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The Death of Traditional Film Distribution
I know the title of this show is bold but in the course of this podcast I will explain what I see happening in the traditional film distribution model. My trip to this year to the American Film Market was extremely educational. I met some amazing people, industry insiders, and tribe members. I did, however, spoke to many film distributors and sales agents and discover a truth that I had suspected for a long time now, traditional film distribution is dying.
Film distributors are having as hard of a time trying to generate revenue with their film libraries as filmmakers are getting their films sold. The world is changing. Many filmmakers are producing films for the 90’s and early 2000’s marketplace. Both filmmakers and distributors have little or no understanding of what today’s customer wants or how to get it to them while still making money.
In this episode I discuss:
- The DVD/Home Video Crash
- The Streaming Wars
- How film distributors are becoming more predatory out of desperation
- The world of data/niche driven cinema
- Cutting out the middlemen
- The Googlfication of the movie industry
- Foreign markets
- The shortage of talent in the film industry, according to the streaming platforms
- Why Netflix paid $200 million for The Irishman
- How the indie filmmaker can survive and thrive in the new world of filmmaking
- and much more
Warning: This episode will be mind-blowing so please brace yourself. Enjoy!
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business
- The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies (FREE AUDIOBOOK)
- Alex Ferrari’s Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Story) Book- Buy It on Amazon
- Indie Film Hustle TV (Netflix for Filmmakers and Screenwriters)
- Filmtrepreneur® Podcast
- Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Film into a Moneymaking Business
- $1 Close Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)
- Indie Film Hustle TV (Netflix for Filmmakers and Screenwriters)
- Six Secrets to getting into Film Festivals for FREE!
- FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)
Alex Ferrari 1:41
Now guys, today on the show, we are going to talk about the death of traditional film distribution. I know that is a very big statement. But I will in the course of this episode break down what I think what not why I think what I know is happening currently, and what will be happening in the future and how you as independent filmmakers will be able to succeed and thrive in the future. So I was at AFM this past week. And I went there about four days and I met a ton of filmmakers. So everybody that I met at AFM that came up to me and talk to me about their projects and just wanted to say hi, I truly, truly appreciate it You guys made this AFM. So educational, so much fun. And I truly truly appreciate it. So shout out to all the tribe members who talked to me and met with me at the American Film market. Now, in this AFM, I had the pleasure of talking to a lot of distributors and sales agents, and really got a pulse of what is going on in the traditional film distribution space. Today right now. And what I discovered, was it fairly shocking but not surprising, if that makes any sense whatsoever. What the more and more I spoke to distributors and sales agents and people in the business The more I realized that many not all, but many film distributors have no idea how to really truly generate revenue in today's new distribution model. So let me let me explain. Before distributors, especially independent film distributors, mid level distributors, they had things that they can hang their hat on, you know, there were revenue streams that they knew they can count on. So if it wasn't home video, or VHS sales, then it turned into the DVD boom of the late 90s and early 2000s, where people were just making obscene amounts of money on DVD. It was cable deals where you could get cable pay deals, a free cable, you know free TV to cable deals. And there were just other you know, theatrical was a guarantee for a lot of smaller independent films that were just things that they can count on to generate revenue for the titles that they represented. But as one by one those dominoes started to fall which home video sales and rentals and purchases are just in a decline. DVD in general is gone really you know, other than maybe for the major studios, but even then, a lot of the money that was being made in DVD is not gone. distributors are no longer making the crazy amounts of money they were in yesteryear because now the habits of the consumer have changed so rapidly. We all now watch a lot more streaming content we watch more you know cable is is being taken out of the match. I mean people are cutting the cords by five to 10% a quarter. So sad And cable networks are starting to go down because there's just not as much revenue anywhere. advertising dollars are now going towards a VOD, and Facebook and YouTube. And television is just not what it was before. So those revenue streams are starting to dry up as well. And with this desperation, I literally had, by the way, I literally had conversations with distributors. And I said, you guys really have no clear idea on how to generate revenue. And I was told off the record, of course, by certain distributors that like, yeah, we are, we're literally throwing up anything we can against the wall to see what sticks. Because everything is changing so rapidly, almost on a monthly basis on it's insane where it