terrible when your parents default on their mortgage and lose their home. Even if you have put by far the most effort into this project, you may not be the only voice in the discussion when it comes to distribution. Especially when it comes to dollar amounts.

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