Thursday, August 2, 2007

Film Baby: Self-distribution for filmmakers

[Upon returning from my vacation, I’m now wading through my inbox and posting items that some of you may find of interest. We’ve had a number of discussions and panels recently involving distribution alternatives and I figured that some of our filmmakers might find this press release from Film Baby worth exploring. DISCLAIMER: I regularly post items of interest that cross my desk – they are meant to be informational only. This is in no way meant to be taken as an endorsement by the New Hampshire Film and Television Office.]

FILM BABY opens up self-distribution frontier for filmmakers

Members now have one-stop access to Super D, Netflix, Cinema Now and Amazon CustomFlix – as well as wide exposure on Google Video, Ruckus Networks and Sony Connect PSP

Tired of waiting for your big theatrical or DVD break? Wondering how you’re going to repay your investors, so you can get on with your career? Film Baby – a spin-off of the legendary CD Baby – has opened up the self-distribution frontier for independent filmmakers through a series of groundbreaking partnerships.

Besides providing a popular online channel to indie fans for DVD sales, Film Baby now gives member filmmakers direct access to Super D, Netflix, CinemaNow, and Amazon CustomFlix – representing a range of distribution opportunities that typically require representation by a professional sales agent. Among them, every Film Baby title with a barcode is now automatically available to over 2400 chain and independent music stores through Super D (one of the world’s largest wholesalers of DVDs). Furthermore, member’s films can receive immediate consideration for acquisition by Netflix and digital downloading through CinemaNow. Filmmakers set their own retail and wholesale prices (with the exception of downloads), while Film Baby facilitates and handles all the processing, shipping and collections – with full payments to members on a weekly basis. The only charge to members for the spectrum of services now offered is a one-time set-up fee of $39.95 per title and a flat commission of $4 per unit sold.

To support the growth of the independent film community, Film Baby has also set up promotional partnerships with Google Video, Sony Connect PSP and Ruckus Networks to provide members with additional marketing exposure to millions of potential new customers. A two-minute trailer/clip for each Film Baby title will be featured on Google Video with a direct link to its sales page. Members can also reach the coveted 18-to-35 key demographic by offering their films for download from Sony Connect to be played on Sony gaming devices PSP and PS3 and Ruckus Networks’ digital entertainment service to over 900 university campuses – both with direct links back to their Film Baby sales page.

Based on the successful model that has allowed CD Baby to pay its members over $47 million to date, Film Baby makes it possible for filmmakers with marketing savvy to finally fully maximize earnings from alternative distribution. As an example, for a DVD sold through Film Baby at $19.95, a member would collect $159,500 for each 10,000 units sold; $1,595,000 for each 100,000 units; and $15,950,000 for a million units.

Best of all, Film Baby’s services are non-exclusive. Filmmakers retain all rights to their work and can terminate their membership at any time. Filmmakers are paid each Monday for sales during the previous week, including through Film Baby’s distribution partners, and have instant access to their sales data 24/7. The one-time set fee of $39.95 per title includes a dedicated web page on Film Baby’s newly-upgraded site – featuring a two-minute trailer or clip for the film or video, a high-res scanned image of the DVD/video cover, a link to the official website, and all the descriptions, press coverage, critical reviews and bio information the member chooses to include. Film Baby also reports all sales to VideoScan, which collects and disseminates weekly sales data for the industry to The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Billboard and other outlets.

For more information about Film Baby services, visit