were last year's big key word that I kept hearing at AFM was Ott Ott, which is basically streaming platforms to this year, which is all about Avon, Avon, Avon advertising video on demand were to be in Pluto and a few other platforms are starting to really grow and become players in the space. They just the things are changing so rapidly that they have no control, you have to understand that distributors have really no control of the the end The end point for the content that they represent, generally speaking, okay, because they're middlemen. They're basically gatekeepers of your content going towards the platforms. And that's what aggregators are. And that's what distributors are. They're basically middlemen, one, you pay for that access. Another one, you pay, take a back end deal to to get into that access. And we will talk a little bit more about those back end deals in a minute. We all know what happened with distributor and what the potentials of working with an aggregator are, I don't think it's going to happen rapidly. I don't think all these aggregators are going to start, you know, screwing over filmmakers left and right, I don't think but there is a potential there until some change happens. But what I'm trying to impress upon you is that before distributors could build out by date, you know, by 10,000, DVDs, like produce 10,000 DVDs and sell that product directly to Walmart, Target, Best Buy Amazon, and they can sell that product and get a return. And there was a real guarantee in regards to you sold the product for wholesale, you would get a return, you know, you would get that's how much money you would make, you would get that money back. In today's world, that's no good. There's no guarantee anymore, you put them up on these platforms, and maybe you'll make money with them, maybe you won't, maybe you'll get some rentals, maybe you won't, the days of guaranteed return on investment for a distributor is pretty much gone. You know, there are options of foreign sales still lingering. And there's definitely growth in the foreign international markets. Honestly, that's the only place that there is real growth in these emerging markets like China, like India, and so on. But even figuring out how to make money in those in those territories is challenging, because they're still trying to figure it out. I want you guys to be very clear about this. The distribution world, the film distribution world, they don't know what the hell they're doing. Either. They're trying to figure this out. As much as you're trying to figure out how to make money with your movie, honestly, they might be more educated and might have some more context in you. But they're still trying to figure it out. I saw it first hand. So because of this kind of desperation on trying to figure out what the hell's going on, the new play is that film distributors are trying to acquire as many titles as they can, because the bigger their library is, the more negotiating power they have with a to be Pluto on Amazon because they can walk in and go, Hey, I got 2000 movies in my library, let's talk. And that's the way they're able to do it. If they these distributors have smaller runs that are not niche based. By the way. There are some great distributors that are niche based that are doing extremely well like Tara films, Joe Dane from their films, who they focus on the horror niche, or there's, you know, other niches, distributors that are more niche based. They're doing better than the broad spectrum distributors out there because they just, they can't compete. They don't know how to compete, they don't know how to make the revenue that they need to make to keep their doors open. So because of that, there's been more and more predatory activity, where these distributors are throwing out, read tequilas deals for filmmakers who are picking them up. And they're picking up content left or right. It's almost like an arms race to see how much independent content that they can grab and put in their library doesn't matter if it's good or not. They just need titles. They want titles. That's all they care about. And it's becoming more and more desperate. Because these film distributors are trying to try to make the old model still work. They're trying to figure out what to do because at Everything that they know is now gone. Or it's changed so rapidly that they don't have a grasp on it. This exact same thing happened in the publishing world. This exact same thing happened in the music world. When technology came and disrupted those two industries, the big players, the establishment, they crumbled. And that is what's slowly happening in our world. I met a filmmaker who came up to me at AFM and throughout this deal that she was offered by a sales agent. And I've heard of predatory distribution deals before. But this is just was so awe inspiring that I needed to bring up to you this filmmaker who by the way did not take this deal was offered a 20 year deal for her two or $300,000 movie 20 year deal with a marketing cap of $50,000 a year. So that would have been a million dollar marketing spend cap. And oh, by the way, no money upfront and a 20 year deal. And when she went back and pushed on like this doesn't seem really fair. He's like, oh, okay, let's just do 10 years and two years of expenses. So literally, he was literally admitting in the negotiations, how much he was about to screw this filmmaker. And I heard these stories again, and again, and again, at AFM. It was a it was just, I was speechless every day that I went there. And I listened to filmmaker stories, and I listened to distributors, and how they were doing business it was it's just you can smell the desperation coming from a lot of these distributors, they just don't know what to do. One thing I really did come away from this years AFM was that there were many films that were 300 500,000 or more budgeted films independent films that had zero market value. Let me repeat that really quickly. There were there were four or five $600,000 budgeted independent films that had literally zero market value, because of genre because of production, because of tasks that they were doing. Because of the concept as far as if it was niche or non niche. All of those I literally saw film after film that literally had zero market value. And I would talk to distributors and said, Well, how about this kind of film that like that is absolutely worthless to us. I don't care if it's a million dollar production, there is no place for it right now. We would offer them and we would offer them a straight up deal, no mg. And maybe if we're lucky, we can make a couple bucks off of it. And maybe if we're lucky, the filmmaker would get a couple bucks out of it. And that would be the end of story. I wanted to do this episode because I want to impress upon you guys so much that the world has changed. And what I've noticed is that many, if not most independent filmmakers that I deal with on a daily basis, are making films for the 90s and early 2000s. marketplace. Please let me repeat that most independent filmmakers are making films for the 90s and early 2000s marketplace, not the data driven, niche driven world we live in today. That is astonishing to me, that you would invest half a million dollars and not understand if you even have a market to go sell this movie, what the market wants right now. It not understanding the marketplace in general. I know this episode's gonna probably make a lot of filmmakers heads explode. And I hope it does. Because I want you guys to wake up to understand that if you're going to invest a large sum of money, even if it's 50,000 or $100,000 of your budget, you best know where you're gonna be able to sell this movie. And in today's world, because things are changing so much. It's even harder to actually make money with films today. The platform's the new, the rising. Phoenix is in these ashes of traditional distribution in the traditional old studio model are the platforms the Amazons, the Amazons, Netflix, hulu's, toobeez, Pluto, all of these platforms that they're having the power, you know, they're the ones coming up smart platforms like Disney plus, and also Warner Brothers and Now NBC Universal's peacock, they're all bringing up their own platforms. I'm not sure how much the independent film world is going to help, you know, be helped by this situation. But there are now they're pretty late to the table. But there are now other the studios are starting to try to get into this direct to consumer model and not going through a middleman because believe it or not, the studio's still go through a middleman, that middleman where movie theaters, there was a middleman that cut out their profits that cut out, you know, 50% of the take 60% of the take 30 40% of the take on theatrical releases, then they had to deal with DVD manufacturer. And getting it out through the like there was always a middleman even for the studios. But now, in today's world, they're able to go directly to the consumer. So they cut out all the middlemen completely put up a streaming platform. And trust me from someone who just bought the Disney plus subscription for a year because it's amazing. It's awesome. And it has I have kids, so it's great. I could already see what's going to happen. And it's already happening. It's already happening. There's a Melissa McCarthy movie, I think coming out in I think next It was supposed to come out in theaters. But now it's going to come out directly in Warner Brothers new streaming platform, instead of going to the theaters. And that's happening again. And again. They're going to be direct to instead of direct to the DVD market. They're going to direct to the streaming platforms, lady in the tramp? No, well, these are two big movies that were made specifically for Disney plus, not for theatrical. They could have gone theatrical, but both of those movies, and both of those movies would probably have done well, theatrically. You know Netflix is last year that the Christmas Chronicle or the I think it was a Christmas Chronicles or something like that. The one that Kurt Russell starred as Santa was a huge, like 100 million plus dollar Christmas movie that could have done big big bank box office. But they went directly to their users and they were fine. They did fine. The platforms aren't buying winners of the Cannes Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca. They don't care. I promise you I saw it. A few years ago, I was at Sundance, and I saw where Amazon was buying up. Anybody that got into Sundance, they were buying up Cannes and Tribeca and South by Southwest winners, are those are their films are still purchased in those markets in those festivals. Of course there are, but they don't carry the punch of the new world of distribution. The new world of distribution is based around data. Okay, I want you to understand that it is driven by data content is driven by data. It is the Google furcation of the movie industry. The platforms are looking to fill holes in their portfolio of content for their customers. And what do I mean by holes? Well, all