Independent films once had to gain studio attention before garnering a widespread release. Thanks to streaming services like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime, however, the process has become far simpler. While there are benefits to each service, Prime will distribute your film, let you choose how it?s distributed, and allow you to retain 100 percent of the rights. If these benefits appeal to you, the following steps will help you get your independent film on Amazon Prime.
Amazon Video Platform
1. Build Up the Buzz Before Distribution
The first step to making your independent film successful on Prime comes long before anyone ever views the movie on the platform. You?ll want to build up buzz around your movie so that, when people do come across the film in their Amazon accounts, they?ll have a reason to actually click on it.
Fortunately, this doesn?t mean you have to spend thousands on promoting your work online. Instead, start submitting the film to a variety of film festivals. You?ll want to make sure the movie fits in with the focus of the festival before submitting, but an award or two before distribution can go a long way in improving the film?s appeal.
It?s also worth noting that Amazon has been known to provide financial bonuses for filmmakers who have been featured at certain festivals.
2. Create Graphic Assets
A key step in making your film successful on Amazon Prime is creating interesting and professional graphic assets. While stills from your movie are fine on IMDB, which just so happens to be owned by Amazon, you?ll want at least one piece of professional-looking imagery to post along with your film.
Imagine what you would want the cover of a DVD release or your movie poster to look like. This is a cost that shouldn?t be skimped on. The fact is that people really do judge a book by its cover, so even if your graphic assets cost more than anything else other than filming, it?ll be well worth the cost if it makes your movie look professional.
3. HD Conversion
While easy-to-find online tools might make high definition conversion seem simple, it?s important to recognize how integral this step is. Many people won?t even watch movies on their new televisions unless they?re in HD. Make sure you have a high definition version of your film to share with Amazon.
4. Find a Distributor
One of the things that stands out most about Amazon Prime is that filmmakers can upload their videos on their own. While this certainly sounds like a great thing, going this route doesn?t typically end well. Prime has four times as many films as Netflix, and this is because anyone can upload their film. Unfortunately, this makes it easy to get lost in the crowd.
A better way to go about getting your film on Prime is to use Janson Media as a distributor. With experience in syndicated television, primetime series and video on demand (VOD) distribution, Janson Media understands the nuances involved in making an independent film successful.
With over 2,000 films and tv series distributed via Prime already, they know the necessary steps to get the greatest amount of revenue from the platform.
5. Help Build Critical Mass
Once you have a distributor, most of the work is done for you. This isn?t an excuse, however, to slack on promoting your film. You?ll need to help in building critical mass. This is the point at which your movie has received enough views to start showing up as a suggestion for similar movies.
To assist in this endeavor, simply stay consistent with promoting your film via social media and among friends. You?ll also want to keep in mind that having 20 views over a week is better than having 20 within the same 24-hour period. This is thanks to Amazon?s algorithm. Having your film on Prime isn?t the end of your work. It?s just the point where the focus of your work shifts to promotion.
Prime is currently the fastest-growing streaming service in America, so while Netflix may hold a larger market share, indie filmmakers will find that the simplest and most financially feasible option is to get their independent film on Amazon Prime. Thanks to Prime, your movie can finally stand on its own merits.
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