IFH 632: Where to Make Money in Film Distribution 2023 with Linda Nelson



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Linda Nelson began her career as an international investment banker, IT executive an entertainment real estate developer.  After meeting Michael Madison, she pivoted into the movie business finally realizing her artistic potential.   As an Executive Producer on NSYNC, she quickly realized that she was interested in being more “hands on” and was the DP for her next film, SHIFTED.

As a Producer on DELIVERED she was finally able to gain experience in all aspects of the financing, development, production and distribution phases of moviemaking.  In 2007, she co-founded Indie Rights with Michael Madison and has been active in distribution every since. Indie Rights now has a diverse catalog of more than 1,200 films and exhibits annually at Cannes and AFM.  The company enjoys direct relationships with all major streaming platforms.

Enjoy this conversation with Linda Nelson.

Linda Nelson 0:00
And then the other suggestion that can work. And we've been successful with this is to make two versions of your film, one for the regular streamers, and then another MP4 edited version for your YouTube channel. And sometimes it's just a matter of taking out too many F bombs.

Alex Ferrari 0:22
This episode is brought to you by the Best Selling Book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur how to turn your independent film into a money making business. Learn more at filmbizbook.com. I'd like to welcome back to the show returning champion, Linda Nelson. You're doing Linda?

Linda Nelson 0:39
I'm doing great, Alex, thanks so much for inviting me. It's always a pleasure to speak with you and your audience then yeah. Filmmakers say Oh, I heard you on Indie Film Hustle. It's great.

Alex Ferrari 0:56
I appreciate that. You were i? If I remember you were like episode 19. I think you were like, if I remember where you were in the teens first time. Yeah, the very first time which still gets listens, and still has great value in it, by the way. But now we're at episode was 620 something or other now. So it's been? And you've been on? I mean, you I mean, the record is still RB from stage 32. He's been on like 1314 times, well here, but you're up there. You're like I've been on four or five times at least. So we make it a yearly event at this point in the game. And it's always wonderful talking to you because you are in the in the trenches of indie distribution. And when I say indie distribution, I mean true indie distribution, not $5 million. And we've got Darren Aronofsky making your movie, we're talking about million dollar below half million dollar below kind of Indies, which is where the majority of independent film is, is right now. So my very first question to you is, what is the state of film distribution right now?

Linda Nelson 2:00
Well, I'm happy to say that I think it's the best it's ever been. And we are experiencing more and more people submitting films to us, you know, which I think means that more and more people are, you know, there's a constant new stream of filmmakers making independent films and interested in making films, which is fantastic. And I swear at least three times a week, I've got a new platform coming to me saying we want content from you, you know, and and part of that's because we have a very diverse catalogue. So if somebody, especially new channels that are launching, right, they can, you know, I have a pretty good choice of content that they want. So I you know, there have to be 2000 streaming channels out there now. So there's a huge opportunity, you know,

Alex Ferrari 2:56
So let me ask you about those other because I remember a couple of three years ago, four years ago, when I was little, I think the last fm before they went before the pandemic 20, I think was 2019 or 20. Yeah, 2019. What I was hearing OTT, OTT OTT, everyone was talking about OTT and these new streaming services coming over. What do you say? Do you see any major revenue coming in from those 2000? I mean, other than the majors, other than the big boys, like these independent streamers around the world, are you seeing any money coming in from them,

Linda Nelson 3:27
The one that we're seeing the most from, is actually YouTube. And we should, you know,

Alex Ferrari 3:38
I'm gonna tee you up on YouTube, don't worry, but I'm worried about this, independent ones,

Linda Nelson 3:43
Like YouTube, or Roku channels, you know, like, there's constant stream of, and not all, it used to be that Roku was the only option for these new channels, right? Roku box. And so there have been 1000 Roku channels for probably two years. But now all of a sudden, there's just as much activity going on with Amazon Fire, which is another little way to turn your regular television into a smart TV. And it's just like a USB stick that you stick into, you know, your TV, and it turns your TV into a smart TV. So all of these, you know, technological innovations are making it possible for a lot more people to enjoy streaming. And what's great about all of these channels is that there are now very specific channels for niche content, which you've always, you know, been a big proponent of understanding, you know, who your audience is, and, and understanding you know, that you need to find your audience, you know, for your needs. So, for example, like Deco is for LGBT, I mean, didn't exist a year ago a year ago. half ago, but now it's very popular. And so I'm getting whenever someone comes to me with an LGBT film, they said, Oh, can you get us on Deco. Right? So you know, so and there, we have a fishing channel, this become popular. So the channels that I think will succeed are ones that are very specific with their content, right, so that you can find them. And I think that what's going to happen is that there will be a huge consolidation of the generalized ones. And we're seeing that because like, you take, for example, Chicken Soup for the Soul. I don't know if you remember those books, they were so popular, there were about 20 Different chicken soup books, right? Well, they got into the video business and started buying up channels. And they now own screen media. With Jones crackle, and about, they've now got about 10 through MailChimp. So I think we're gonna see a big consolidation, you know, go on in the next two years, you know, and things will settle down right now. It's just like this crazy, you know? West? Yeah, Wild Wild West with tons of channels. And, and some of them, you know, occasionally one pops up, it's doing well, where Roku channel seems to be doing well. I think there's something very specific happening with like the major studios, because they were late getting into the game, they decided to buy or acquire existing successful channels, rather than start over and have to, you know, totally start from scratch. So you had first you had box by Tubi. Right. And so that was, you know, almost two years now. And but what we're seeing, and this makes can make it more difficult for independent films is that they are now loading up their star driven content onto to be and that is pushing down the indie content. So it just means that the indie filmmakers have got to work a little harder to make it into the carousels, the various carousels on the channel, you know, so that they can get discovered, or they have to do more direct marketing with links, you know, to their content. So it's getting a little bit harder, you know, to find some of our films to be, and I think the same thing is gonna happen with Vudu. So universal via Fandango, purchase Vudu from Walmart, and that same thing, and it's just because they want to have a bunch of bills, they know, the advertisers are, you know, are putting their ads, you know, on these channels, and it's a replacement for old fashioned television, except that you just get to watch what you want to watch when you want to watch it. You don't need a TV guy, you just you know, are you gonna be swiping through, you know, all of the posters, and we'll talk about that.

Alex Ferrari 8:16
So, you know, right now, the thing I always tell people is that the main money for independent films, unless it's a certain budget range, and a certain caste is AVOD, AVOD is where most of the money is being made. Unless you can drive traffic, if you can drive traffic TVOD still, somewhat, and we'll talk about TVOD in a minute, as far as we'll talk about in a minute as well. But AVOD is the place where most independent filmmakers are making their money. Now, if you've got Bruce Willis in your movie, or Nicolas Cage in a movie that's in a different stratosphere, and that's a different conversation, based on certain budgets and certain cast a vote is the best. Is that what you're finding right now?

