Film distribution. The magic goal for all independent filmmakers. Traditionally, it’s gained by entering film festivals and being seen by the right eyes.
Many artists have turned to David Branin and Karen Worden for promotion of their films on their weekly L.A. Talk Radio show, Film Courage, myself included. But now, producers Branin, Worden and Gregor Collins, are forging a new path, distributing their critically exclaimed film, Goodbye Promise, not at film festivals, but on IndieGoGo.
The team explains, “Having grown increasingly tired of films caught up in festivals that often aren't available for viewing until months down the road, we knew we wanted to unveil our film in as simple and frictionless a manner as possible.”
Branin wrote, directed and produced Goodbye Promise along with producers and actors Worden and Collins. Collins plays the lead as the frustrated actor, Matt. I’ll let the synopsis speak for itself as to why this is a film any person aching for their dreams to come true can relate to:
Matt moves to Los Angeles and makes a pact with himself: In seven years he'll be a working actor. He promises if he isn't working by then, he'll pack up and go home. The film opens seven days before his self-prescribed seven-year-deadline... and he is just as anonymous as the day he started. This is his goodbye story.
“Goodbye Promise has been resonating with actors, filmmakers, and writers – basically anyone who has ever pursued a dream – who have stood at the threshold of giving up everything they've fought so hard to attain, and yet have pushed through and continued the fight.”
As in true indie, gutsy style, Branin, Worden and Collins are blazing their own trail for a new kind of distribution, taking total control over the viewership by launching it on the Internet for the whole world to see, not just whomever can attend a festival.
A simple donation of one dollar or more gets the first 100 backers a link to the film. After that, a minimum two-dollar donation will. The process is innovative, inexpensive and convenient. This might be the new path of indie film distribution.
About their choice to go IndieGoGo, Collins explains, “I do everything myself anyway, and this is natural for me. I realized after all these years in Hollywood, no one was going to hand me anything on a silver platter, and so I have to do it myself.”
The plan isn’t to make millions of dollars; it’s to let millions of people see it. The million-dollar goal is sexy and exciting, nothing more. They are simply going after the dream. Why not dream big?
Another attraction to IndiGoGo was the transparency. Branin and Worden state, “We plan to be transparent throughout our release so people can see just how hard or easy it can be to get people to pay to see your work. Best thing for us is we have made our film available in a way anyone in the world can see it, without delay and without any hassle. That was really important to us.”
As of the publication of this piece, the average donation is $7.04. Not bad.
“We are all crossing new frontiers with artists eliminating middlemen and going direct to their audiences. Conventional thinking has been that you have to be an established name to have large-scale success. We believe independent artists are going to continue to reach new heights.”
This distribution style is to the film world what e-publishing is to the literary world.
To see Goodbye Promise and follow their adventure, go to their IndieGoGo site. If you’re compelled to donate, simply pledge your dollar amount, and you can watch it right then.
Instant gratification. Perhaps that’s what indie filmmaking’s foundation is – the satisfaction of taking control of your own destiny, without having to wait seven years to succeed. Maybe not “instant,” but certainly a way to have far more control than hoping you get discovered waiting tables.
We’re artists. We need to create. We need to share our creations. We need control. Now we have it.
Let’s hope this new way of distributing helps people never have to say goodbye to their dreams again.