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.

We’re Coming to the Capitol!!

February 23rd, 2013

We are so pleased to announce that on Thursday, March 28th, NewFilmMarketing will be giving a class in academic distribution at Docs In Progress in the DC area.

Learn the basics of academic distribution, including how to locate your most likely academic markets (from K-12 to university) and effective campaigns to reach those market(s) in terms of pricing, licensing, cover letters, and websites. I¹ll be answering your questions and offering individual website critiques as time allows.

Date and time:
Thursday Mar 28, 2013 at 6:30 PM
to Thursday Mar 28 at 8:30 PM

Docs In Progress
8700 First Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910

See Docs In Progress for more information and to register click here.


February 15th, 2013

Postcards, really?  Yes, really.  As part of an email campaign, they will reinforce your message as well as give your potential buyer something to pin above his/her desk.

With a mailing list service like yourmailinglistprovider.com or mailchimp, you can easily find the names of those who clicked on your website during your campaign.  These are your hot leads, certainly worth a follow-up postcard.  If your mailing list supplier has provided them, the addresses will be right there too.  If not, a quick google search of the individual email will bring it up.

Add to that list the membership lists of academic organizations most closely allied with the topic of your film.    Find the organizations, then search under advertising.  The great majority of them rent their membership lists for a reasonable fee.

Be sure your card is not over 4×6″ to qualify for the least expensive stamp, and search on-line or in your area for good printing and mailing rates.  The card should include your url, enough about your film to get people to click, a good quote, and an image.

If the internet has made instantaneous email blasts possible, it’s also created spam filters, as well as haystacks of incoming mail.  Not a problem, though.  Many academic librarians still believe that a hard-copy postcard is the best way to make a sale.

The more things change, the more they stay the same!

Films That Sell/Films That Don’t

February 8th, 2013

When I began as a DIY consultant, I thought, naively, that most good films would have an equal chance of selling if given the right academic platform and marketing push.  After all, a decent saleswoman can sell the Brooklyn Bridge, right?  Empowered by my know-how, I believed that with the right positioning and academic  platform, nearly all filmmakers would be able to reach their “academic sales potential”, whatever that was.  At the very least, they would sell more than a catalogue distributor, since they would be making an individual effort.

The latter still holds true–what catalogue distributor will launch individual marketing campaigns for you?–but I now realize that the academic sales potential of equally good films can vary.   What I’m about to say is just my opinion and of course full of exceptions at every turn, but I hope it sheds some light in our on-going journey to understand how to self-distribute.   Please add your own comments and experiences.

What can hurt a film’s sales potential:

–  Science buyers can be harder sells than art and humanities buyers, and hard science the most difficult.  I know, I know, a huge over-generealization, but when the field is quantitative as opposed to qualitative, the buyer can be more suspect.  They also tend to use films less often in their classes.  (Not that they never do).

– It seems counter-intuitive, but well-made, “festival-like” documentaries can sometimes work against themselves in an academic setting. Granted there are numerous exceptions, but a film as concerned with its dramatic appeal as its documentary subject, runs the risk of appearing too theatrical.  Teachers want to teach, not entertain.  Don’t give up before you start, though.  An inexpensive library campaign will show your film’s potential.

    What will help:

    – If the film is on a subject already being taught, and particularly if it has not been explored before, you are several steps ahead.  There’s nothing harder than convincing a buyer she needs something when she knows she doesn’t, but buyers can be equally motivated to find films in their field, especially when none yet exist.  This point alone may negate everything said above.

    – Length, length, length.  In real estate it’s location, in academic film sales, it’s length.    A film that’s under 60 minutes, or chapterized if over, will show the buyer you’re aware of the importance of length, and want to fit into their classroom hour.  This is another reason why more theatrical documentaries, expanded to 90 minutes, are less appealing in an academic setting.

      That said, disregard everything you’ve just read.  The only sure thing in the film business is that no one really knows what will sell and what won’t.  Believe in your film, do test campaigns, and get feedback from professors.  Also be aware that trends change.  When I first did my film on Judy Chicago, I couldn’t give it away.  Now institutions can’t get enough.  The moral: if not now, maybe later.  You may just be ahead of your time.

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