Linda Nelson 8:56
It is, we we are seeing very few films be successful on TV. We have two right now that have made like 20 30,000 in a month, but it's because they had it's, it's one it's not their first film. And, you know, and that's a discussion in and of itself about building a body of work, you know, so because they have that experience and and, and they're on their third or fourth film. They have an existing audience that's waiting for their next film. So they've been able to really capitalize on that and do well on TVOD, first, that run usually doesn't last more than I would say, three, four months at the most, and then they'll start to trickle down. So what we do is we really carefully monitor the TVOD. And if we see nothing in the first month, we're turning SVOD if we can and And AVOD, also, but if it's going if it's going well, we'll leave it just on Teavana until the revenue gets down to under five grand a month. So we want to, you know, kind of milk that for all we can while it lasts. Yeah, it doesn't happen often.

Alex Ferrari 10:22
Right! And it's it again, it's because those those filmmakers are driving traffic, they understand how to market how to drink. Even I hadn't. I had Mark Toya on the show, who made monsters of man. And he made I think he's at the six or $7 million mark at this point. But he understands. And he had a million dollar movie with no stars in it. But he understands how to market an action, an action movie about robots in the jungle. And he was able to, and he did it so well, that he's still making money every month. He's pulling 50 60,000 on a bot and he still does TVOD as well. But he knew how to drive that traffic with Facebook ads and YouTube ads, and that kind of stuff. But that's an anomaly. You know, it's not, it was I mean, I had I had Michael polish on years ago, in the first 100 episodes, and he made a half a million on TVOD, off of a movie called for lovers only. But it was 2010. Yeah, I mean, in iTunes was just starting. And he had a face of a of an actress who was you know, she was just starting out on a big show on castle and it just was this whirlwind. But it was a different time that movie comes out today. I don't think TV ads will make half. Yeah, it's just a different world. So really quick, because I know we're throwing around terms that a lot of people understand. For everybody understand TVOD is transactional video on demand. AVOD is advertising video on demand. And SVOD is subscription video on demand. And transactional means rental purchase, things like that. AVOD has ads and subscriptions, Netflix and Amazon, those kinds of Hulu and those kinds of packages. Which brings me to my next question in the AVOD space, because I know this has jumped back and forth a bunch, you know, Pluto to be. And YouTube, which was gonna talk about, where are you seeing the biggest? The biggest returns right now in the AVOD space? And where do you see it going? In the next year or two? If you have that, if you can look in a crystal ball?

Linda Nelson 12:22
Oh, sure. Sure. Well, right now, I have to say Tubi, but it is for kind of specific content. It's urban, it's crime, right? We do not have Doc's doing well, on Tubi, for example, you know, so that, you know, is providing the largest, you know, revenue.

Alex Ferrari 13:13
We're on Tubi. Yeah. So let me let me ask real quick, I mean, me ask you about Tubi and this is something so so filmmakers listen to can understand the mentality about Tubi Tubi is a free service. So the customer base on a free service is going to probably be lower to middle income, kind of people, generally speaking, is that because the kind of movies

Linda Nelson 13:38
But more and more people are saying, Oh, I watch movies on Tubi all the time. Me personally, I don't like to be interrupted with ads. But there are a lot of people that grew up with regular television, and they're used to getting up and going to the restroom or grabbing a snack and they don't, doesn't bother. So I initially thought that, but I'm not of that persuasion anymore. And also, I think the fact that they now have a lot of star driven content on the channel, right, that is also changing that.

Alex Ferrari 14:16
Well, isn't it but so so what happened to to be is exactly what happened in the VHS market. Because originally the VHS market, the studios were staying away from VHS, because they're like, no, no, no, we don't want to do it. And then the boys like Canon and trauma and new world came in to fill up the content space. But as soon as the studio said, Oh, well let's throw in our stuff. Their back catalogue stuff come in. And then as you know, the cannon boys went under new worlds kind of did the thing drama can but they all dropped because now they had competitions from Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt and all these big stars. So that's what's happening now.

Linda Nelson 14:49
It is, and it's why I think that for indies, more niche channels are going to grow and become Um, you know, better providers, you know, revenue, as long as they can survive, I mean, we'll see in the next couple of years are going to be who which of these channels that are still truly indie, you know, are going to survive, and there will be, there'll be a number of them, maybe we'll have five, maybe we'll have 10. But also, what's happening with those is that some of them are going global. And that's really affecting the whole marketplace, too. And markets below market. So we can talk about that a little bit. But I mean, like, you take, for example, the Roku channel, they're planning on going global global, free V, which is Amazon's AVR channel is planning on going global. And that's going to change things, too, you know, and Europe is starting to catch up. One of our big goals at the market this year is to make sure we are connecting to the best streamer in every territory, so that we can get content, you know, in all of the foreign territories. So it's just happening now they're way behind the United States.

Alex Ferrari 16:15
So that's a good question, then if the if Oh, if, let's say free because no freebies in, I think the UK, they're started, they're launching in the UK soon. And they're starting to roll out. I've heard freebies a good place to right now for AVOD. It's like up there with with to be. But if these big channels start to go,

Linda Nelson 16:37
I'm wondering, just stick something in there because I don't want to forget about it. freebie is paying 10 cents an hour period.

Alex Ferrari 16:44
Yeah, that's good.

Linda Nelson 16:48
But it's not dependent on the number of ad impressions. Right, the way the way all the other avons pay you a specific rate based on 1000 ad impressions.

Alex Ferrari 17:00
So it's a different model, it's just a completely different model. So So if these these companies start going global, that that's going to affect the markets, that means you can't sell to Germany, because your film might already be in Germany, because you are able to place it in Germany. So you're going to get more money out of your own placement in Germany, or you're going to make more money selling it to the guy or gal who, you know, can put it in Germany, like how has that changed the dynamics of the markets and Jen being able to sell internationally,

Linda Nelson 17:31
It's really changing it, because we are we have now started turning down some all rights deals in territories. Because we feel we can make more revenue streaming. And as, as some of these bigger streamers, like Roku channel, freebie, become global, and accepted, you know, in the same way that it took Netflix a number of years, right? To go global and be global and all of these territories, you know, it's gonna take some time for the indie streamers to mature in the marketplace, too. But as that starts to happen, more and more, they will all right, deals are not going to be as valuable, I don't think and you know, so those deals have tended to go down in value anyway. Right? And so yeah,

Alex Ferrari 18:31
It's that the 50,000 or $100,000 buyer used to get it now

Linda Nelson 18:35
They're like 15 20 for is good. So, but also it means that we have to really watch, you know, what's happening in in these territories streaming was the thing that's really important for distributors now and this is it has been pivotal for us is that you have really great rights management software, you know, like for us, all of our content now lives in the cloud. And we have it all. Every time we make a sale, it's marked for that country so that when somebody comes to us and ask for a list of films that are available for their territory, we can do it just like that, and deliver just like that. Whereas before, it would take a lot of research and digging through contracts to figure out okay, what films are available for which territories right? It was a little done by hand and on spreadsheets for years. But now, you know, people are starting to the technology is good enough to be able to do that. So for distributors, those distributors that are going to survive are the ones that can really manage their rights effectively. So