of these platforms are aiming at certain demographics and certain niches, there's that word again, niche. They're aiming for those niches that fill a hole because they want you to be watching their platform as much as possible. So they'll create an avatar, I talked about this in my book, but they create an avatar of the perfect customer. So perfect example, I'm going to use myself, I'm looking for a man in his early to mid 40s, who loves either sports movies, or they love comic book films. And they're also interested in surfing documentaries, or vegan documentaries, or things of those natures. So they want to fill each of those interests for my age group as much as humanly possible. So I can continue to keep a subscription with them. And also keep coming back and watching more and more hours. They understand that a perfect customer only has x amount of hours a day that they use to watch movies. So someone of my age range that's working general is gonna have four to five hours of TV time, if they're lucky, you know, so they're looking at like, Okay, what can we create, to get Alex to watch our channel and subscribe to our channel? What's the kind of show that we can create for them? What's the kind of movies what kind of series can I create for them, so they're always looking for that thing to fill that model that fill that little hole that they have? So a perfect example is that new documentary that came out on Netflix called game changers. Game Changers is a vegan documentary about vegan athletes. And the power of you know, plant based diets in World Class athletes, which is a new take on the whole, you know, plant based documentary, and Netflix paid an obscene amount of money for it because game changers in the first two weeks that it was out on iTunes became the number one documentary ever to sell or rent on iTunes purely because of the need of that niche. And people wanting to know more about plant based and all that kind of stuff. Well, Netflix bought it, and it filled a wonderful hole for them. But understand something that hole once I watched that hour and a half documentary needs to be filled again. So that is why there's an arm race as well for content for filling content in those niche holes again, and again and again and again. So they need to constantly be filling that hole because once I watched that show, or once I watched that move, I need to fill that hole again. And there is truly a shortage, according to the platform's a shortage of high end talent in Hollywood. I know that sounds insane, right. But if you think about how many hours they need to fill of content, it's it's maddening. It really is maddening. There's literally I think, three years of time filled, created last year in content. So I did the math, and it's almost 26,000 hours of content that was created not YouTube content. I'm talking about content built for the streaming platforms, all of them all, how many hundreds of streaming platforms are out there. So that's 26,000 hours. If you have one high end showrunner, let's say Ryan Murphy, or Shonda Rhimes, or JJ Abrams, how many hours of really good high quality series or movies can they make in a year? You know, 20 episodes for showrunner if they're lucky, maybe if they will show running two shows, maybe 40. And that's like extreme, right? There's very few people that can do that. And even then, it doesn't even dent the need for new content. Because content is being absorbed so rapidly now that it is commodity films are being watched. And then it's gone and watched. And then it's gone and series are being dinged. And then they're done. Like I will, I love Breaking Bad. But the chances of me going back and watching the entire series of Breaking Bad again, is probably gone. I probably won't do it, because there's too much good, brand new good content being produced daily. So filmmakers need to understand this when they're creating their product. Right now there is a gold rush for high end directors, writers, producers and showrunners going on right now. Netflix, Amazon, they're all vying for the big, you know, directors and writers and showrunners they're spending obscene amounts of money to attract and keep them in their stable. It is insane. So I'm going to give you an example, the $200 million Irishman Martin Scorsese his new film with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe pece. About the Irish mob, no studio would fund that film for Martin Scorsese. You're talking about multiple Oscar winners and legends, and they would not give it to them because that is not the business model that the studios do anymore. The Irishman has no potential for Irishman lunchboxes, Irishman t shirts, or Irishman. If figures action figures though, I personally would purchase a Irishmen action figure and I know a handful of us would in the tribe but with that said it doesn't fit the model of what the studios are doing in today's world. This hyper realistic you know, Marvel Cinematic Universe or properties big tentpole properties are based on books, toys, or IPS that already exists in the lexicon and the Zeitgeist of popular culture. That is what the studios have turned to. By the way before I continue that if you've noticed what studios have flourished in this new studio model system of the cinematic universes of the the IPS and things based on books and, and toys and so on. The ones that haven't done very well are Sony Pictures, who own very little if any major tentpole properties, other than, I think Sony owns men in black, which they just released a new one and