Distribution : Distribution options for a long short (27 minutes) by Ben Sledge

Ben Sledge

Distribution options for a long short (27 minutes)

So, we have a long short film that is 27 minutes long, and I'm struggling with options for distribution. We have about 15,000 USD sunk into the film, which is sort of noir Twilight Zone style film. We're struggling with festivals because the length is too long for ideal short programming. I think our best bet is going to be online distribution, but other than putting it on our own server and just marketing it ourselves, what are some other viable options for a long short with no known names attached to it? I have a lot of other stories I want to tell, but I've been pursuing filmmaking for a LONG time now... and if I can't figure out how to make a return on $15k on a small project, it just seems very unlikely that I'm going to have the opportunity or chance to do more films and tell those stories. The festival market seems like so much more of a cash scam than it was 15 years ago. There are so many more avenues for content now... people are watching more content in more ways than they ever have, but I'm still struggling with figuring out how to tap into that and find success with a good product. It's been disheartening to say the least. And, yeah, I know that comes with the territory in this business. But, I'm close to giving up the pursuit. My current project is actually exploring story-telling through a video game, because I just need to try something different. But, I'd still like to find a way to make this film a success and get my foot in the door and find a way to make my next project happen. It's really my last hope at this... so any advice you might have about avenues to pursue for distribution or experience that might be relevant and useful, please let me know! Thanks so much, Ben

Philip Sedgwick


Bill Hartin

Where can any of us view your film?

Ben Sledge

Thanks for the comments. I will look into indyoh more. Seems interesting. The film isn't publicly available because we still have a couple small festival showings coming up. I do have a private screener online I can share. I don't want to violate Stage 32's rules about self promotion, so message me if you're interested and I can pass a link your way. There is a trailer link in my profile here as well. Thank you!

Terry Owen

www.akyumen.com and our soon to launch global distribution network AkyumenTV, we have signed non-binding global distribution agreements with around 800+ INDIE filmmakers from around the world with all genres (except XXX) and shorts, features, web series and docs... significant revenue potential for our INDIE filmmaking partners who have content on our platform... did you know that by 2018 India, APAC and Africa will be the largest consumer audience of USA related film/tv and along with our exclusive streaming rights into mainland China... and through our devices, AkyumenTV will have a significant captive global audience (we will be global with our device and OTT).... SO get in touch with me @ terryowen@akyumen.com and spread the word to your peers creating great content and looking a viable outlet for consumer consumption!

Owen Ratliff

Ben, I have a 30 minute film that I created the name Minifeature. I have been doing very well. I won the HBO action contest and have a licensing deal with HBO, I have already sold 3,400 DVD and have a distribution deal with the chain stores, getting ready to do a deal with a large Hotel Chain and have been working on licensing deals in foreign countries. I am now working on a video game demo of the film for Game Stop. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOiXjgk4f1M

David O'Brien

BEN: Have you thought of combining your short with say two or three similar shorts that share the theme?

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Never give up, Never surrender. You made it now sell it There are choices stay on Stage 32 and you'll find them. I am in the same boat. I have a 20 minute short pruned from my 106 minute feature. But I still have to find the funds to make it. So Your boat is better than mine. At least you're out on the water. I am still in Dry dock waiting for the greed sea of money to get me afloat.

Terry Owen

Ben... send me an email to terryowen@akyumen.com and I will fill you in on our approach to getting your short distributed globally.... many many of your peers are doing so and many more are coming onboard.

Terry Owen
Tivoli Silas

I totally understand your frustration. I have a 39 minute short that has received 12 rejections and only one acceptance, but it was only as a semifinalist and it's not actually being shown at the festival.

Dan MaxXx

Move on, bro. Use the short as your director's reel, try to get work doing music videos, advertising. I remember your short film; you can direct. Justify the $15K as a "graduate degree". Now you got a reel to show to the next group of Investors.

Warren Workman

Best option is going to be Shorts HD and Amazon Prime . They take shorts of all lengths and you make $$$ from it. Amazon Prime you can upload yourself for free through Amazon Video Direct.

Ben Sledge

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I think a big problem I have, is that I'm good at writing and directing, but I'm not really good at selling myself or my work... or knowing exactly even where to go to do that or who to contact. So, I do agree, having this film is good for my reel... but what are next steps to getting real work made? Are their resources to help creative individuals out a little with some of the business end side of things? I've never really heard of agents for directors or anything like that. I'm going to check out some of the other suggestions and try to find a way to make this film work for me a bit. We have a small festival showing this weekend locally, then three more coming up soon. Which is great, but they are all small festivals, and I don't anticipate they will do much for the film.

Dan MaxXx

music video companies and advertising/commercial houses. back in the days, Band Apart, Propaganda , RSA, Greenbratt, Broadway Video were the places young directors build their reels doing music videos. Look into advertising companies; maybe work as a desk junior copyright and work your way up the ladder to Creative Director position- they make $200K++ a year thinking up jingles, slogans, commercial campaigns.

Ben Sledge

No time for that route, Dan. I've been working at it 20 years already. Ten years ago I went in to see a doctor about an ear infection, and found out I was in end stage renal failure. Ended up with a new kidney a few months later, and after a couple years of recovery, been working hard to try to do something with my talents with the time I have left. I do okay in my day job, but pursuing money isn't what it's about for me. I just want to find a way to utilize my creative talents, to connect and share the stories I want to tell with an audience, in the time I have left. So, that's why this is sort of a last ditch effort for me :/ It's time to figure out how to make the transition, or hang up the dream. If anyone has ideas for leveraging a decent short, you can see the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGfQ2kv_MFA Or you can check out progress on my new project, story telling through a video game, at http://www.GearsOfEden.com Really working hard to utilize at least one of these projects to make a career change and pursue my passion full time. But, I'm still looking for that first break after 20 years.

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