Alex Ferrari 19:51
So so when, because I remember when we were doing our deals back in the day for my couple films. You were saying like yeah, we're not going to sell to Australia because because we already have it on Amazon and the Australian guys, unless it's a special deal, we'll make more money, just because they're going to do they're going to put it up on Amazon. So we'll we'll just keep that money. Would it make sense then would you be set? Would you be interested in selling other rights in those territories like cable things, that theatrical things like that

Linda Nelson 20:22
Broadcast airlines, ships, most, most of the films that we have are, you know, are not going to go theatrical, they're just not big enough budget, like you said, you know, but But it's rising, we're starting to now kind of our upper limit is like 3 million, where it used to be 1 million, were the hit, we're starting to get a little bit better quality films and start to see, you know, some people like we just got a fantastic doc, that features Colin Farrell, who made a football team out of homeless people in Ireland, and it's fantastic, you know, some of you know, the more we can do that the better relationships, we're gonna be able to build with, you know, broadcasters. So opening up more for us than it was in the past.

Alex Ferrari 21:20
So let me ask you this, though. And I want this few people to really pick up open up the ears with this. You know, star power is still star power. The only thing that trumps star power is niche. And the niche has to be executed almost perfectly. And there's a lot of work to do that boat. Right now. As you see that those those carousels, those, those thumbnails go by, you stopped generally, when there's a star that you recognize is that Is that still true at any budget range, almost

Linda Nelson 21:55
100%. And it's like, when we got that film with Colin Farrell, and there was no picture of Colin, on the post. It may have been his personal preference to say, No, I want spotlight on me, I want the spotlight on the team, you know, but we were able to, you know, change our landscape posters and have him, you know, good picture of his face with a couple of team members and stuff. And it makes a huge difference. It really, really does. And also, star star power is important. And the niche thing. Just the the matter. Is there a big niches and

Alex Ferrari 22:44
The basketball movies not that big of a deal.

Linda Nelson 22:46
No, or it's always like if you have a movie about baseball, that's huge. You know, we have a baseball film that just did tremendously well, because of that. And but, you know, for example, you know, LGBT, you get really specific niche there, and it's only about trans, it's, that niche is much smaller, right? So baseball, the baseball, so we'd have to really work a lot harder, you know, at connect. So, you know, yes, mission is important. But yeah, to be sure that, you know, you're gonna be able to connect to that audience. And then one of the crossovers, I mean, we've we've had some films that start out with a small niche, and because the film was so good, it expands. And it's interesting to a broader audience.

Alex Ferrari 23:39
And I know a lot a large part of your catalogue, you've really focused on urban films, and films that aim at that demographic, that niche audience, and they've done exceptionally well with no star power. And sometimes, you know, I've seen some of the trailers, I'm like, how much did they make this for? Like, what it's being watched? How much like it's not, you know, it's not like high end, you know, giant but big budget productions, but they understand their audience. So Well, I mean, it's what Tyler Perry. I mean, exactly. It's exactly what Tyler Perry did. He's like, he knows his audience. You know, the Madea movies when they were starting out. We're not huge budget films, and they don't look like they're huge budget films. But he does good money. He's done. Okay, that's Tyler Perry. He's done.

Linda Nelson 24:29
Some amazing studio in Atlanta.

Alex Ferrari 24:32
Oh, I know. It's stunning. But so you've noticed that in the urban space, that's, that's an example of a niche, which is very large and still underserved. Am I correct?

Linda Nelson 24:47
Um, it's becoming less so because it's incredible. How many people you know like in Detroit, Lana? I'm Michigan, la. It's a new way besides music to try and make a name for yourself. And so because the costs of making a film has come down so much, because I mean, we just got to film yesterday where the film was shot on an iPhone, because the new iPhone creates does Pro Res files. Yeah. Stunning. You know, so it just the cost has come down. And so like people would start young, and they can really create a name for themselves. I mean, we've got we have filmmakers from Detroit that started when they were, you know, like, I don't know, 1820 years old. Now. They got five jobs under their belt, and the productions look really good. Out there, we have a new series coming out that that the filmmaker feels is almost comparable to the wire. Okay, so we'll see. Right? I mean, a lot of times people think they're, you know,

Alex Ferrari 26:15
You been crazy, crazy filmmakers to think that they're the next Spielberg. No, that never happened. There's no egos in our business, Linda, come on.

Linda Nelson 26:24
So I just there's a lot more urban content, and we have more competition. There was a time when I think we were kinda like the pioneers in the beginning, you know, for that, and we helped a lot of companies grow. And so now it's interesting. There are several distributors that are focusing on every company.

Alex Ferrari 26:44
Now as there is as far a thing anymore because so many things that people young filmmakers, especially in these 500 million, or below, they're like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon by I've haven't even heard of Amazon buying an indie film anytime in recent years. What what are you seeing? Because I know you have like, I remember you did that. It was at the blockbuster, the Netflix documentary that got sold off. But that's such a specific thing. In the in the s VOD space, are you seeing s5 deals? And if you are, what kind of deals are you seeing?

Linda Nelson 27:18
What are you seeing? We're seeing as pod deals that are nice specific, like that fishing channel, right? There is a sports channel. That's, you know, so we're seeing some very niche specific as far channels. As far as the big guys go, Netflix, as far as we're concerned is not for indie films. Our level then develops, it just isn't they won't pay you enough. And they will require so much exclusivity that you blown it, everybody's seen it. And you pay no money. I mean, even you know, like, I mean, we had one filmmaker who had a font of $250,000 film waited almost a year for his offer from Netflix, they kept promising, promising, promising and they kept telling keeping us on hold for a year. Finally, the offer came through 35,000. Okay, so it was broken. What did you notice? You know, so I mean, it's just, it's just not worth it's a waste your time they want to. So that's the biggest VOD, that's still there. Hulu is, is add support now. You know, it's a combination, they have three different tiers. Right. But they're only doing original content now. When I buy but the same was Netflix saying, you know,

Alex Ferrari 28:45
What, I actually got I sold this as made before this has made came to you I sold this is Meg to Hulu and, and in 2017. That never would happen to them in a million years, because it

Linda Nelson 28:58
Delivered whistled, went to Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 29:01
It was just a different place back then. And it's just, it's just remarkable now. Yeah, cuz that's fine. It's just this big thing that everyone always talks about. And I just wanted to kind of debunk that you were gonna say,

Linda Nelson 29:12
Well, there's there's two other things Netflix is adding in November an AVOD.

Alex Ferrari 29:19
Of course, has to have to wrap an option. Yeah, of course, they have to.

Linda Nelson 29:24
And then prime. Ah, I still in my head. I'm thinking Amazon wants to move most of brought prime over to 3d. But still, we have a number of films that have good enough customer engagement. I mean, I'm, I even have people come to me say, Oh, don't put me on, you know, Amazon Prime because it's only a penny an hour. Well, no, it's at the penny an hour if you do nothing and don't promote the film. Yes. But for our filmmakers that work on promoting the films getting reviews, the way You know, we teach them, then they have a car in the 90s and 12 cents an hour. So which is, which is good.

