Judith Dancoff NewFilmMarketing is a breakthrough consulting service for do-it-yourself film distribution to universities, K-12, libraries, and specialty markets.

We are impassioned to establish the right distribution platform to meet your film's needs and to shape the right strategy. In addition, we offer hourly consultation, coaching, workshops, and an informative blog. Contact us for a free consultation and dates of upcoming workshops. Our focus is on educational and specialty distribution but will share whatever useful information comes our way.

We believe the strongest market and viewership for most documentary filmmakers lies in academic and specialty markets. Let us help you transform that promise into a reality.

Tip 4-2Day

August 19th, 2010

Want a quick way to check academic interest—and a possible market—for your film?  Take a couple of central words or concepts from your film and google them along with the word syllabus.   See what comes up.  How many edu’s do you get and from what departments?  Even if there are no syllabi yet (they haven’t seen your film!), note the general interest in the academic world.

The central difference between regular sales and academic sales is that for the first you have to build an audience for your film, and that can be tough work.   In academic sales, the audience usually exists.  The work comes in locating them and then “positioning” yourself so they buy your film.

A final thought: Does your film teach something new or is it mainly an argument for or against something most of us already know?  Teaching or showing something new will not only get you more easily into film festivals, etc., but will also be of greater interest to the academic world.

For an in-depth seminar on Finding Your Buyer, be sure to attend our webinar this Saturday morning .

Why DIY is Not Rocket Science. I Swear!

August 9th, 2010

I’m sorry. I’m getting tired of people who mystify the process of selling films. Granted I live in my little niche of libraries and academia where selling is fairly straightforward, but in my opinion, all sales follow the same, basic rules: identify your buyer and their needs, shape your advertising to meet those needs, contact your buyers in the most cost effective way, follow-up with analysis of what works and doesn’t work, make changes, and repeat.

Take a tube of toothpaste: some toothpastes are positioned for families with children, some for young people who want to be glamorous, some for the elderly. No doubt any would clean our teeth, but we buy what is “positioned” for us. In the same way, libraries and academia are also a patchwork of hundreds of small populations. Is it hard to find them? Not really. My upcoming webinar on August 21  will cover various techniques, but as many of the readers of this site know, email addresses of professors and librarians are available for the buying. In addition, all filmmakers know how to communicate to audiences—that’s why you’re a filmmaker!

Promoting something you want to sell isn’t much different. Of course it will take some time to build an effective DIY platform (a website targeted for your most likely academic, library or specialty buyer), but once that work is complete, all you’ll need to do is tweak it occasionally between sales campaigns, and those are likely to last for some years to come.

Is it because distributors have us so brow-beaten into thinking they’re doing the impossible for their 40% to 80% that we somehow assume DIY is beyond us?

Most of filmmaking is SO much harder and you’ve already learned that. Setting up a DIY platform for the first time may be challenging, but think of all the other films in your closet or the ones still in front of you to make. You’ve worked enough ‘B’ jobs to make ends meet. Invest a bit of time and money in yourself, and I promise it will pay off big!

Tip 4 2day

August 3rd, 2010

Tip 4 2day

Want to see what universities and libraries have collected your movies–with or without your permission?

Search the database WorldCat, available through your public library as well as on-line. Look under both your last name and film titles.  If you see a film in an institution that you haven’t sold to, you are well within your rights to contact the head librarian and request the full educational price. I did a few years ago when I found a copy of my DVD at the University of Cape Town, and was quite gratified to see their check in my mailbox a few weeks later.

Tell him/her that the library does not have an appropriate educational copy (It probably was an individually-priced DVD donated to the library), and that you are attaching an invoice. All they can do is refuse you, which is possible, thought it’s also possible that you’ll make a few hundred dollars for the 5 minutes it takes you to write the email.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! : )

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