BROTHER is targeted towards who grew up in difficult times during the 90’s, particularly Australians. Focusing on a realistic style that shows the harsher reality of life in Australia that is often washed over will help the audience to connect with the character portrayed in the film.
” BROTHER” is a Neo Realist drama set in the recent past of a small Australian beach town.
Utilising common sets and locations of Brisbane’s Great South East, ” BROTHER” will be shot on a limited budget whilst still maintaining quality production value.
” BROTHER” follows the story of Peter Benson, a young man whose parents recently passed away in a fatal accident. After his 18th birthday, Peter is reunited with his two younger siblings, Seb and Jamie.
Left to provide for his orphaned younger brothers, Peter’s inexperience and immaturity finds exposure in his grapple to come to terms with his newfound circumstances.
Peter’s younger brothers look up to him, seeking the dear warmth of his love at every chance they can. However Peter is too immersed in his own battle with life’s hardships and injustice to notice their groping affection. Ultimately, Peter cautiously seeks assistance from a charity fund and succeeds in obtaining kind support from a social worker.
Vulnerable in the aftermath of his parents’ funeral, Peter falls prey to a gang of local delinquents. Pushed too far, Peter finally snaps, standing up for himself in a tense altercation. This pivotal interplay compels the chief antagonist, Ricky, to reclaim the dominant position by ruthlessly dismantling Peter’s recent gains.
Devastated, Peter feels almost overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the world on his shoulders. Disheartened, he stumbles home and herein discovers alas the proud love of his younger brothers. Inspired by this newfound realisation, Peter feels empowered to seek a brighter future for himself and, most importantly, his brothers.
After a successful shoot on the beautiful Bribie island, along with the completion of BROTHER’s post production we are left with a question. With so many films that never reach the public, How can we market our film to compete with the overpopulated short film market? Better yet how could we make money from our film to fund future projects? Is placing a heavier emphasis on local marketing and advertisement wise, or should we attempt to find an international market for the film? Would providing the film on the Internet provide an effective way to market the short film, or would it be lost in the glut of short films that are currently available? What other online avenues would be available to carry this film to the audience we need? Would it be possible to profit from those avenues as well?
Short Film Festival Distribution
The distribution and marketing of short films is a unique animal compared to feature film distribution, as more short films on average are made independently, outside of the studio system. Furthermore, most major theatres (even art house theatres) have a disproportionately smaller outlet for short films as compared to feature films. Therefore, most short films are typically first seen by individuals at short film festivals and the like. These offer dedicated, high-profile outlets with a captive audience who is actually there to see your short film; therefore, your audience will be more engaged (Luoto, 2010).
One of the most important factors of short film festival distribution, and its primary advantage, is the industry attention it will garner if it is selected. Our research into the market indicates it would be very optimistic to consider the film to potentially bring in profit on its own; however, it allows us to gain the attention of industry critics and buyers who may wish to consider us for other short or feature film projects due to the product we provide (Ebbers and Wijnberg, 2009).
In order to accomplish successful short film festival distribution, submissions have to be filled out at major film festivals. Both local and international film festivals are frequently taking submissions. TROPFEST, for example, is the largest short film festival in the world, and always takes submissions for their upcoming year through services such as Withoutabox and their own service (Tropfest. com, 2012). Other film festivals follow similar submission criteria, and would be simple to apply to, whether through mailing of physical media or online uploading (Badal, 2012).
Online Film Distribution
Apart from in-person screenings of a short film in festivals, the most prolific and oft-used means of distributing a short film now is through the Internet. Youtube, for example, is one of the most popular and well-used sites on the Internet, with dozens (if not hundreds) of short films of varying quality being produced and uploaded every day. Other services, such as Blip. tv, Atom Films, and Vimeo provide outlets for advertisement and distribution of short films via the Internet (Moore, 2010).
Digital distribution of short films is the most effective way, currently, to get one’s short film distributed. There is little to no operating costs in uploading a video to any of the aforementioned video sites, and submitting to higher-profile sites may only cost the administrative costs to actually submit – no costs incurred from physical media cuts down on marketing and distribution expenses significantly (Badal, 2012). One can distribute to both festivals and short film websites; most festivals, including Sundance, are not averse to having multiple copies of a short film out there (Luoto, 2010).