a died. James Bond, which is a great brand, but that's one. And I think, Oh yeah, that spider man thing that they were able to to finagle out of Marvel years ago, and I'm reading a new book called The Big Picture by Ben Fritz, and I'm trying to get Ben on the show. And then there he talks. It's all about a lot of the changes of what happened to Hollywood. But I found out in that book that more that Sony literally had the opportunity to license and an own basically the movie rights to all of the Marvel characters. Sony could right now be the juggernaut that Disney became. But because they did not see hey look hindsight is you know everyone has everyone can be a Monday morning quarterback but they said no, no, no, nobody's going to watch a movie about Iron Man, Thor or Captain America. Just get us the right to Spider Man. And that's what they did. They got the rights to Spider Man. And that was the end of it. So Sony doesn't have anything and then you'd look at Paramount, another major player, or was a major player in the studio system. They don't own anything really other than transformers, right? transformers and they also had a distribution deal with some of the Marvel stuff, but that went away. So they've struggled as well. And the world of the movie star driving box office or driving sales is pretty much gone. You know, Will Smith's latest Gemini man died. There's just so many examples of films that had big stars that just don't go anywhere anymore. You know, even the rock who is the rock, you know, you know, skyscraper didn't do? Well. I think China was the one thing that like kind of saved that film. But those days of the 20 million plus dollar, you know, paydays, for actors, those are gone, because it's because there's just too much content. Now. Now, audiences will watch movie stars, I'm gonna be wrong, there's still places for movie stars. But Brad Pitt's new movie star or whatever that sci fi movie that died, you know, but the movie star has to be in a vehicle that makes sense. And there's very few original vehicles being created Tarantino's you know, once upon a time in Hollywood, which was a big hit, was a big hit because of Tarantino and the combination of Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio in that kind of story. Those are rare instances, though those days are gone, the movie star days are almost gone as well. So let me get back to the Irishmen example. So Netflix spent $200 million, because they went over $40 million over budget, because Marty is Marty and you know, and they gave him full rein to do whatever he wanted. And he did. And he's been $200 million on his Opus, is truly Opus film. And this is Netflix his attempt to win an Oscar. And not because the Oscar is going to bring that much obscene amount of money back to them. But will it will do, it will attract high end creators to the platform, because it will get a reputation of being a creator friendly platform. And if you can get high end creators in your stable, making content for your platform, you will have a much better chance of winning the streaming wars. So there is a land grab for big high end creators. So I wanted you to understand why Netflix would spend $200 million? Well, they're making their money back off of people watching it. I don't know, I don't know. No one knows what goes on behind the scenes as far as their data cuz no one knows. So I know I know what you're thinking now. Go, Alex. Well, this is all fantastic. I'm so glad that you have to press me today. What chance do I have as an independent filmmaker making a 5000 10,000 50,000 $100,000 movie in today's world? What chance do I have? The chance that you have is the power of the niche? Because I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the riches are in the niches, the future of filmmaking for independent filmmakers. And I will, I will debate this with anybody who wants to debate this is the entrepreneurial filmmaker. It is a filmmaker who understands their audience, and creates product for their audience, and then builds ancillary product lines and services and or services for that audience. Now you need to become one of two kind of independent filmmakers. Both are film intrapreneurs. Number one is the film entrepreneur whose end customer for the film is the customer. It is direct to the customer, where you create that film, you find a way to put it on either a VOD s VOD, and T VOD in one way, shape or form. And that could be multitude of different ways to get that that product of the film to the end User without a middleman, other than the platforms that you're using to generate sales to get that money, okay. And to the film entrepreneur whose end customer for the film is a platform where you're creating content to fill holes in, in the portfolios and libraries of existing platforms, whether that be Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, to be at all, there's so many different platforms, but you need to figure that out. And that could be niche based, whether it's like spiritual or faith based films for pure Flix, or films like for Hallmark and lifetime, you're creating product for those, those niche portfolios or libraries for those platforms. And by the way, you could arguably still create ancillary revenue streams from those films, even if they've been sold or licensed to different platforms. And it all depends on the deal and how you structure the deal. But there is still a lot of potential there as well. So that is the future of independent filmmaking, that is what you need to be able to do, you