Alex Ferrari 30:13
But isn't it sad Linda, though, like you've been in the game long enough to remember when you could actually make more than 12 cents. For one on one. I understand. But you remember when they were you were making 3.99? Oh, yeah, for a rental or 9.99 or, or God forbid a DVD at $20 per per purchase.

Linda Nelson 30:33
You know, it's, it's only four or five years since then, that iTunes was the top revenue producer for us. It was all paid transactional. And that's because there was the slow transition from the video store to streaming. Right. So the only advantage to like iTunes, and Amazon TVOD, was you didn't have to get in your car and go to Blockbuster. Right, that was the advantage. So you will still use the paying 3.99 4.99 to rent a DVD for the weekend, you know, and we used to all go to the, you know, the video store and pick up three or four movies for the weekend. I mean, it was you know,

Alex Ferrari 31:18
We're dating ourselves. We're dating ourselves.

Linda Nelson 31:23
So that, and slowly that has transitioned to the fact where people don't want to pay for it anymore. They just don't want to pay unless Tom Cruise's in it or,

Alex Ferrari 31:34
You know, but that's like one movie like Top Gun is an anomaly. Like, that's such an anomaly, because I actually paid for that movie. Like I watched in the theater. Yeah. And then when it came out, I was like, I'm buying it. Because it's such an amazing, I want to see it on my surround sound at all and all that stuff. But that's rare. You know, now minor movies come out. And unless it's a Marvel movie that I really, really want to go see. I'm like, Ah, it's gonna be on Disney plus in two months, I'll wait. And then I can see it at home. And my surround sound like it for me doesn't doesn't do it for me as much as it used to. And I think that kids Exactly.

Linda Nelson 32:11
Have to take kids to the theater now.

Alex Ferrari 32:14
It's yeah, it's still Yeah, I mean, you take take Top Gun and all the Marvel movies out of the theatrical experience last year? And what does it what is? What is what do they have? Really, it's gonna be a tough now, it's not what it used to be without any question. Now. You mentioned this little new company called YouTube. That's coming up. And I've, I've seen firsthand, I've had other people on the show talking about it. You mentioned that thing in our last conversation, and people, filmmakers, the filmmaking snobs, if you will, because we're all again, we're all geniuses. All of our work is Oscar worthy. I understand that. And when you hear the word YouTube, you're like, you want to put me up next to cat videos. That's ridiculous. Tell everybody the truth of what kind of revenue is being generated on YouTube right now?

Linda Nelson 33:11
Well, we have a comedy special that made $30,000 last month

Alex Ferrari 33:22
On your YouTube channel.

Linda Nelson 33:25
Okay. And, you know, it's interesting. Still, like you're talking about, almost, you know, almost all of our filmmakers, when they first come to us, they're like, oh, no, please don't put my movie on YouTube. It's too good to be way too good. And it's just that, I think for the most part, filmmakers don't stay on top of what's going on in the industry. Right. So which is why I think it's like, really important for filmmakers to allocate a little time, you know, like each week just to see what's going on in the industry, because it is constantly changing. And it seems to be changing more rapidly now than ever. There. This whole new concept of MCN, which are multi channel networks, has actually been around for probably about more than 10 years. Would you say, Michael? Because Disney was the first big MCN you know, pay yo lot of money for

Alex Ferrari 34:33
Maker maker, Maker

Linda Nelson 34:34
Studio. And so so they've been around for a long time, but it's kind of been under the radar because YouTube people don't see YouTube as being comparable to universal, or Paramount or Warner Brothers or even Netflix. But now,

Alex Ferrari 34:56
They're, they're bigger than all of them.

Linda Nelson 34:59
Bigger than all All together 2.6 billion active users. That's a lot of eyeballs. And we really think within not this year, but by the end of next year, that they will be the largest broadcaster of independent film. No question. I believe I believe that. And, and what's there's so many advantages of, you know, having your content there, 90, okay, we have a channel. And we really just started building our channel in January or February, right, really building it, we've always had one, we used to use it just to book trailers on it. And then the trailers would have a link to where you could rent to be or Amazon or eBay or Amazon or whatever. And then then we we realized that when the bigger MC ends, were coming to us asking us for content, whoa, what's going on here? Right? So we have a partnership with Valley arms, Valley arm is out of Australia. And they're one of the largest MCS and they were really smart, they set up all of these different specific niche channels. So they have movies, I think their main channel is called Movie Central. And then there's movie central horror movie central drama movie central sci fi, movie central Doc's. Right. And so if you look up movie Central, you'll see they have like, 11 channels. And so they market those channels. So there's very specific places for people to see, you know, the content. And not only that you to actually markets that are not their algorithm, push 95% of our views come from recommendations from Google, just naturally through the algorithm, not the filmmakers, only 5% comes from the filmmakers directly saying, I think there's still some resistance to people's watch my movie, I do, too. But I think they'll get over that quickly.

Alex Ferrari 37:21
That's a brand new, it's a brand new thing.

Linda Nelson 37:23
You get to see our reports. So when you see the next set of reports, you know, not so much this one, because we just started really in January, February, but we for four or five years, we had only 10,000 subscribers, right? Well, now we have a quarter of a million, right? Just just this year. And and it's and it's going really, really well. So we we start we're now starting our movies on our YouTube channel, and that's indie rights movies for free. And but we also work with three MC ns, we work with JUNGO TV, and they have a couple of channels. And the films are getting millions of views. And and it's it's amazing. They, the MC ends actually have a special relationship with Google where Google gives them more more information and features than just a regular individual YouTube user has.

Alex Ferrari 38:28
So and so everybody listening, thinking like okay, great. I'm just gonna put my movie up on YouTube, like, no, no, it hasn't worked out you need you need that you need to have a channel that's monetized. First of all, what should you need over 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch within a 12 month period.

Linda Nelson 38:44
A lot of subscribers,

Alex Ferrari 38:46
A lot of subscribers, isn't going to do it. So but I've been looking, I started doing a lot of research into these MCS and it was pretty interesting to see, I mean, some of these 345 7 million 10 million subscribers. So you're thinking about that you're like, Well, if you just put a movie up, you know, if a percent you know, or 5% or 10% Watch, you know right away and then that algorithm starts kicking in and if it's something that's niche, then it goes into the niche, all algorithms and if you know what you're doing on YouTube and how to optimize it, and also one thing that's really interesting to the CPMs are high much higher the highest much on Amazon much higher than to be even right yes, it's just volume right now. So it's just coming up. Now do you believe this is really interesting because the studios haven't done this yet. Studios have they're scared to to jump in they'll put their movies up for rental on YouTube. They what I've seen is the clips they do a lot of the clips of you know Famous Movies so you'll and that's been going on for a while. Do you think that they're going to open up?

