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I'm setting this up for my film company but would this be of any interest to you too?

I'm currently re-building my film company's website where we'll be selling downloads of our films, dvds, blurays and merch.
We'd be driving traffic to it and promoting our products in certain press, at film events, etc...

To keep costs down, I also run a print/embroidery business so will be printing our own products like mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, jackets... etc.

Also to keep costs down, we're going to be duplicating and packaging our blurays and dvds and handling all shipping in-house.
It's more work but I can incorporate it into my day job/business.
But ultimately it means keeping our costs down and we get to keep much more of our profit!
I'm also building up affiliates and giving the affiliates 40% from every sale they make.

I'm not sure if this appeals to anyone but thought I'd offer this service out to other film makers.
I know Amazon can handle the making and shipping of your dvds but I hear that if you sell a DVD for 9.99 Amazon will only give you around 59 cents. That's about 4 or 5%.
I'm not taking anything away from Amazon as I know indie film makers do quite well on Prime.

I thought if I'm setting this up for my slate of films then I suppose I could do this for other film makers too. But you'd get 40%, not 5%.
You'd have your own account so you can see your sales and it'll be paid into your PayPal account every month.

Your customers don't need to sign up to any accounts with us, like Vimeo, where I'm hearing a lot that it's a turn off for most customers and affects sales.
I don't want to add any barriers for customers to buy any of our products.
There's a lot of VOD platforms popping up but my customers would have to sign up to an account with all of them just to purchase/watch my film. That's a huge barrier and I would expect my sales would be even more crippled because of this.
Hopefully this would be an easier alternative for our paying customers.

I'd also promote your films in with the marketing campaigns I would've been doing anyway, and can sell copies of your film from our stalls at film events, so hopefully that would help too.

Anyway I'll leave it there for now, I thought I'd test the waters with my idea, but do let me know if you think this is a good idea or not, and if it could be of any benefit to you, or not.

  • Very interesting indeed Philip. You could also offer a kind of a one-stop-shop package to filmmakers who are doing crowdfunding and need a simple costed plan for supplying rewards for pledges made as I know from personal experience that it's a real pain trying to research and negotiate lots of costing for i.e. dvd's, blu-ray, disc face printing and packaging
    alone, nevermind for cups, T-Shirts etc,. This wasn't your intent I know but, there most definitely seems to be a big opportunity for a printing firm run by a savie businessman/filmmaker, as also it being mutually beneficial as filmmakers, kind of like in a miniature way to, Ridley Scott buying into big-time post-production facilities (thank you). Why so important, making a film is only half the battle, what most filmmakers do not spend any time doing is looking at cost-effective ways of marketing and promoting their films, innovative and easy ways of doing this are more than useful they are essential. Also, any potential ways of expanding on the tiny (pitiful) margins of revenue share being currently offered by the big companies is the way, we all as filmmakers should be thinking about. So a very exciting idea Philip and really looking forward to hearing more and talking in person very soon.

    9 months ago
    • Thanks for your reply Ray. I'm glad you mentioned that as that's part of my idea too :-)
      Like you say a one-stop-shop. I just wanted to test the waters first and see if anyone would be interested in this.

      I agree with you on the pitiful revenue share from such big companies but I also have a bit of an issue with most of these new VOD / streaming platforms that are popping up... don't get me wrong, it's great they're here and if they're bringing in the revenue for the film makers then that's perfect...
      My small problem I have however is, even though they offer approximately 80% or 90% share from each sale, these companies have put a HUGE barrier up for potential customers to make a purchase.
      "To buy my film you have to sign up to an account on a VOD platform..."
      This puts off a lot of customers, which means lost sales, which means even at a 90% share, it's still going to make a big dent in revenue.
      I'm guessing too these small VOD / Streaming companies don't publicise or help market your film, except maybe on their social media pages.
      You are solely driving traffic to their site and they are collecting all your customers details.

