Doing it Yourself Across All Platforms

That's officially called DIYAAP.

So... you've made your film, you've entered some festivals, you've won some awards, now what?  Where are the studio contracts? Where's the red carpet? 

How do get my film out into the "real world?"

First look around you. Where'd the real world go?

There's no more Blockbuster store. They got block busted.  You can get your film listed at itunes, netflix, but you need an aggregator - search that term and you'll figure out how to do that.

There's limited distribution deals available, but in order to satisfy them, you must have the help of a distributor - which is a wonderful way to go if you have interest from a distributor about doing that...


If you don't have anyone knocking on your door to distribute your film, what are the places I can sell my title?  Or sell a few titles so that I can make some more films and sell more titles?

First, make sure all your paperwork is in order. That means signed releases from everyone that you have in your film (easy to find those online) you have licensed or created the music, or any music in your film through an agreed upon formula, or you've had the music scored for the film and own that as well.

If you own everything about your film, you're now in a position to market it and sell it DIY style.

One of our film partners does that. is an excellent resource, easy to find them online, easy to find their instructions, easy to follow them, easy to start getting checks for your film.

But even if you sign up for distribution with someone else, you still have the option of distributing your film (your work, your creativity) on your own.  That's where the DIY platform comes in.  For example:

Become an Amazon Video Direct Star

How it works

Amazon will distribute a share of $1,000,000 per month as a bonus to the Top 100 titles included with Prime through Amazon Video Direct. This bonus—based on global customer engagement—is incremental to revenue earned from hours streamed, rentals, purchases, monthly subscriptions, and ad impressions. All of your titles included with Prime are automatically eligible.

Amazon Video has just channeled all of the content away from - but it's pretty much the same process.  You go to their site, follow their instructions, add the artwork, add the copy and within a few hours or receiving your content, you will have a webpage online that is searchable on any search engine. (Can't vouch for the prize above, but what the heck? Why not?)

There's a conundrum for those outside the USA - because Amazon only accepts payment in US dollars.  However, if you submit your content to them, that means that your film will be listed in their selections. 

 And if you want to sell it primarily to folks outside the US, then you would create a separate page to do that.  You would update that page so that whenever someone types the name of your film, or your name into a search engine, your page will be found.

And on the page you've found a way to sell your film.  Perhaps you use a direct download sight (like Louis CK did with his comedy show, put it up through Amazon streaming and charged people $5 a show.)  But doing it this way, every time someone streams your film, you wind up paying a fee - it's minimal, but what if there was a way to not pay any fee?

That would also be at the Amazon website.  They will accept your film, if you own all rights to it, through their system.  Another way to sell your film online is to sign up with youtube as a filmmaker, and then they will allow you to upload any length film.  And when you do upload your film, you can find the option for making your film "for purchase only."

Good idea to make that price roughly what people would normally pay to watch your film - if people have to pay alot, and don't know what they're viewing, they may not want to pay very much.  But... you can charge as much or as little as you want.

If you've signed up with them, whatever proceeds you get from the sale of your videos, goes directly into whatever account you've set up with youtube or amazon.

Does this sound easy?

It is.

Finally, once you've put your film up on a "Pay per view" site - people generally won't go looking for it unless you either advertise or promote it in some fashion.

That's where the DIY promotion and advertising knowledge comes into play.  Seek out the kind of people who would be interested in your subject matter - if it's a niche market, all the better, because you'll already know who's a fan of this kind of material.  Contact people who market and sell magazines, newspapers to these people, and suggest reviewing your work, your film, and perhaps an interview with the filmmaker and how the film was made.

Make sure it's easy to find the title of your work.  So if you create a webpage, or have a blog (the ones through gmail and blogger are free) you can add advertising and articles and other things about your film.  When someone types in the title of your film or the filmmaker's name in a search engine, they'll find it.  (Needless to say, if the name of your blog is "BillandTedsExcellentAdventureintoDogwalking" it might be hard for someone to remember -- but if it's "" - then it's easy enough to find.) But a blog site for your film (it costs about $13 a year thru - and then just "forward" your blog to that clever name you just bought).

And you'll find the more film festivals you enter, the more your film's title gets around - and the more articles that you submit or write yourself about your film and try to get them published or into a review stream, the more people will become aware of your DIY film.  Done DIY style.

Winners.  Because they did it themselves.
So that's just some of the basic tips we've learned about DIY distribution.... stay tuned for more articles about the joys of DIY Filmmaking.


The DIY Film Festival Team