Linda Nelson 39:53
They already are they already are there several studios that are putting their content up

Alex Ferrari 39:58
Like Lionsgate I'm sure Lionsgate will do the same.

Linda Nelson 40:01
I have to go back and look, but we research that too. And they're they're starting to do it, they realized, due to

Alex Ferrari 40:09
There's a lot of value, there's a lot of eyeballs there

Linda Nelson 40:11
6 Billion eyeballs, there's plenty of room for us there.

Alex Ferrari 40:18
But it's also what you've done is interesting because you're creating your own CPM. So that means that your audience, your subscribers of free of charge are going to your channel, so your content is going to be seen up there first.

Linda Nelson 40:31
And we're not splitting that revenue with anyone else, if we were put our movies up to an MCN they're automatically taking half of the revenue. And so then we are paying our filmmakers, 80% of half of the revenue, whereas the stuff that's on our channel, they're getting 80% Of all the revenue, which is great. And the other thing that is so incredible about YouTube, is the analytics are beyond belief. So tell you cities what cities are watching it. So you can focus your, your marketing, they tell you what city, they tell you what age what gender it's, the demographics are beyond like, nobody, nobody else does that. I mean, I can't tell you, how many finally to be now has a new portal for distributors. And we can see by territory, but up till, you know, a couple of months, July 1, they opened a new portal to us so we can see what you know, what's selling in Mexico with selling in the US with selling in Australia and New Zealand? So. So I think, like I said, as these channels go global, there's gonna be more and more opportunity and, and hopefully, we'll get more demographic information like for Amazon, we only know by country.

Alex Ferrari 41:57
Yeah, it's a slightly different mindset because YouTube is democratic. There's, I mean, YouTube is essentially a social media platform mixed with a video platform. So there, Alan analytics are crazy. And they want their creators to have as much information as possible so they can continue to create. So it's like a perfect storm. So you guys have essentially become your own platform. And you're an a distributor as well. So yeah, hopefully one day you have 10 million subscribers, and you just sit there and like, you know what, we're just putting it up on our channel, nobody else is gonna pay us enough. We're just doing that. And we'll just split that with you. And that might be Now one other thing, though. So if you obviously if you have an exclusive rights to the movie, nobody else can put it up on YouTube, other than you. So there's only one copy of that floating around. But if you're working with other MCs, how does that work? If there's two of the same movie going on?

Linda Nelson 42:48
No, no. They currently YouTube is allowing multiple copies. Movie, we, they whitelist us we have what's called Content ID and and so like we Valley arm, they whitelist us so we're allowed to put the same content that they have. We've heard you know, whispers that eventually, that YouTube's not going to want to have competing channels

Alex Ferrari 43:18

Linda Nelson 43:21
Yeah, well, the channels are competing. But the same movie, the same exact movie. So so but that has not happened yet. You know, and if it does, they're going on our channel.

Alex Ferrari 43:34
Right! Because you control it, you control it. And you're, you're growing it at such a rapid rate. Because you're offering basically free movies to an international market. And then you could also do translations to other languages. If you want and target those, there's so many different things, but you're in complete control of it, you're not dealing.

Linda Nelson 43:51
And what's great is it's so simple just to geoblocked. So say we have a film and we've already sold it to Germany and Malaysia. And, and Taiwan. Then when we're setting that up on our YouTube channel, we just blocked blocked those territories. So, you know, so, again, it's that rights management issue is really, really important.

Alex Ferrari 44:15
I mean, I've been yelling it from the top of the mountain, that YouTube's the future, and people are like, You're crazy. I'm like, no, no, I've been a YouTuber for for over seven years as well. So I've seen what happened on my own YouTube channel. And then I started talking to other people who have MC M's that have done very, very well and are continuing to do very, very well. And so let me ask you, then what do you see around the corner? In your eyes? Do you see? I mean, obviously YouTube is going to be I think you I think you're right YouTube's going to take over, as far as independent films are concerned generate revenue generation for independent films, generally speaking. Do you see something else coming around the corner that that you're hearing whispers of?

Linda Nelson 44:59
Well, No one for the first time in in July, streaming surpassed broadcasts in revenue for the first time. You know, and it's it's actually taken longer than I thought, I 10 years ago, I would have said five years. And but it's taken 10 years, you know, for it to happen. But the rate of decline is getting faster now. So, I think you'll see very quickly that that traditional broadcast cable is just going to disappear,

Alex Ferrari 45:39
Or go into like HBO Max, or go into

Linda Nelson 45:43
Your streaming

Alex Ferrari 45:45
There's not going to be broadcast as much. I mean, we will come we will come to a time where broadcast is gone.

Linda Nelson 45:53
The things that may say although prop, maybe not because of the internet is, you know, like sports, live events.

Alex Ferrari 46:03
But that was that's an Amazon Prime.

Linda Nelson 46:05
Exactly. So there's no football. Yeah, I mean, I we watched the Formula One races on, you know, over the internet streaming on YouTube TV,

Alex Ferrari 46:17
ESPN plus, that's it that's streaming now to like, there's a lot of these, these channels are

Linda Nelson 46:24
For the foreseeable future, I see streaming. I'm, I'm not real hot. This virtual stuff that's going on. Like we actually, we actually have a movie streaming in a virtual theater in decentraland. Okay, right. Yeah. So there's virtual lands out there, where people are, oh, this isn't shops and stuff. And, you know, like, so you can meet people, you know, with your avatar and go together to a movie theater and watch one of our movies in a virtual thing. But I just, I don't see that.

Alex Ferrari 47:04
She said famously, on this episode, and then five years from now, I was so wrong. We're making millions off this virtual crap. You don't know. But you know what, like, if you would have told me about that whole virtual reality, like, look, it's you know, it's it's old, as old as is video games themselves. But it's turning into I mean, people are buying virtual real estate on certain platforms, like,

Linda Nelson 47:27
Oh, J Central, and that that's, there's land for sale there where you could build a building and you don't have a business and it's insane. It is. It's insane. It reminds the use of Sim was it sim city

Alex Ferrari 47:41
Sims. Yeah, it was SimCity. The Sims, The Sims? Yeah,

Linda Nelson 47:44
I did that back every time. And I tried to go back and think why did that not really catch on? Yeah. Maybe it was just the internet wasn't fast enough or good enough back then. So. So I don't see that happening. I just think we're going to be living in a streaming world, that there are going to be a number that there will be a mass consolidation. You know, so, but that the ones that survive will either be the big boys, or very specific, niche content, platforms streaming. And you know what, it's gonna settle down. And there's a million things bubbling up there right now, but it's gonna settle down. And then there's gonna be, you know, maybe there'll be two or 300 channels the same way. There was on cable. If you think back, you know, when cable

Alex Ferrari 48:40
Oh, my God, you're hundreds of cable channels.

Linda Nelson 48:43
Right. And then, you know, but it settled down to, you know, some reasonable amount that people said, Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 48:50
As opposed to like, 500. Yeah, it was. It was insane.

Linda Nelson 48:54
I think we'll see the same thing happened with streaming.

