So, you've dumped your life savings, as well as your friends and family's hard-earned money, into your indie horror film... and after your countless hours of work in pre-production, production and post-production, you're ready. Your film is complete. Now, what do you do? Well, as we know, now is when the real work begins. Do you take it to the festivals? Do you just put it out on the web? Do you self distribute? Do you look for a distributor? All good questions and the answers depend on what your film is like and what your goals for the film are. Sometimes, all you're really looking for is an audience and some exposure and, sometimes, getting that isn't as easy as it sounds.
Simply getting your film out there can be the most important thing for an indie filmmaker, especially if you're an indie filmmaker that's just starting out. In fact, a lot of filmmakers will make short films with a goal of just finding an audience to get their name out there. But, even if you are looking to sell your film, it never hurts to get more exposure. Now, we're always looking for new tools for you guys to use and have generally concentrated our efforts on web-based projects and the festival scene. However, I recently received an email from Mike Schneider, the curator of the film, "Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated". Remember him? Here's a LINK to the interview we did with him a little while back. Anyhow, he sent me an email recently and brought up a very interesting option for filmmakers - and I think this an option that's relevant to everyone, as it could work as a marketing tool as much as it could work as a way to just find an audience - get your film into the hands of horror hosts. That's right, horror hosts. There's plenty of them out there and they're starving for material... Mike will explain why. I've posted Mike's entire email below, as he explains this all better than I could. By the way, if you do decide to go this route, PLEASE email us and let us know how it goes...
"As I may have mentioned in the interview, NOTLD:R has been doing the rounds with numerous horror hosts both on TV and the net. What you might not know is, there are well over a hundred active horror hosts, some with over a hundred thousand regular viewers each week and many of these hosts are open to showing just about any short, feature and animated horror/ fantasy / sci-fi production. Since Universal stopped their hosting packages, many of these horror hosts have been land locked in the public domain and, since the Sonny Bono Act started allowing films which were once public domain to have their copyrights restored, this is a land slowly slipping away.
The hardest thing about offering productions to horror hosts is tracking them down. Many do not keep their sites up to date and many do not have websites at all. Being localized, they won't be topping any google search, and being public access they can't afford expensive ad campaigns... but they exist and they have an audience. Through research and networking, Corpse S Chris (Horror Host Graveyard) and I have come into contact with many of these active hosts (well over a hundred of them with more all the time). Working together and in conjunction with a number of horror hosts, we have created a blanket release form which would allow people to declare, 'Yes, you can host my production', to all horror hosts in one big sweep.
This release form (click HERE to find it) is a simple 2 page document which allows filmmakers to succinctly describe their productions as well as set the terms for hosting it through a series of multiple choice selections. (Every host has a different style and show format so the more the filmmaker is open to, the more hosts that might be able to show their productions.)
Once complete, the form should be sent to email@example.com. These completed forms will be entered into a catalog which will be kept private, but accessible to all horror hosts. If a host agrees to the terms and is interested in the production then they will contact the filmmaker for a screener. There is no submission fee, handling fee, or compensation if selected... this is exposure, pure and simple. Still, with campy but informative frames presented by a familiar face and potentially millions of homes... that is a kind of exposure you can't buy... all while keeping the horror community strong.
I remember reading in some of the interviews that the filmmakers were having trouble finding distribution/ places to show their work/ and dealing with the cost involved in submitting their works to festivals. This circumvents the whole thing and gets it right into people's homes and the hosts will even plug their next production, website or DVD release(s)... so it might be another solution for people looking to get their work out there."