      Even though my percentage is 60/40%, I wouldn't be asking YOUR customers to sign up for an account so they can buy your film, and I would actively help with marketing and selling copies of your films at film events.. offline and online marketing.
      I'd also, like you mentioned, create a package for all your printing and manufacturing of your products so that you could keep more of your money.

      If you make it a two-way-street and don't be greedy then us indies could be in with a much better chance of making a bit of money, money which we damn well deserve.

      I'm just not sure if this is something film makers would be interested in, so it would be good to get some feedback.

      9 months ago
    • @PHILIP WEST Hiya, is 60/40 before or after costs (effecively gross vs net)?

      I think having the full on-demand fulfillment facility for tshirts etc as well as dvds is a good idea, it'll be interesting to watch how it works out for you! Good luck!

      9 months ago
    • @Paddy Robinson-Griffin Thanks Paddy. My costs are taken out of my 60%, so I pretty much make less than the film maker using my services.
      If a film maker sells a DVD for £10, they keep £4 and my costs come out of my £6.
      The only thing that would probably be added is shipping which would be the basic actual cost with no profiting.

      I know this isn't the best way to do business compared to the big boys :-) but as an indie film maker myself I'm just fed up with the poor percentages we get or the barriers our customers have to go through to purchase our products... So I want to attempt a more level playing field, in some way. No matter how small it may be.

      9 months ago
    • @PHILIP WEST That is one HELL of a good deal for the filmmaker. Kudos to you :)

      9 months ago
    • @Paddy Robinson-Griffin Thank you. I just wonder if filmmakers will use the service. I've posted this same idea out on a couple of filmmaking facebook pages and haven't had any feedback.
      I'll keep digging :)

      9 months ago
  • The problem with all the V.O.D. platforms is they all almost seem to have the identical business model, as in any buyer has to sign up for an account, so that they (the V.O.D company) can grow their business and most probably make it easier to attract further investment to expand with as having proven signed up potential customers as previous purchasers. If any of the platforms also had a simple Paypal one-off purchase option, where the purchase was sent to the address connected to the Paypal account, all purchases would be automatically covered by Paypal insurance cover and more importantly purchasers would not have to give their card and address details, or even email addresses to yet another V.O.D. company to be stored potentially at risk to a future hack, the V.O.D. companies would definitely sell an awful lot more than they presently do.

    9 months ago
    • My sentiments exactly Ray.
      I'm using PayPal for the site I'm building mainly for the reasons you've mentioned, and only paying the monthly revenue split into their PayPal accounts.
      It's safer for me and all round.
      Also, I'm trying to make it easier for customers to spend with only a couple of clicks. Make it quick and easy for them to buy.
      I'll let you know how I get on and if there's been any interest or not :)

      9 months ago
  • Phil, please keep me posted when it's ready:

    9 months ago
    • Hi thank you, I certainly will. I'll email you very soon.

      9 months ago
  • Hi Phil,
    I am prepared to contribute some films to start the ball rolling on this. As a sales agent finds it easy when they accumulate a library so would a collective taking advantage of discounted rates, the more filmmakers with films that get behind you initiative the better, greatly looking forward to seeing provisional costings for DVD's Bluray's and merch when finalised.
    Security lies in the heart of alliance.
    Regards Ray Brady
    Directors showreel Drama 1 of 2

    9 months ago
  • P.S. Re the present hyper-links on my website for sales, the sooner the better for them to be replaced with links to your new site providing a link for blu-ray, dvd and merch options as, proportional percentage income would several times greater than what I presently getting from Amazon by steering my sales traffic towards them.
    Regards Ray

    9 months ago
    • Thanks so much Ray, we're still building the website but we're getting close. I'm aiming to have it ready in February, so not too long now.
      I'll get all the info you need just as soon as it's all been worked out.
      The response for this has been really positive so I want to make sure it's done right and build trust.
      Thanks again Ray for championing this I honestly hope you and others get some positive results in sales etc...
      I will certainly be in touch with you very soon.

      9 months ago