Cold Call Distributors

This advice is for future me as much as for you.

Once you have a movie, or even ENOUGH of the movie...

Start looking for a distributor.

To begin with, find movies of a similar type and see who distributed those.

If you're making a slick investigative exposé about animal rights, then discover who distributed the last big movie of that type.

If you've made a small VHS-styled experimental film, then find out who's distributing the ones you admire.

Next, make an auxiliary list of another 9 or so distributors.

These are our backups - although it's likely a "backup" may become our distributor.

Write to the head of the company.

It's best if you can coax-out a mutual friend or interest that could help you.

Perhaps the owner of the local movie theater knows somebody you can contact.

Or the executive director of a local movie group.

If you can't discover anything mutual it's not the end of the world.

Everybody starts somewhere.

And remember: you have your energy and enthusiasm.

Walt Disney started just like this.

In fact, he's the inspiration for this post.

When Walt semi-finished one of his first original Alice in Wonderland cartoons back in 1922, Disney being the young entrepreneur that he was, contacted a New York based distributor (from Kansas!).

He did have a mutual contact via the theater owner (Milton Field) who was playing some of his promotional cartoon shorts locally.

In the cold letter to the distributor, Walt writes:

"[I've] just discovered something new and clever in animated cartoons! ...a new idea that will appeal to all classes and is bound to be a winner... a clever combination of live characters and cartoons..."

His enthusiasm alone got the distributor to write back.

What do ALL movies need to succeed?

Blueprint for the 18 Year Old Radical DIY LoFi Filmmaker