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IFH 129: 5 Rules to Make Money Selling Indie Films

Selling Indie Films, Distribber, Self distribution, Netflix, Hulu, Google Play, Amazing Video Direct, VUDU, Playstation, X-Box, Crackle, Submit your film, film distribution, indie film rights, indie film hustle, nelson madison films, video on demand, VOD, VOD Distribution, indie film, indie filmmaker, filmmaking, independent film

Making Movies for Fun and Profit!

I feel that one of the reasons I was put on this earth was to help filmmakers and artist make money selling their films and art. There’s no reason why filmmakers shouldn’t be able to make a steady income from their films. You can here my inspiration rant on this topic here: Why Filmmakers are Always So Damn Broke & What They Can Do to Change It

So I came up with these 5 rules on how to make money selling indie films. I outline what I discuss in the podcast below. If you are going to listen to an episode of the IFH Podcast then this one and #88 (Why Filmmakers are Always So Damn Broke) are two episode you should listen too. Check out the outline below and then listen to the episode. I also go into other areas and core concepts that are not in the list below.

1. Understand the initial cost of creating the factory that will build your product

  • Buying gear
  • Building a team
  • Post Production infrastructure
  • Deliverables

2. Understand the cost of creating your product vs the return 

  • Keep the budget low enough where you feel you can make a healthy return on investment
  • Joe Swanberg (watch his SXSW talk here)

3. Understand your customer and how to engage with them 

  • Provide Value to your customer
  • Social Media
  • Email List
  • Where does your customer hang out, go there and engage with them

4. Understand how you will be getting your product to the customer

  • Distribution Options
  • Cost of distribution

5. Understand revenue streams

  • DVD/Blu-Ray
  • TVOD
  • SVOD
  • Workshops
  • Merch

Now get to listening and make your film!

Right click here to download the MP3
Download on iTunes Direct

Directing Actors, Directing Course, Per Holmes, Hollywood Camera Work, Hollywood Camera Work Coupon, Nina Foch

Slamdance Workshop Discussed on the Show

Join Blackmagic Design, Slamdance Grand Jury Award winner Andrew McPhillips, and filmmaker and host of Indie Film Hustle Alex Ferrari on Saturday, January 21 from 2:30pm to 4:30pm at the Filmmaker Lounge in the Treasure Mountain Inn for an in-depth workshop on the tools and techniques essential to the independent filmmaker.

  • Andrew McPhillips will discuss lessons learned from shooting his upcoming film “The Doll,” including how to seamlessly switch from production to post. Andrew used an URSA Mini 4.6K to shoot the film, DaVinci Resolve for editing and grading, and Fusion for the VFX. Along with serving as CG Supervisor at SPINVFX, Andrew’s work includes his animated short film “Blood Will Tell” which previously premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and took home top awards at Slamdance.
  • Alex Ferrari will discuss how filmmakers can make the most of DaVinci Resolve as a professional editing solution. Alex recently shot, edited and graded his new film “This Is Meg” using Blackmagic Design. He will dive into the ins-and-outs of what filmmakers need to know when editing with Resolve and how it can best fit into their workflows.

A brief Q&A will follow the presentations along with raffles for prizes, including a Micro Cinema Camera, DaVinci Resolve Studio and Fusion Studio!

Join Blackmagic Design afterward from 5:00pm to 7:00pm for a happy hour in the Filmmaker Lounge during which attendees can ask questions, demo gear and learn more about Blackmagic Design products for independent filmmakers.



  1. Directing Actors Master Course – (30% OFF – CODE: HUSTLE)
  2. Get Your Film on Netflix, Hulu & Amazon & Keep 100% off the Revenue – Distribber
  3. Hollywood Camera Work: Mastering High-End Blocking and Staging (30% OFF – CODE: HUSTLE)
  4. Werner Herzog Filmmaking Master Class
  5. Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting Master Class
  6. Shonda Rhimes Television Writing Masterclass 
  7. Hans Zimmer Film Scoring MasterClass
  8. Kevin Spacey Acting Master Class
  9. (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)


  1. INDIE FILM SYNDICATE Filmmaking Community
  2. IFH’s Online Film School
  3. Six Secrets to get into Film Festivals for FREE!

Action Items:

BONUS: TOP TEN Online Filmmaking Courses

If you like 5 Rules to Make Money Selling Indie Films, then click below:
Why Filmmakers are Always So Damn Broke & What They Can Do to Change It

filmmaker, indie filmmaker, filmmakers, indie film hustle, alex ferrari, filmmaking podcast

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I welcome thoughts and remarks on ANY of the content above in the comments section below…

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Facebook Comments


  1. […] Recently, he did a show called “5 Rules to Make Money Selling Indie Films” […]

  2. demham on April 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Thx for these hard business truths!