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The Brutal & Honest Reality of Self-Distributing a Film Today with Jeff MacIntyre

Today on the show we have 18 time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Jeff MacIntyre. Jeff is the director of the new film The Great Cookie Comeback. Famous Wally Amos introduced us to his famous cookie in 1975. It was love at first bite! 🍪 Then…he lost it all to a big corporation. For 30 years, Wally’s been hustling to get it back. At 82, facing huge personal and financial challenges, can he make his new cookie as famous as his first? Nobody deserves a Great Cookie Comeback like Wally Amos!

Jeff wanted to be completely transparent on what he did right and wrong on his self-distribution adventures. He decides to create a 45 min+ mini-doc explain the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here’s some info on the doc.

Today, anyone can make an indie film or documentary. The real challenge is selling/distributing your film! In this brutally honest case study, I reveal my steps and strategies for launching a feature doc.

Real numbers will be shared! It ain’t pretty, but I hope it helps you. Honestly, there’s too much focus on film-making and not enough on film-marketing, film-promoting and film-selling. As indie filmmakers, we must wear all these hats for a fighting chance to successfully self-distribute a film/doc.

I just launched a feature-length doc about Wally Amos…THE Amos behind Famous Amos Cookies. This wasn’t my first film. I’ve been cranking out docs for a major network for decades…picked up 17 Emmy Awards along the way. I’m pretty comfortable with “the making” of content. However, brand new was the selling/self-distribution responsibilities with this documentary.

Choosing to self-distribute wasn’t an easy choice. But the alternative of “traditional” film distribution was as appealing as getting a colonoscopy from a dentist. 96% of distributors see you like a juicy fly which they hope to woo to their web. Getting drained dry by a used Porta Potty salesman wasn’t a priority. So, I decided to blaze the self-distribution trail alone.

There are so many moving parts to pull off a successful film launch. Fresh off the trail, I thought it might be helpful to document the entire experience for other indie filmmakers. Rarely, do creatives share exact numbers? From the film’s production budget to ad spend to profits, I peel the curtain back. Warts and all, you’re going to have a front-row seat on what it looks like to self-distribute, market, and sell a doc in this new era of indie-film.

Famous Amos even made it on Shark Tank to pitch his new cookie concept.

I reached out to Jeff so he could share his story with the tribe. If you are thinking of self-distributing your film this is an episode you will not want to miss. Enjoy my conversation with Jeff MacIntyre.

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