What To Do When Traditional Film Distribution Isn’t Feasible

Woman with Hat watching movie credits

There it is again—that sharp sting of rejection. 

The making of your film is done and dusted—a momentous achievement! But when it comes to distributing your film, you’re hitting a dead end. 

Yet another major distributor’s door has been closed to you—a stark reminder of how fiercely competitive and frustrating film distribution can be. 

Much money, time and effort has been spent on your creation. And sure, you’re super proud. But all that hard work means nothing without an audience. 

The truth is, the film industry has long been dominated by large studios, distributors and theatres who have made it tough for indie filmmakers to put their films on the map.

But if you’re struggling to distribute your film, we’re here to tell you—it’s not the end of the road. 

Innovative and exciting blockchain-powered platforms are entering the film space, looking set to revolutionize film distribution for indie filmmakers.

And they have a mission in mind—to champion diversity and give ALL emerging talent a voice. 

What is blockchain technology? 

Blockchain is a kind of digital ledger, where information is stored in connected blocks, and this chain of blocks ensures the transparency and security of information. 

Imagine a digital notebook that everyone can see but no one can change. That’s blockchain. It can keep track of who owns what online in a transparent and fair way.

And for indie filmmakers, it’s a game changer. By enabling direct filmmaker-to-audience distribution it’s giving a voice to all filmmakers across the globe.

Blockchain-powered platforms and film distribution: How does it all work? 

Think of these new innovative platforms as an online marketplace for film distribution, but with a twist—this time the filmmaker is in in control. 

The basic premise is to create a space where a subscriber can buy, sell, bid for or gift movies. 

When someone buys a movie on the marketplace, they gain ownership of that movie through a Digital Video Ticket (DVT).

This is transferred directly to their digital wallet, allowing them to sell or gift it when they no longer want to keep it in their collection. 

By offering transparent transactions, blockchain is empowering filmmakers like never before. 

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits. 

Benefits of blockchain-powered platforms for film distribution 

  • Decentralized distribution

    You’ll be able to distribute your film directly to your audience, eliminating any middlemen from the mix (i.e., without relying on main lines of distribution).

    Fans of your film will be able to share it online through an exciting peer-to-peer sharing feature, which also maximizes your film’s reach potential.

  • Smart contracts and transparent royalty payments

    Think of a smart contract as a deal set in digital stone.

    It’s like a handshake between the buyer and seller, but it’s all written directly into the code.

    This ensures that when a film is watched or sold filmmakers, actors and the crew all get their fair share of payments instantly—and 100% transparently.

    This ensures that when a film is watched or sold filmmakers, actors and the crew all get their fair share of payments instantly—and 100% transparently.

  • Tokenized financing

    Tokenizing films has turned the tables for indie filmmakers. Instead of spending endless hours chasing big studio approvals, you’ll now be able to tap into a supportive online community.

    Here’s the deal: Filmmakers offer tokens representing a stake in their project. Fans buy these tokens, essentially crowdfunding the film. This not only gets the ball rolling on production but also ensures a keen audience waiting for the final product.

  • Global reach

    The great thing about blockchain-powered platforms is that they open doors to audiences across the world—waving goodbye to regional restrictions.

    This allows filmmakers from diverse backgrounds to reach worldwide audiences, ushering in a new era of creativity and cultural exchange.

  • Audience engagement and rewards

    Viewers will be able to snag cool tokens or other goodies just by watching, sharing or shouting out your work. Kind of like a loyalty program.

    It’s a win-win for both filmmakers and fans and gets your audience chatting about your film.

  • Eliminating piracy

    You know that frustrating moment when you stumble upon a low-res, pirated version of a film?

    With blockchain, that’s a problem of the past, giving you peace of mind that audiences are seeing your work as you intended. No more unwanted “remixes.”

  • Data and analytics

    If you’re a nerd for numbers (no judgment here), blockchain’s got the goods.

    With blockchain you’ll get transparent, untampered stats about who’s watching your film and how.

CASE STUDY: Alex Ferrufino and his short film Slipping into Darkness

Want an inspirational example of an indie filmmaker who found success with non-traditional distribution? 

Introducing our very own esteemed L.A. Film School alumnus Alex Ferrufino and his film Slipping Into Darkness.

Alex’s story at a glance

Alex had finished making his short film, but was being turned away by all major distributors. 

Out of pocket and in debt from the film costs, Alex decided to think outside the box and jump on board with a blockchain-powered option. 

By distributing his film through blockchain, Alex managed to reach a larger audience. He had better control over how his film was viewed and further propelled his film’s visibility through shares on social media and other forums. 

Slipping into Darkness then went on to clinch the HBO Latinx award for best short.

Want to know more? You can watch a full panel discussion featuring Alex here

Film distribution and the blockchain revolution

It’s an exciting time for filmmakers from every walk of life. 

Although the impact of blockchain technology on the film industry is still in its early stages, the potential for true, transformative change is huge. 

We’ve no doubt that blockchain technology has the power to reshape the entire value chain of filmmaking and that we can look forward to a more inclusive, diverse and exciting film industry.

So if you’re feeling at a loss with how to distribute your film, don’t be afraid to jump on board the blockchain train. 

You’ve got this. 


The L.A. Film School Team