The final outlet goal for a movie by filmaker will decide the amount of money you need to soend for professional video masters (digital betacam) of a completed film and trailer. When it comes to landing a deal with a distribution company, it is inevitable to have professional video masters done. Selling your movie without signed film contracts and delivered masters is impossible for everyone.
You can get quotes by calling around to video facilities or post production houses asking what the cost would be to have a Digital Betacam master (NTSC and PAL) made of your movie along with a 100% Quality Control Report. Film and video transfers work great if you shot on 8mm, Super 8, 16mm, or 35mm. The facility will need to know the final running time of the movie even if you haven’t shot or finished editing your movie yet. The earlier you can get an estimate on what this will cost, the better. This will help make your final movie budget bulletproof.
A good rule of thumb is to estimate a 90-minute running time when asking for a quote on video mastering with a QC report. When you receive the best quote include that amount in the budget. Self-distributing your movie allows more flexibility in creating video masters, which reduces your post production expenses. For filmmakers without technical resources to produce a quality master in-house that will be used to author, dub and replicate DVDs of their movie a video facility or post house will still be needed. But unlike with a traditional distribution deal you won’t have to worry about the expense of having a Digital Betacam master (NTSC and PAL) done accompanied by a Quality Control Report.
Now more and more filmmakers have in-house home computer systems with the technical capabilities to edit, DVD author, and burn their own store ready DVDs on NTSC or PAL formats. In essence it can be seen as a microcosm of how large Hollywood studios work to get a film to consumers. Filmmakers that have this ability save money in post production.
It is worth mentioning that with a traditional distribution deal in-house DVDs created by filmmakers are rarely the final DVD that is released for sale by the distributor. They prefer to use digital masters to author their own DVD so they can include their company logo and other film trailers. Other filmmakers are embracing the attitude their films are going to be only offered instantly through a digital download. There isn’t a desire to have their films available on DVD. This lowers post production costs by reducing the need of having a Digital Betacam master.
Digital distribution gives independent filmmakers power to control how their work is distributed and sold online. They can make their movie available for instant download to viewers around the world. Many business savvy indie producers are making money by selling movies directly to consumers without the assistance of traditional distributors.
A key to their success is SEO movie marketing techniques that give their film a strong online presence, while increasing visibility with films fans in different genres. Using search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to generate traffic and create a fan base for your movie is the only way to market effectively with little or no budget. Learning to create an Internet buzz about your movie will get your film seen and sold online. This is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing JUMP CUT: