Real-Time Distribution Case Study, Week 63: What a Month

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Theatrical-At-Home and Phoenix, Oregon had a spectacular 10 days of partnership with theaters and festivals and over $15k in sales to push us over $20k for the month.

This means we will have contributed $10K to theaters and festivals.

For a “normal” theatrical release by studio standards, that may be nothing. But right now, when nothing is normal, it feels absolutely astounding.

After an intense few days of sales and customer support and then a day of rest for Easter, tomorrow I will prepare sales reports for theaters and festivals.

I am so tired.

I’m not sure I have ever had a period of work so intense and consistently demanding — not even during six weeks of film production.

During this time of COVID, friends encourage each other to rest and practice self-care, but I am having the opposite experience. I have been funneled into action and continuous productivity. It’s a very strange feeling especially at this time.

I am immensely grateful to my team for their support in helping us pivot so quickly. The lessons we have learned these last four weeks will inform and guide us forever.

I am not sure what is next or if I can keep up this pace.

Today I researched more video platforms and apps, trying to figure out if anything exists to make things easier or relieve the customer support burden.

I love helping customers, and they have been almost 100% kind and generous. But I want everything to seem professional and seemless, and I want customers to have a smooth experience with limited frustration. I’m sure I could let go of this anxiety a little bit since technology is never completely smooth anyways…

It’s impossible to compete with the huge platforms. I had no idea how expensive their backend systems are to run. Now that I’ve researched it, I can’t believe we actually have something that works as well as it does.

My biggest frustration, hands-down, is that not everyone can watch on their TV. From what I can figure out, each TV app costs hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to create and then license every single month. Therefore, creating OTT TV apps only makes sense for platforms with hundreds of videos and a large subscriber base.

I had thought we’d easily be able to add TV apps for our customers, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, I need to be more clear up front that the video is only supported on Apple TV Airplay, Chromecast and HDMI cable. Or laptop, desktop, phone.

But people will still get confused…

Or email because their internet doesn’t work.

Or because their security settings don’t allow streaming, etc…

And I want to help them all…

But at a certain point, I can’t. So this is something I need to consider this week. What is next? Do we continue to scale? Can I hand off support to someone I hire? Does that make sense? How long will we continue these efforts until transitioning?

I asbolutely love our partnerships. I want to do more of these. I want to extend this and support additional industries. I really do want to make this work… I just need to decide how to give myself some relief from being tied to my computer.

I don’t mean to sound down. I am so proud of myself and our team for what we have accomplished. It is truly amazing. It’s just that my brain is fritzing, & I need a little rest.

And so does the rest of the world…

What a time… What will we think a year from now when we look back…

♡ Annie


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