For foreign distribution, we have partnered with Brady Bowen at 123 Go Films.
We worked with Brady on Calvin Marshall foreign sales in 2009 when he was with Archstone Entertainment. They did well with the film, and we liked working with Brady. He is accessible, has years of experience, and enjoys advising filmmakers.
Last year, Brady left Archstone to start a new company, 123 Go Films, which he intends to develop into a second run streaming service for films after their exclusive contracts on services like Netflix or Amazon Prime have ended. Often once films go off of these services, users can no longer find or stream them online. Brady hopes to fill this gap in the distribution landscape.
While he builds out this new service, he is continuing to offer foreign and domestic sales and distribution services for independent films. He is handling foreign for Phoenix, Oregon which includes all sales and marketing outside of North America.
While we are in contact with Brady weekly, we have handed over all marketing to him and his colleagues. International sales are interesting in that the first customer is not the viewer; the customer is the foreign buyer. Hence marketing and sales efforts to foreign markets are completely different than the US direct to consumer focus.
It can be frustrating for filmmakers, because the artwork, trailer and promotional materials are often revised for foreign sales to appeal to buyers who may only spend a few seconds deciding. They buy not because they want to see a film, but because they believe they can turn around and sell it in their territories. It is business-to-business, not business-to-consumer sales. Therefore, because we trust Brady’s expertise in this area, we are taking his lead and providing him with sales materials for that unique market.
On a future film, I would love to explore the possibility of selling direct to our audience in other countries, but for now, all of our efforts are focused on North American sales and marketing.
Even in North America, it is interesting to consider our different buyers, for not all sales are made to the viewing audience. At any given time, our customer may be a theater owner, booker, bowling center proprietor or a cinema-goer. As we put our plans together, we consider the unique marketing strategy for each type of customer while also focusing on reaching the film’s core audience through each customer channel.