Self distribution and why not?

I’m with Kevin Smith on telling Hollywood to go suck it.

Writer/Director Kevin Smith premiered his new film Red State at Sundance today—he’d led everyone to believe that after the showing, he’d publicly auction the distribution rights to the highest-bidding studio. Instead, he bought it himself and used the attention generated to note how broken the studio distribution system is (why spend $20 million on a film that cost $4 million to make) and how he was convinced he could a better job handling things on his own.

Just like the guys who setup Revision3 and Twit.TV, they used there familiarity and popularity from the now defunct subscribe only techtv cable channel, to launch there own much more sophisticated and effective projects to basically replace techtv. The result is light years ahead of the old techtv shows in every respect.

Kevin Smith would be crazy not to "cash in" on his followers and reputation in this space. Its actually begs the question why he had not done it earlier really? Heck and whats wrong with a little shouting at the hand that use to feed you…?

It cost Red State roughly $4 million to make, and Smith didn’t see any sense in spending $20 million (i.e. 5 times the amount it cost to make the film) just to advertise it. Smith also was tired of huge marketing expenditures whose efficacy would be determined within a period of three days.

It does raise the question what do you do, if you’ve not got that track record behind you and your looking to self publish or self distribute but I’m a firm believer that the best will rise to the top. It may take 10 years, but they will get there in the end.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.