Alex Ferrari 48:58
So will you guys went to Cannes this year? What was it? What did you see there? And what did you see differently? And obviously, it was I think there was the first one since the pandemic, right. So what did you see?

Linda Nelson 49:10
We saw less people, less buyers, less exhibitors. And I think that the reason for that well, one, there was still some countries that couldn't participate. So I think the real Bill whether is going to be AFM this year, but already I can see that there are only about 200 exhibitors so far. Normally, there's

Alex Ferrari 49:43
Yeah, well, I mean, you can't compare compare it. You can't compare to pre pandemic times, but from what I'm hearing, because I'll be at AFM this year and I'm working closely with those guys and they're telling me the numbers and they are some big studios are showing up so that's that's nice. So that They say that's what they say that they've signed up and people are buying. But it is a shorter AFM, it is more condensed. They are focusing it more now from what I understand to the independent filmmaker, or independent producers showing up as opposed to distributors and buyers as much showing up. So they're doing a lot more education. They're trying to try to pivot a bit, because a lot of that business can be done, arguably online, because it was done for the last two years online. So it's weird. So I'm really curious to see what it's going to be like, at AFM this year.

Linda Nelson 50:36
Yes, and all and also AFM is doing what Ken did. And that is to allow exhibitors to not have an office in the venue, main venue. And I really think that's a bad idea and counter to their survival. So there are a number of companies and that are having their office in the condo they're renting. Right. Any, any presence in the actual building itself? And I think it's very bad for the market. But yeah, and so they're getting all the benefits, you know, we're we have to pay a lot of money to have an office in the in the hotel, right? Who else would have to pay the $3,500, you know, kind of registration for the company, they're getting away with just paying that. And they still get all the benefit of being in you know, and printed catalogs, being able to do screenings, and being able to walk around and, you know, meet everybody in the venue. So, I don't know, I just didn't think it was a very good idea. So I think, you know, I think in the end, it's gonna hurt them. Because I don't know, I don't, if they're going to be working towards, you know, producers going to visit people, if there's less people to visit, how do you promote that? Right? And we're not seeing a lot of pre sale. Activity,

Alex Ferrari 52:15
It's gonna be, it's gonna be interesting. It's gonna be an interesting market, to say the least the first one that we're

Linda Nelson 52:21
Gonna have our normal wine and cheese party on Friday night. You're welcome.

Alex Ferrari 52:27
I'm not sure I'll be there on Friday night. But I will be there a little bit because I got kids, and there's Halloween coming up. So I'm not sure what the days are. But I'll be there.

Linda Nelson 52:37
Halloween is our setup day?

Alex Ferrari 52:39
So I'll be there. I think the second through the fourth, that's I'm going to be there during those times, because I'm speaking on the third there. So that'll be the night of the third, we will come we will we will we will definitely connect no question. Now. What else kind of debunk this because so many filmmakers still believe this as a truth. And it's not in my opinion. I'd love to hear yours. Film Festivals. What does it actually mean to you guys? What does it actually mean to a distributor and like, obviously, if you win Sundance and South by, it's great. It's nice. I'd like to win South by or Sundance, but it doesn't have the juice that it used to have. That in my opinion. So what's your opinion on film festivals? And how does that affect your acquisition? And how does it affect sales if any.

Linda Nelson 53:24
If you don't get in like one of the top 10 I would then only do maybe one or two local regional festivals, you know, so close to where you live, so that you don't spend a lot of money on it. It's, it's not worth it. The smaller ones, it's nice to, you know, again, have a couple of laurels. But now that everything is streaming platforms won't let us put laurels on the posters

Alex Ferrari 54:00
I haven't seen.

Linda Nelson 54:02
We I think it is Amazon loving us know, everyone knows stripping off. You know, we have to strip laurels off posters, that used to be the big advantage is it go put the laurels on your post, you can still know what we suggest to people to do is, you know, when you have your trailer have a screen one of the you know, screens so your laurels, you know so you know it can have a little value. But like I said if you don't get in the top 10 do one or two local. And that's it because what we've seen happen is filmmakers they get on this run and we have one film that went to like 25 festivals. Well by the time they got through it that the film's two years old because people have a very bad habit of saying they're premieres when they premiered a festival. Your film is not released It's not premiering till it's in release. Right? And so filmmakers have got to stop doing that on IMDb, because everybody there that looks at our films, looks at IMDb to see what year it was produced. And I've lost three sales.

Alex Ferrari 55:18
Because Because of that, yeah, and it's again, and I think that's a holdover from the 90s. And it's a holdover from that, that era of like, Oh, you've got to be in Sundance or South buyer, Tribeca, and all those are wonderful. But if you've got a movie with no stars in it, and if it's not the proper genre, and you happen to win one of those festivals, which I've been part of those movies, and I've seen those firsthand. It doesn't sell it just won't sell just because Sundance is aren't you won some award at Sundance, unless it's a proper niche, proper genre, or has some talent. Yeah, like, you know, oh, Palm Springs sold for 17 point 5 million. I'm like, yeah, it had Andy Samberg and JK Simmons. Are you kidding me? Like, come on, like that was done already. And that was a that was a, that was a deal beforehand, almost. But it's just I just wanted to kind of debunk that for filmmakers listening that don't waste your time. Waiting a year to funny.

Linda Nelson 56:17
Oh, marketing.

Alex Ferrari 56:20
I mean, it's but that's but and this is something that I know you deal with a lot you and Michael deal with a lot, Linda is emotion. Because you This is such an emotional product. It's not cookies, it's not stationery, it's not staplers. It's not printers. This is art that someone has put their heart and soul into. And now they give it to you to do the business with. But then they have these delusions in their head or misunderstandings about how the business is run, that they have expectations. Like I just talked to some some guy the other day. And he's like, Yeah, I have this horror movie I looked at the horror movie has no stars in it nicely produced, but nothing, you know, out of this world. And I said, Look, you know, go to Linda, go to give you two or three distributors that I recommend for this kind of budget. And it was done for like sub 100,000. And he you know, I sent them to a distributor distributor called me he's like the dude says he's he's expecting 600k because someone told them it was 600k. I'm like, Are you out of your ignore him? Ignore him. He's crazy. But that's the thing. And then that craziness will last about six months to a year, until they figure out oh, wait a minute, nobody's really going to give me 600k For this, no one's gonna give me 100k For this, hey, no one's gonna give me any k for this. I'm just gonna donate this to somebody. So essentially, where it gets, you know, and that's so do you, how do you deal with the emotions of the insanity that is being a filmmaker, because you guys are filmmakers yourself. So you guys are a little insane as well.

Linda Nelson 57:53
We are and we're getting ready to go into production on a film of our own. So, you know,

Alex Ferrari 58:00
You know a good distributor?

