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  • Independent video stores

    I'm looking for ways to market my company's dvds. Before I started working at 4th Nail our producer put our DVD on Amazon, so most distribution networks are closed to us now. I've started thinking outside the box and I'm looking backwards for inspiration.

    I'm reaching out to a handful of independent video retailers. I spoke to a guy on the phone and he said at least for his store there's a pretty good chance they'll be willing to buy a few copies of my film. Another store is 15 minutes from our office and our producer is a great salesmen. I want to be prepared to name prices and negotiate licensing arrangements.

    Does anyone know anything about making a deal like this? Some of these stores actually still do rentals. How does licensing a film for rentals work and what should we charge for a dvd if we know it's going to be rented? I could really use some advice from old school veterans here.

  • #2
    I wouldn't consider myself an "old school" veteran, but Ive been in this business for 11 years. This is a whole 'nother animal you are about to dip into. These are also questions that are considered secrets of the trade and I will have to post "my" answer in the Pro Access section at a future date...Why? Because this kind of info (some might think they know how) is one of the hardest parts of the business, you are basically asking how to become a distributor and that is a tough one :) Though, I can answer it :)

    But if someone else has any experience with this and they would like to share, please do - My info is based on getting your film in Walmart, Best Buy, Redbox etc....
    Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Patrick Wiley View Post
      I'm looking for ways to market my company's dvds. Before I started working at 4th Nail our producer put our DVD on Amazon, so most distribution networks are closed to us now. I've started thinking outside the box and I'm looking backwards for inspiration.

      I'm reaching out to a handful of independent video retailers. I spoke to a guy on the phone and he said at least for his store there's a pretty good chance they'll be willing to buy a few copies of my film. Another store is 15 minutes from our office and our producer is a great salesmen. I want to be prepared to name prices and negotiate licensing arrangements.

      Does anyone know anything about making a deal like this? Some of these stores actually still do rentals. How does licensing a film for rentals work and what should we charge for a dvd if we know it's going to be rented? I could really use some advice from old school veterans here.
      DVD and Blu-Ray rental deals are usually done on a fixed price per disc basis.

      Basically it all depends on the movie itself, how much the store charges per rental, how well do they think it will rent, and so on.

      I don't know about the movies in question, but I'd say realistically for an indie, $15-$25 per copy might be close to the truth, but again, it all depends on so many issues, might be less, might be more.

      For example, Redbox pays around $3 per copy, but then again, if they decide to buy a title, they will usually buy 10,000+ copies.

      In today's market, independent video stores are extremely rare, so the monetary income from these kinds of deals are not that great, especially if you are only selling few copies to a few different stores.

      The store buys you x amount of copies for x amount of dollars per copy, and they have the right to rent it as many times as they can, and/or sell it.

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      • #4
        You got $3 a copy? We got $2 a copy......
        Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nick Soares View Post
          You got $3 a copy? We got $2 a copy......
          The $3 per copy quote is what I heard from another distributor. They used to pay even more, but like everywhere else in the industry, the prices have gone down.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nick Soares View Post
            I wouldn't consider myself an "old school" veteran, but Ive been in this business for 11 years. This is a whole 'nother animal you are about to dip into. These are also questions that are considered secrets of the trade and I will have to post "my" answer in the Pro Access section at a future date...Why? Because this kind of info (some might think they know how) is one of the hardest parts of the business, you are basically asking how to become a distributor and that is a tough one :) Though, I can answer it :)

            But if someone else has any experience with this and they would like to share, please do - My info is based on getting your film in Walmart, Best Buy, Redbox etc....
            I think Walmart and best buy might be beyond what we can do with this film. Our producer certainly thinks so. I'm looking more at Indie stores and a regional chain called Newbury Comics which sells a lot of DVDs including foreign films and Documentaries

            Originally posted by EuropeanDistributor View Post

            For example, Redbox pays around $3 per copy, but then again, if they decide to buy a title, they will usually buy 10,000+ copies.

            In today's market, independent video stores are extremely rare, so the monetary income from these kinds of deals are not that great, especially if you are only selling a few copies to a few different stores.
            With our printing and shipping costs we'd need at least $5 per copy.
            Last edited by Patrick Wiley; 02-24-2013, 01:08 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Patrick Wiley View Post
              With our printing and shipping costs we'd need at least $5 per copy.
              Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Redbox needs boxes and printed cover materials, just the disc.
              2001 Productions Web Site

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 2001 Productions View Post
                Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Redbox needs boxes and printed cover materials, just the disc.

                You are correct, HD copy of film and artwork -

                So figure this into yoru budget Patrick, then see if that will help
                Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

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                • #9
                  I wasn't aware.

                  I don't really see our film making it to red box though. I certainly haven't seen any other ethnographic documentaries in one.

                  But thanks for the info none the less I'll keep it in mind.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Patrick Wiley View Post
                    I wasn't aware.

                    I don't really see our film making it to red box though.
                    Why do you say that? I am curious to see what is considered to be able to make it into redbox and what is not. Do you have a trailer anywhere? I would love to learn up on this!

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                    • #11


                      I don't think I've ever seen any documentary in a red box, but if you think it's worth a shot I'll look into it.

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                      • #12
                        Its not impossible to get a deal. If this is a documentary feature then I don't see anything bad so far that would prevent it from getting a release. Blair Witch project was out for everyone to see and download before it got a deal, so if companies feel they can still make a profit they will sell it.

                        Is this a feature?
                        Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

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                        • #13
                          Only just barely. It's 52 minutes but we could ad some of the bonus footage to get it to an hour.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Patrick Wiley View Post
                            Only just barely. It's 52 minutes but we could ad some of the bonus footage to get it to an hour.
                            Heck yea man, get that thing to 60 minutes, and we can talk!
                            Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

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                            • #15
                              I'll get right on it, thanks.

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