Profiting/Funding Future Projects
Despite these avenues for short film distribution, both in person and online, the question of whether or not we can earn a profit for this film (in order to fund future projects) remains an issue. Short films do not often turn a profit, as there is no real profitable market for them out there, due to the barrier to entry that can occur with many paid short film sites and outlets (Moore, 2010). In fact, many film festivals search for submissions through video websites like Youtube, making it possible that online distribution can lead to entry in short film festivals either way (Luoto, 2007).
One potential outlet for short film distribution online, which might also make a profit, is putting it out On Demand. Services such as iTunes and Amazon Studios will allow you to post your short film on their service, where it will reach a wider audience who already use the website already (Moskowitz, 2007). Even aforementioned sites like Blip. tv offer ad revenue for those who upload videos, allowing for a constant revenue stream per-view, particularly if the video ” goes viral,” which is a significant goal of many short films on the Internet (Badal, 2012). Alternatively, websites like Kickstarter. com provide the opportunity for random donors to raise funds for future short film projects, which can be a major avenue for funding given the right project.
In essence, however, it is said that short films simply do not make their money back a good portion of the time (Moskowitz, 2007). At the same time, however, the potential to achieve greater industry (and public) attention through the short films often means that industry heads will see the work put into the short film and keep these filmmakers in mind when planning future feature film projects (Ebbers and Wijnberg, 2009). To that end, it may be best to consider short films to be an investment in a future feature film career.
3. Application of Research
Given this research, and our findings, the questions regarding distribution and profitability of our short film BROTHER have largely been answered. In essence, expectations of this project, in and of itself, making a substantial profit would be unrealistic; at the same time, there are easy and effective means by which we can recoup much of our production costs over time, and treat the short film as an investment in future projects. We plan to submit BROTHER to a number of national and international film festivals, including TROPFEST Australia, and use services such as Withoutabox to find new film festivals under whose submission criteria BROTHER lies.
In order to get funding for future projects and shorts we may do, revenue acquired from online distribution (uploading to Blip. tv, Vimeo, Youtube and other ad-based video sharing sites) will be set aside for future short film production. Furthermore, a Kickstarter campaign will be set up to a) advertise BROTHER and b) illustrate our designs and our costs for the next film (which would be the primary target of the campaign). At the end of the day, however, we must consider BROTHER and other short films we do to add to our demo reel, as well as introduce to industry members through festivals and online distribution for the potential of a feature film career or opportunity.
4. List of Sources
Badal S, 2012, Swimming upstream: a lifesaving guide to short film distribution, CRC Press.
This book provides insider information as to how to get one’s short sold; in essence, showing it at festivals as well as distributing online is the best bet, as festivals get the short industry attention while online views and distribution allows for some recuperation of production costs.
Ebbers, JJ and NM Wijnberg 2009, Latent organizations in the film industry: contracts, rewards
and resources, Human Relations 62, 7: 987-1009.
This article discusses the ways in which we might get paid via short films; we would not necessarily be well-paid for the film itself, and so it is clear it should be looked at as a demo reel for a potential feature career.
Luoto T., 2010, The digital distribution of short films (an art in itself), Sundance Film Festival.
Luoto (2010) emphasizes the power of the Internet to market one’s films, and acknowledges the otherwise limited opportunities short films have to make it in the market. he also notes that one can distribute a short both online and in a festival.
Moore J, 2011, Short film distribution: film festivals, the internet, and self-promotion,
International Pub Marketing.
This book emphasizes the need to use social networks and multi-step distribution plans to self-promote and get the film out to as many avenues as possible, including short film buyers.
Moskowitz R., 2007, Distributing your short film in the global marketplace,
Moskowitz (2007) recaps a short film distribution panel that occurred between industry heads at the Magners Irish Film Festival. Here, they speak of using the Internet, festivals, and television to get your film scene, with an emphasis on video distribution platforms.
” Submit Your Film,” 2012, Tropfest Australia.
This is the submission page for TROPFEST Australia, wherein the requirements for submission of a short film to a festival are outlined.