List: Blogs That Will Review Undistributed Films v2.0

Producer Jake Abraham has been producing the distribution of his latest film Lovely By Surprise (screened at the This is that Goldcrest Screening Series mind you!). They've had to find folks all of this land of ours to review it. Luckily for the rest of us, he's found a great amount. Even more fortunate is the fact that Jake recognizes that Truly Free Film Culture can only come by sharing information.

We should all send Jake our thanks for this totally awesome list of blogs that will review undistributed films:

I have more to add to this list thanks to the recommendations that came in when I posted v1.0. I will post them shortly. Maybe someone out there will sort them for the rest of us. Maybe some of you could let us know what of these sites are the best ones. Maybe one day I will have the time to tag this post with all their names.
So much to do...

DIY Distribution Tips: Use A DVD-Rental Store Approved Vendor

There's a good post today on FilmmakerMagBlog by Jake Abraham on LOVELY BY SURPRISE, a film he produced and is now distributing. The only way DIY is going to really ever become a viable model is for filmmakers to do precisely what Jake is doing, and share the experience. You should definitely read the whole post, but I definitely appreciated this nugget:

we worked with Indigenous to make sure that every possible outlet, both retail and online, would carry the film. They set up Netflix, Blockbuster Online,, iTunes and all those other online rental and purchase sites. Also, as they are set up as a vendor with all the wholesalers that distribute to retail rental stores and purchasers like Target, K-Mart, etc., we have orders coming in from those guys as well. This detail can’t be overlooked. Working with an approved vendor is a key step to getting your DVD in rental stores all over the U.S. (yes, they still exist). Don’t wait until your DVD is pressed to do this. It takes months to get all of this set up properly. The consequence of delaying this process is severe, as your film will not be available everywhere you want it to be when your marketing push is on and potential viewers won’t be able to access it.

Of course this brings up the question:
Who are the approved DVD vendors for the remaining DVD rental stores? It would be great to create a list. Anyone know of any? This is the kind of information every filmmaker needs to have and needs to know where to access.
We screened LOVELY BY SURPRISE at our This is that Goldcrest Screening Series and the film went over quite well with our crowd. The most uniform response I heard was that everyone thought the film was unique and they had not seen anything like it. How great is that?!! I wished I lived in a world where this was the most sought out attribute from all filmmakers. To me such praise is gold. There should be a box where you can check that as your preference. I would join a film club in a heartbeat that promised originality on a regular basis.
Reading Jake's column though, it reminds how early into the wilderness we all are. To forge a path requires a huge communal effort. There is so much I don't know, and I would bet I know a hell of a lot more than you do (not to be smug, but...). But it is not intimidating; it is only reality. When I look at the work everyone did demystifying production, development, festival strategy, and initial sales -- essentially the work of the Indie Film movement of the last 15 years, I know that distribution and marketing are conquerable too. Provided we share that is. So what are the next steps?
We should start a regular column here on DIY Distribution Tips. Let me know if you have any.
Like the DVD-Rental Store Approved Vendor List, also let me know of any further lists you think we need to build.
And check out the LOVELY BY SURPRISE website. It's nice. One thing I think they did really well was the placement of the widgets to add the film to you Netflix or Blockbuster queue. Ditto the Amazon pre-order button. The booking link gets a bit lost due to the consistency of the font and structure, but neatness still counts for a lot in my book. Still since any true indie booker or theater will want this film, it would be nice if it popped a tad more for them.