Day 2 of the inaugural Durban FilmMart finance and co-production market (23 to 26 Juy), a joint venture between the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), included a fascinating comparison between the classic distribution model and distribution possibilities in today’s digital arena.
“The two alternatives for distribution are to sell the film away (ie. to sales agents and sitributors) or DIY distribution,’ said Swiss producer Luciano Gloor in his master class. “In today’s world of the Internet, the distributor is no longer in control, the filmmaker is. And, unlike before, the filmmaker can take a hybrid approach to distribution and utilise flexible release strategies. Thanks to the Internet, the filmmaker can have direct access to viewers and can tap both core and cross over audiences. Social media means that audiences are no longer anonymous.’
Gloor noted that the most profitable films of all time – not in terms of box office revenue but which films made the most money for their producers – have been low budget films, a lot of which were made by first time directors, such as The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Mad Max and Super Size Me. For example, The Blair Witch Project cost around $60,000 to make and generated a global box office of $240m.
For more on Gloor’s distribution strategies see the October issue of Screen Africa.