Linda Nelson 58:05
And, you know, it's very interesting, because I would say at least, at least half of the filmmakers that come to us that we decide to work with have over valued ideas of their film. And, and, you know, I mean, it's, it's like for, and they've done some things that have really almost kind of self sabotage them from the beginning. You know, like making a film in black and white, or an indie film with no names in it, you stay away from black and white. We've not been successful with one black and white film. And right now it's a reason for us to just not take a film. And that's it. That's a shame. The other thing is, for some reason, indie filmmakers think they have to be super edgy. Right? They have to have sex in it, and you know, and really extreme violence and show everything. You don't have to show everything you could be like Hitchcock, right hate, and you know, like, just see the blood going down the drain. And we know somebody's been stepped up. You know, and that's particularly true when it comes to Amr. And this is something that people don't think about when they're when they're shooting their film and figuring out their shots and what they're going to show on the screen and what they're not. It's critical that you don't have excessive drugs, sex, profanity, because YouTube view advertisers won't put their ads on your content. Probably half of our libraries unsuitable for ads, which is a shame. But we'd like everybody still to be able to go on our YouTube channel, but we just can't because they get denied. So, every filmmaker before they pick their shots and do their shot list, go on YouTube and look at their community guidelines. And read them, they're pretty clear, they are very, they give very specific examples of what you know, you know, what, what's acceptable and what's not. So really think about, you know, where's your drone going to wind up. And it's not, you know, I mean, artists don't usually, they're not trained to think that way, or they're not trained at all, they just don't normally think that way. But if you want, if you want success in the business, and you want to stay in the business, then you need to make films that have a chance of being successful. And that your films are really good, they're going to be successful. So it's not like you're doing it for the money, you're not doing it for the wrong reason. But but but you do, there are certain things that you have to keep in mind. You know, when you're writing, if you're a writer, or if you're the cinematographer, the director, you know, how you're going to shoot and stuff really, really. And then the other suggestion that can work. And we've been successful with this is to make two versions of your film, one for the regular streamers, and then another MP for edited version for YouTube channel. And, and sometimes it's just a matter of taking out 20 F bombs. Right. We had one movie that turned down for moaning. They didn't even show, you know, the simulated sex, but there was a lot of moaning

Alex Ferrari 1:01:45
Apparently a lot, a lot.

Linda Nelson 1:01:48
And so, they soon as I took the morning out, it passed. So anyway, so it's something to keep in mind when you're, you know, when you're shooting your own.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:05
And you know, you know what a lot of people are like, Oh, but I'm an artist, I don't have to do them. Like, look, Scorsese couldn't get taxi driver through the the boards to get an R rating. Because of obviously taxi drivers have been violent. Even even for the 70s it was a bit violent. And all he did was desaturate the blood in the color to in the color timing. Wow. And because he desaturated the blood, it passed. Everyone's got to deal with with censorship in that sense. Because look, this is just the world we live in. If you want to then build up your own channel, somewhere in OTT and have people pay you directly to watch your films. Good luck. But that's an option if you want to be an artist. But this is this is a business and you have to think about it as a business. It is a weirdest business, one of the weirdest businesses in the world because it is art and commerce together. And you got to kind of figure out that balance that make it work for you. Now, there's

Linda Nelson 1:03:08
Really important about YouTube, and that is music rights. We've had terrific amount of problems with people that a lot of people unfortunately, when they license music for their film, they just get festival rights. Right now, they don't go back. And you know, we suggest that you get perpetual rights right from the beginning. Always. And quite frankly, if your building is under 100 grand, I would say just do ask for Internet rights. It's a lot cheaper than trying to ask for the actual Right.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:46
Or I'll tell you what, there's so many music services out there soundstripe film pack film like there's so many like I did for both of my movies. I use music from these the stock places that give you complete rights if you pay you know you if you're a member, and there's some really great songs on the on the corner of ego and desire all the music in there except for I think, two pieces of music which I bought outright rights to, or had my composer do were some songs with lyrics and they were perfect for the scenes and and they cost me nothing because it was just part of my membership of 180 bucks a year or something like that. So there are other options. And if you really go on down and down and dirty there is free YouTube music that you can download from YouTube itself to use for your for your content as well. You know, it all depends but yeah, I agree. So many movies. Now that's another thing with with posts. So like I know you'd like to use the term post post on your films, and filmmakers have to understand post post preparing for deliverables and preparing to get your movie into distribution. From when I was doing it back in the day, my post house was much more complicated than it is today where it seems that it's a lot easier, but still a lot of pitfalls to fall into. So can you kind of go a little bit over postpones of what you're looking for and movies,

Linda Nelson 1:05:13
So first I'll talk about, you know, making sure that you're preparing for distribution. Most of the premium platforms, their minimum requirement is 1920, by 1080, progress, or two to HQ, two channel stereo. So we always require that from our filmmakers, that's the basic format, and your and your trailer must match the feature. Okay, so same frame rate, right. And so it must, it must be the same. If you've also, you know, have a 4k or a 5.1, you can include include those optionally, to us, but you must have that, that one format, because that will work for us to put on every single channel. So, so that's, that's really critical. And, and there are some basic rules that you have to follow, for example, different distributors will be different. We have a bumper, you know, with our logo on it, that we require you to put on the front of your film, in the same way that universal or Warner Brothers or anybody else would have, you put that on there. And I guess, that has to be preceded by two frames of black in the beginning, and two frames of black at the end, no more tones, no more color bars, even for broadcasting, they're not requiring it anymore. So they don't, you know, it's not something that we want. And nobody, nobody will take it that has to be stripped off. And also you cannot, on the back end, you can put any URL, so don't put your website don't promise any of the people that donated stuff that you put their website on their or their Instagram handle, though, at handles no URLs, not allowed. I probably 20% of the bills that we get have that and they have to redo there. So So that's, that's really, really important. And if you don't have a still photographer, you can your editing system will produce very high res screen grabs, you know, we we always need at least five of those. And we also need closed captions, two formats, dot SCC and dot SRT. Right, so those, those are all of them. And the most important thing to think about is your poster. That was done and we when we require to we require a vertical a portrait, you know, aspect ratio poster and a landscape poster because some platforms use landscape and some use portrait and have really clear title art and as to really show up if you have some little skinny that you can't read it when you stand back. They'll reject it, you know, they want strong title art has to be Photoshop, and all all texts on separate layers and strong images. No little people on the beach looking out somewhere, you know, it's your faces if you have anybody that's of, you know, importance you want their face on the poster, but strong bold images because your poster needs to be clickbait when somebody's sitting with their remote control or their phone or their laptop and they're just flipping to posters. They've got to be grabbed by your poster.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:09
So obviously a puppy saving Christmas that's obviously going to sell all day.

Linda Nelson 1:09:14
Yes. If you have a Christmas tree and a little puppy

Alex Ferrari 1:09:20
And maybe there's like a helicopter and he's hanging with it like he's looking cool that done done on that and then put Dean Cain on it. Sold!