need to become that film entrepreneur, you need to understand the the ever changing marketplace, you do not want to be blockbuster, and be left behind. Because you didn't see what was coming around the corner, you do not want to be the music labels that went under, because they did not embrace the new technology and the new habits of their customers. I know so many of you are filmmakers and artists, and I just want to express myself and make a movie, I want to think about the business. Man, that is great. And I wish you the best of luck with that I truly do. You know, if you want to do experimental films or films that really just fulfill your heart, my God, please go do it. But man, if you don't have the money to do it, at the level, you want to do it out, you got to figure something out. And it's irresponsible of YouTube, con some poor dentist out of $100,000, to go make your Opus that you know, in your heart, you'll never going to sell. And don't give me the Oh, hopefully it'll get to Sundance and get bought and blah, blah, blah, that's a lottery ticket. Man, that's not a business model, you've got to really understand how you're going to be able to recoup that money. Now, if you make your movies for really low budgets, like I do be as experimental as you want. You want to make a movie for five or 10 grand, and you can afford to lose five or 10 grand, why not do it's a hobby, you're a hobbyist. That's fine, you're a hobby filmmaker, because you're not a you're not a professional filmmakers, professional filmmakers do this as a living, you're doing it as one offs every once in a while. And you really don't care about making money. That's not a profession. That's a hobby, that's fine. There's nothing wrong with that at all. But you have to understand that if you want to make a living at this, you really need to understand the business of this. And now more than ever, the business is changing so rapidly, that you if you're making a movie now thinking you're going to sell it the way I'm talking about right now, in a year, you're mistaken. So how do you kind of hedge your bets is to keep the budgets as low as humanly possible, and make and hold on to things that you think that can actually generate revenue for you. That's why I continue to preach the film intrapreneur method, the method of controlling your revenue streams without just giving your movie away to a middleman in hopes that one day this predatory film distributor is actually going to pay you. And I've said it before. And I say it again, there are good distributors out there. And there are distributors who are trying to do well by their filmmakers, but they are rare. The baseline for this industry is that they're predatory distributors out there. And then every once in a while the oddity is the good film distributor, the good sales agent who's trying to help you actually make money with your film. They are rare guys. I just, I just don't care what anyone tells me. I've seen it. I've experienced it. I've talked to enough people to understand that the baseline for film distributors is that they're predatory and they're there to screw you. But there are people out there who are not going to do that. But they are the outliers. They are the exception to the rule. And as things start to tighten, tighter and tighter and again, I've said this before, we're in good economic times right now. When the Fed hits the Shan and something happens economically, like it did in 2007 and eight. Then watch what happens. But right now as things continue to tighten, as the revenue streams from the traditional business model of film distribution continues to strangle the distributors, they will become more and more predatory, they will become more and more one sided in their deals. And filmmakers will have less and less opportunities to actually make a dime on their films, unless they start taking control of their own product, and their own IPS and their own films, and go directly to the consumer of a niche audience. You have to become entrepreneurial filmmakers, or film truck printers. There's no other way around it. That is my belief, I will continue to preach that belief as long as I can. Because I do really think that in today's world, there is more opportunity than ever, for filmmakers for video and created the content creators, Video Creators than ever before. It has never been easier to make a movie in the history of this industry. But it's never been more difficult to make money. And to get people to actually watch your films. That is the new reality of not only the film industry, but of independent film, you can make a beautiful film, but man, it's hard to actually make money with that film, or actually to get anyone to see that film. That's why you need to change as filmmakers, you need to become entrepreneurs, to be able to, to survive and thrive in this new world. And I promise you, if like they say in a lot of high end, schools like Harvard, or law schools, or even Navy SEAL training, look to your left, look to your right, one of you is not going to make it through. And I don't want that for you guys. For the tribe, for people who listen to what I say, follow what I do. I want you guys to survive, I want you guys to thrive in this new world that we're walking into in the film industry. People are still worried about Oh, look at the cool lens I got and look at the new 25k camera resolution I got. But no one's talking about how to make money with your film, how to survive in this biz ness. Don't let the marketing and don't let the industry lie to