The Living Wake: The How & The Why Of Our DIY (pt. 3 of 3)

Today's guest post concludes Sol Tryon's tale of some of what he learned and loved from making and distributing The Living Wake. Having seen the challenges of indie films hitting theaters with little to no marketing budgets, we have set a theatrical schedule that allows us as the filmmakers really support the film in each market where we release it.  We have set up a network of influential people and companies to support us by doing hosted screenings for nearly every single screening we have.  This creates more of an event type of feel to the traditional theatrical experience as well as the opportunity to cross promote with our host for each particular screening.  The way it works is that the host targets their friends, fans and supporters to come to their specific screening while we market to our networks as well. The idea being that we are able to bring awareness to our host and their work as well as them bringing audiences we wouldn’t have necessarily been able to reach ourselves into the theater.  Ultimately what it all comes down to is a targeted grass roots network that will hopefully spread through word of mouth.  While we don’t have unrealistic expectations for our theatrical box office numbers, we do believe we will significantly raise the awareness for the film in general and hopefully that will lead to larger interest in the DVD, TV, VOD, digital and foreign rights.

Since we have set our theatrical plans in motion, we have already received much of that interest in our film.  We have been able to close on deals for North American rights for the film with different companies that will allow us to retain the right to sell our film ourselves as well as put it through the traditional channels into the marketplace.  We have targeted on deals that are for short terms and provide high percentages of profits coming back to us.

In the end, it has been an amazing journey that started out with a single creative vision, grew into a collective achievement and now is taking us in directions we never imagined. I have realized that to be an independent filmmaker you no longer just have to know how to make a film, you have to know how to finance, make, market, negotiate and sell your film to the world.  While the whole process is exhausting and all encompassing, I have learned more than I could have ever dreamed of. Going through everything my team and I have with this film and actually seeing it open in theaters in several cities across the country is absolutely the most incredible feeling.  Knowing that this film exists and can be seen strictly because of the vision and hard work of our ever-growing team of collaborators is at once humbling and rewarding. Despite the challenges we have faced and the length of the journey we have been on with this film, I would not change a single thing.  The film has taken us on this ride and it has led us to do everything it needed in order to be where it is today.

Don't miss The Living Wake in Los Angeles May 21st-27th at Laemmle’s Sunset 5