We hope to respond here to some of your more pressing questions. Feel free to contact us with any other questions that you may have.
— The sooner the better. Some filmmakers we know, such as Robert Bahar and Almudena Carraceda of Made in LA and The Silence of Others, started designing their outreach and impact strategy for their films while in the initial research stages, folding it into their overall production plan. This means that by the time they or you are ready to speak with potential partners or hire an agency such as ours to manage the campaign for you, your vision and message are very clear, and your film has grown around them.
— Unfortunately, there is no set “guarantee”. Our work at MocaMedia is not directly about sales and financial returns. It’s about identifying, reaching and engaging your film’s audience, and inspiring them to action. It is true that the more time we have to grow your audience and strengthen partnerships for the film, the more likely you will have a strong audience in place for screenings that generate revenue and the sale of DVDs, VOD or streaming. Our work is also, with you, to find creative ways to generate income, whether this be through conference presentations, strategic crowdfunding campaigns, educational sales, or special events.
— See above. The rules are changing, and fast. Let’s wait and see. Some festivals have pivoted quickly to online screening. If and when they return to offline activity, we don’t yet know what that will look like. Some B-listers may become A-listers. For some films, maybe yours, festivals will be unnecessary–you can get your press, your audience and your recognition in other ways.
— See above about film festivals. It used to be that VOD and streaming would be the last step in a year or two-year-long campaign. Now, it might be the first. Or somewhere in the middle. This depends on the characteristics of your film, such as length, audience, call to action. We worked with one film that, because of the type of campaign the producers wanted to launch, went online immediately, and for free–to go international quickly, and to reach their audience immediately and easily. Nonetheless, there were multiple and effective community screenings organized as well.
— As we state on our Who We Are page, don’t wait until the film is locked to speak with us. We’ve worked with films starting at 8 months before they were locked, through the rough cut stages. This is invaluable! We can start creating audience engagement and reaching out to potential partners during that time. Many organizations, especially the larger non profits, need many months to consider and then agree on a partnership. We also help to organize test screenings with different audiences for useful feedback, especially to make sure that the film is expressing the message that you would like to share. There are also plenty of other actions to take during that time, such as growing your social media following and your contact list.
— The traditional rhythm of releasing your film first in festivals, followed by theatrical, followed by… has changed radically. If this process was already changing up until 2019 now, due to how the COVID-19 crisis has upended the world as we once knew it, for those festivals that return to become in-person events, attendance may be sparse for a couple of years while we all readjust. So, all bets are off. The best option is to start your campaign by identifying and following your audience–Where do they hang out? What are they doing? How do they seek now to engage with films with your subject matter? How do you want your film to be used? How do you want it to be seen?
— This is something we would look at with you. It all depends on how your film tells its story and presents its message/mission. The distributors are varied–theatrical, commercial, streaming, educational, international, with their own specialities, such as environmental, social issues, LGBTQ, spiritual, and so on. We would explore with you what distributor might be a good fit, make introductions to those that we know and trust, research others, and review with you what kind of agreement might be more suitable.