you. You need to understand the realities that you're walking into, I don't want to see you get hurt. I don't want to see your lives just torn down because you invested all your savings or you mortgaged your house in hopes that you were making a movie or a product for marketplace that's 20 years too late. I don't want to see it. I met too many filmmakers at this AFM that ran across the head that that literally had zero market value, or very little market value or any chance at all to break even with their films. And it's heartbreaking and I don't want it to happen anymore. So that's why I decided to make this episode to really sound the alarm. So you guys can really understand where we are at right now and where we are going. Now I'm going to leave you with this that I was talking to an industry insider who will remain nameless, he's anonymous. And they were telling me about what one of these platforms, which will remain nameless as well does to create content. And what they do is they bring in audience members, people to one of their theaters in their offices, and they sit them down and they literally have those kind of like avatar visual effects cameras aimed at them. So the camera is recording all their micro expressions, recording their emotional responses to the film. And then this is the scary thing that I just couldn't believe. But I do believe 110% that with that information, there is an AI that records every little bit of information and translates that into a report that tells the producers or the platforms, what works, what doesn't work, and what needs to be there in order for it to be a success. And then take those notes back to the filmmakers and say Do you need this more jokes like this? Less jokes like that more action hits like this more scares like that. It's literally what Hitchcock was saying years ago where he's like, wouldn't it be amazing if you could just plug everybody into a piano and hit a note and make them cry and hit a note and make them jump and hit a note and make them laugh. That's where we're going, guys. We're going into this data driven, film making world and we're not going into it we are there it is happening as we speak. It is terrifying in many ways, because as an artist, you just want to express yourself. And I think they'll always be a place for artists to be will, and filmmakers to be able to express themselves through this medium in whichever way they want to. But the budgets will have to come way down. And film you know, film studios and the platforms aren't going to take as many risks as before, unless you're at one of these high, high end proven hitmakers. The world is a changing Ladies and gentlemen, the world is changing. And I want you guys as members of the indie film hustle tribe as a filmtrepreneur tribe, to end the bulletproof screenwriting tribe to understand the rules of engagement when you walk into this business. And the one thing that was constant throughout AFM was every filmmaker that I walked into and met there, which were there, there were many, almost all of them asked me When is your book out? When is your book out? Alex, I need to read this book, I need to read the Rise of the filmtrepreneur. And as I said earlier, in this episode, it is coming out December 2, it will be available paperback, as well as ebook and audio book. And I will show you how to get the audio book version for free if you've never had an audible account before. And I'll give you all that information as we get closer to it. But guys, again, I really hope that this episode has opened your mind and also opens your your interest in learning about the business, man because if you don't understand this business, you won't make it guys. You just won't. You won't make it because the world that you might be making movies for is gone. You really need to understand the marketplace. Now you really need to understand who's buying what why people are buying how people are watching. What products are people purchasing, how you have to change your mentality on how you make your movies. If not, you will be a hobbyist. If you're lucky, and you won't get to the next level, you will never be able to make a living doing what you love to do. And that is my goal for everyone who hears my voice. And if their interest is to make a living doing this, it is my goal in life to show you how to do it. Now if you want links to anything I talked about in this episode, including the book I am currently reading which is mind blowing. It is mandatory reading for any film entrepreneur or indie film hustle tribe member. The big picture by Ben Fritz, you definitely have to check it out. Just head over to the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/363 Thanks again guys. And again, if you want to preorder the book just head over to filmbizbook.com that's filmbizbook.com i hope this episode was of value to you. I really hope it changes the way you think about making movies, and how you're going to approach creating your art creating your films series and content in the future. Thanks for listening guys. Oh, and by the way, please share this with every filmmaker you know, share this episode because this information needs to get out to everybody. So if you've got a filmmaker that that you know that needs this information, please share this episode. I truly appreciate it. Thanks for listening guys. As always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.
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By Alex Ferrari |
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