Linda Nelson 1:09:31
The posts are really important and the trailer. Also, I'm gonna say two things about, you know, shooting and editing. Your trailer is important for TVOD sites. It has to move quickly. A lot of fast cuts even if it's a drama, you still want it to move quickly. No dwelling moments, you know, in your artistic moments. Yeah, no. So so you don't want that so you want it To be very fast paced under two minutes has to be under two minutes. If it's over, they truncate it. And, you know, that messes up your trailer, keep it under two minutes. And then regarding the movie, it's more important than ever, to engage quickly with the audience. Especially on a lot. Because if somebody doesn't get engaged quickly, they're just let Brian out because they haven't paid for it. And they will just like, bounce off and try something else. On AVOD. Usually, they don't even watch trailers, they just start the movie and they get engaged, they stay, they don't get engaged, they're gone. So don't start with the slow moving, you know, building moments. No, you need something has to happen in the beginning. And don't put everyone's credit on the front of the movie. All you need is the directors in the cast. That's it. And then you can put everybody's credits on the back because we get movie sometimes. It gets 10 minutes, the credits on the front, is it all we have to thank everybody, we didn't pay them and do it. People just don't stay and especially with Avon, because you're getting paid based on how many ads people watch. And if they only watch five minutes and then leave. It doesn't make any money.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:28
It's a such a different way of looking at the process and and filmmakers need to people listening, guys, please listen to what Linda saying. Because it is. I mean, look, we've look what we've been talking about seven years at this point, Linda, I mean, you've been you've been coming on the show for seven years, many of the things that you're saying have not changed. Many things have as far as the business is concerned. But a lot of these core ideas have not changed. And to think about your movie as a business is different. If you want to make an arthouse film, then just make an arthouse film a backyard film, something that's art, then go to some museums, you have to play it, you know, put it up yourself somewhere and see what happens. But don't be upset when you don't want the Oscar. But now you have to think about like, Okay, you're almost changing, the filmmakers almost have to think like YouTubers, where they have to engage within the first five seconds, 10 seconds, if not, someone's going to click away. Where are the older filmmakers of the of the generation behind us, even in the 90s, you could take your time you could build because you were in a theater, or you just rented a VHS or DVD and you weren't going to you can't click away from that you're kind of locked in. So it had to be really bad for you to get up, eject the tape, or pop out the DVD or things like that. So you were it was a different environment and theatrical, you're pretty much locked in there for those two hours. So you, it was a much more artistic situation. But nowadays, you're just competing with too much media, from from social media to YouTube creators, who you know, some guy who makes a 20 minute video about what Mr. B's doing whatever he does, is more it's going to hold more people's attention when he does like the squid games. Redo with live people now. And he did it all that thing made millions of dollars millions of dollars. And it cost him millions to make but he I think he pulled in at the end of the whole thing. I think that the numbers were like, you know, 700,000 million dollars or plus take home off of that deal. And probably more so than now. But that's what you're competing with. And especially if you're on YouTube.

Linda Nelson 1:13:44
Right! And so then to answer the second half of your question about post post, we used to always think of you know, your film journey as you know, being in development and then pre production and production and post it and you're done boom, you give it to a distributor, Dennis. Well, now there is a new phase and we call it post post. And that's about posting after post production and it's critical to the success of your movie and you can prepare for post post throughout your production cycle. Everyone on your set has got a 4k camera in their pocket. Everyone can be doing you know small interviews with their classmates or their crew mates or you know what's going on. And if you would provide them with a folder on like say Google Drive, they can all upload to that and you're going to be collecting these assets the move will become very valuable to you during post post because the worst thing I see people do when they realize oh my god my films done and now I got to do some promotion is they post their trailer 500 times and people get sick and see and you know, you just can't just use your trailer. Right so we we have a lot of debris and strategies for, you know how and what to post and where the second thing I think that's really, really critical for people to understand is that your movie is not a brand. And we've been trying to pitch this for a long time and plan people still, you know, they want them, you know, they want to see the film as a brand. And it's not the filmmaker as a brand, I don't think any filmmaker makes a movie thinking, this is the only movie I'm gonna ever make no, they make a movie, because they want to make movies. And they want to do it long term. If they want that dream to come true, then they have to learn how to be successful. And part of that is learning about the business side of it. So you are the filmmakers the brand, it could be a production company, say you have two or three people that have got together and made a production company and you're going to planning on you know, making movies together for a long time, we have several, you know, companies like that. And then then so your YouTube channel, your Twitter account, your Instagram account should be the brand, which is you or your production company, so that you're slow, you're building, as you build your body of work, you're building an audience. And so if this is your first first film fine, and that's all it's going to be on those channels, when you do your next film, then you're going to push that down on the channel, and you're going to feature the new movie, but you're already going to have subscribers and followers and people waiting for that new movie. So you're constantly building bigger and bigger and bigger. And that's why like, I told you that one filmmaker had 600,000 emails, okay, from all the movies that it made and built up their, you know, their, their brand. And then on Facebook, you make a separate page for each project. That way, you're minimizing the number of profiles you have to maintain as well, if you start making a separate one for every single movie, next thing, you know, you're gonna have 40 or 50 profiles to maintain.

Alex Ferrari 1:16:55
Tell me about it. Yeah.

Linda Nelson 1:16:58
So you want it so you want to keep in mind, you are the brand, and you want to build up, you know, an audience or your body of work, so that people, you know, will look to you, it's you know, that's how people like Coppola, and you know, in in any of these big

Alex Ferrari 1:17:16

Linda Nelson 1:17:18
And I don't care how big they are, they all started building, you know, he started with Memento was a, it was an independent film, right? You know, and you build a body of work, and then people are waiting for your next movie, eventually. And, you know, it's movie making you get better and better as you go on, you know, it's just something that you learn and protect your craft. And, you know, so that's all really, really works.

Alex Ferrari 1:17:44
So Linda, where can people find out more about you and what you and Michael are doing over at Indie rights?

Linda Nelson 1:17:49
Well, our website is indierights.com. And there's a lot of information there a lot of testimonials you can actually see our contract, they're part of our reputation is that we're very, very transparent. We have a great YouTube channel now that's called indie rights movies for free. And that's where you'll find a lot of our movies, their full feature length films in HD and, and eventually that's where you know, our movies go, we of course, we take the time to exploit other avenues first, you know, you'll get to go to a market like its market we go to, we make a really nice catalog that features each film. And if you have done your work and gotten tomatoes, you'll have a tomato on your page. And you know, quote, and so everybody gets to be in this book four times, twice, once for each candidate if and you get a big page and then Then afterwards, you get a full page after 20 years buyers aren't interested in even looking so you need to make the most of those first two years. So that's, that's those are the two best places to find us. We're also of course on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook.

Alex Ferrari 1:19:18
Linda, it has been a pleasure talking to you as always, you are a wealth of information and and I appreciate all the work that you've been doing to help filmmakers over the years and trying to get some money for free for them and hopefully educating them you do a lot of education as well and really kind of walk people through the process after they signed with you. So I do truly appreciate everything you've done and I'll see you at AFM as every year and and hopefully, we'll we'll talk about those virtual reality revenue streams that we're going to be making.

Linda Nelson 1:19:53
So much honor to be on your show and it's always a pleasure!



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