How I Learned to Stop Praying A24 Would Pick Up My Movie and Love Creative Distribution

Hosted by Mia Bruno

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Mia Bruno

Webinar hosted by: Mia Bruno

Former Seed & Spark, Gravitas at Distribution Expert (SOUND CITY, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR)

Mia Bruno combines her passion for independent film with a unique skill for devising distribution strategies that are both effective and creative. Mia is a fervent believer in filmmaking as a comprehensive process and works with filmmakers to build a distribution plan from the very onset of production. Mia most recently served as Head of Distribution at Seed&Spark, a crowdfunding film company, where she built an extensive distribution pipeline into the marketplace. She also helmed a distribution education initiative to help filmmakers maximize their opportunities. Previously, she served as the Director of Acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures, identifying and acquiring quality independent films for theatrical and digital distribution, including Dave Grohl's SOUND CITY, and Sundance favorite APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR, garnering the company's first Independent Spirit Award nomination. With a background in film theory from Columbia University, and a career in the dynamic field of digital distribution, she inhabits the intersection of an abiding love of cinema with an expansive view of the ways it can reach audiences. Full Bio »

While the channels of distribution have never been more diverse and accessible, the education for filmmakers of how to best utilize those channels is often inscrutable. Are day and date releases still your best bet? Do you still need a title to start with an "A" to pander to the alphabetized cable operators? And how much money are these films even making these days?? With so many different opportunities and new platforms arising constantly, how to choose the best path for YOUR film? Equally bilingual in the language of cinema and the lexicon of sales, Mia offers her knowledge of distribution to help filmmakers navigate their opportunities in the marketplace by understanding the rules that exist and the ways they can be bent and supplemented.


What You'll Learn:

What does "independent film" mean these days?

Where are we in the current landscape of distribution, how are audiences consuming films, and why Tarantino and Harvey Weinstein circa 1996 are likely no longer apt comparisons to your situation.

The ABC's of VOD

An explanation of the various windows and what is the trajectory of "traditional" digital distribution.

Don't break the windows, open them

How to make the best use of existing opportunities within the digital marketplace by thoroughly knowing your platforms and making smart and innovative choices. 

Setting Goals

What do you want to get out of your distribution and what are the choices you need to make to arrive there? What are realistic expectations for the film you have made? 

“They like me, they really like me!” -- Identifying your audience

"People who like independent film" is no longer the answer to this question... 

Don't Wait for It: How to prepare for distribution from production

How should you budget? Who, what, and how much time do you need? How to start building an audience even before the film is complete.

How to make the most of festivals

They ain't just for a free trip to the South of France. How to create festival strategy, budget appropriately, make the most of your experience while there, and understand what festivals mean to your overall strategy.

Cinema vs. Content:

Know your film as a piece of art and as a commodity in the marketplace. What does a platform want vs. what does an audience want?

Do what does a distributor really do?

What to look for in a distributor? And how to make your distributor your partner by having realistic expectations and understanding of what they will be able to do for you, how you can help them do their job, and how they can best complement your own efforts.

Do I need a theatrical?

What is the role of a theatrical release these days and how to make it best work for your film.

Marketing: Ask not what your distributor can do for you, but what you can do for yourself

How to parlay your creativity into a strong marketing campaign that can be cost effective, time managed, and dare I say it...fun?

Numbers: What can I actually expect to make?

Seriously, how much money is ANYONE making in this business?


About Your Instructor:

Mia Bruno combines her passion for independent film with a unique skill for devising distribution strategies that are both effective and creative. Mia is a fervent believer in filmmaking as a comprehensive process and works with filmmakers to build a distribution plan from the very onset of production. Mia most recently served as Head of Distribution at Seed&Spark, a crowdfunding film company, where she built an extensive distribution pipeline into the marketplace. She also helmed a distribution education initiative to help filmmakers maximize their opportunities. Previously, she served as the Director of Acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures, identifying and acquiring quality independent films for theatrical and digital distribution, including Dave Grohl's SOUND CITY, and Sundance favorite APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR, garnering the company's first Independent Spirit Award nomination. With a background in film theory from Columbia University, and a career in the dynamic field of digital distribution, she inhabits the intersection of an abiding love of cinema with an expansive view of the ways it can reach audiences.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year! For a live webinar, you will be given the link within 2 business days after the live session.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

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The ABCs of Distribution Contracts

The goal of this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar is to empower filmmakers to confidently navigate domestic distribution contracts. This webinar will teach you the basics of domestic (North American) distribution contracts, what to look out for, what parts of the contract are negotiable (and in some cases are expected to be negotiated), and which parts can really be left alone. We’ll talk about what the distributor wants vs. what you want, and how to accommodate both parties so that the contract is clear, the details are transparent and everyone walks away happy. Filmmakers can really be held back by contracts. If they don’t understand them or are afraid that they are being ripped off, they can end up sitting on them, letting them become inactive and missing their vital release windows. If they sign without negotiating in a “someone likes my movie/ let’s get it out there” state of shock, they can give away rights and accept percentages that lock them up, keeping them from maximizing their film’s potential in the marketplace. Do not fall into either of these traps! Your host, Anna Darrah is very well-versed in dissecting contracts from her 12 years of experience as a Film Buyer and as an Acquisitions Executive, licensing all domestic rights to films. Now, working independently as a consultant helping filmmakers plan out their distribution strategies, she is able to analyze contracts from a very wide range of companies. It’s incredible how each contract is like a snowflake -- totally unique and yet similar in some very important ways.    

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Negotiating Actor/Performer Service Agreements

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