Indieflix vs CreateSpace Update 5

Background: My first film, “Hunting Season was released nationwide on August 1st, 2009 via Cable and Dish Video on Demand (VOD). In conjunction with the VOD release I wanted to capitalize on the added exposure by offering DVDs for sale on-line. The best way to do this without dropping a minimum of $1,000 up front is to distribute through one of the DVD On-Demand sites, www.IndieFlix.com or www.CreateSpace.com (there are others but these seem to be the most popular). Since both sites are non-exclusive I decided to distribute through both of them simultaneously to see which one offers the “better” (in my opinion, for my needs) experience, and document it all here.

I have 2 requirements:

  1. I will ONLY be selling DVDs on Demand. Both of these sites offer numerous digital download options. None of what I write about here will take that into consideration.
  2. I want to price the DVDs as low as possible but still make an acceptable amount of revenue per disc (equivalent to the average that I will receive per VOD purchase).

Please see the previous blog post “IndieFlix vs CreateSpace Day 1″ and IndieFlix vs CreateSpace Day 2 and IndieFlix vs CreateSpace Update 3 and IndieFlix vs CreateSpace Update 4 to catch up.

I’ve pretty much completely written off CreateSpace as an option at this point. It has NOTHING to do with their service. The fact is that, at this point, IndieFlix is offering me everything that CreateSpace is offering, and more.

Last week I received an e-mail from Mike Williams stating the following:

Your submission of “Hunting Season” has been received and screened.

A couple of quick notes before we can slate the release date:

  • Due to a large number of submissions IndieFlix has moved to accept primarily film festival selected work so if you could, please email me a list of where the film has screened as soon as you can.
  • Also, if your film uses any non-original licensed music we’ll need a music cue sheet.

I sent the requested information yesterday and received GOOD NEWS today:

Thanks Nathan,

I’ll email you the week prior to the film’s release to confirm the date.  It’s typically about three weeks.

So it looks like Hunting Season will be available on DVD in about a month! Then I’ll be able to report on the completed experience, including the trials and tribulations of attempting to make sales.

A littler further information:

This blog series started out as a comparison between the two services IndieFlix and CreateSpace it quickly became apparent that a comparison wouldn’t be necessary because there was no reason to continue to pursue distribution (and comparison) through CreateSpace since IndieFlix could offer the same service, but better.

One thing that you may have noticed above is that Mike Williams requested information on the festivals (IndieFlix indicates all over their filmmaker submission guidelines that they only accept films that have played a festival. However I did receive an e-mail from Mike Williams stating “Although film festival selected film are automatically accepted, we certainly welcome all submissions and try to let the audience decide what they want to see rather our filtering some out“) that Hunting Season has played at. Hunting Season screened at NewFilmmakers in NYC on Halloween Night in 2007. This must have fulfilled the festival requirement. This is one area where IndieFlix and CreateSpace differ drastically. CreateSpace will take almost ANY dvd (they do have some restrictions: Porn, etc) but IndieFlix has some sort of quality criteria. If Hunting Season had not been accepted by IndieFlix I would have turned to CreateSpace.

If you are a representative of either CreateSpace or IndieFlix and have stumbled across this blog I openly welcome your input (especially if any of my statements or “facts” need fixing).


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6 Responses to “Indieflix vs CreateSpace Update 5”

  1. Albert Pyun Says:

    Hi Nathan,

    I read all your seld distrib updates, but they seem to stop right at the time of your Aug 27 release (congratulations by the way). I’m very interested in learning the results of your IndieFlix release. I have three films that I would normally have acquired by studio distributors (primarily Lions Gate, Newmarket and Sony) but for the obvious siphoning of 95% of the waterfall (including the minimum guarantee), I really wanted to see if I could take this modestly budgeted films and release thru an IndieFlix type channel.

    While my films do have star casts (Kevin Sorbo, Christopher Lambert, etc), they are very independent in content and in how they were financed. It would be very interesting if my films could really generate better net revenue to me over the numbers I get from a Lions Gate or Newmarket.

    So what I’m most interested in learning is what happened from the street date of your film? How many units were sold on Day One, then the first week? What problems did you see in this model having gone thru the DIY release via IndieFlix?

    Thanks for your time and continued good luck in your career.

    Best,
    Albert Pyun
    Albert Pyun Movies / Facebook
    http://www.talesofanancientempire.com
    http://www.roadtohellmovie.com

    • nwrann Says:

      Albert,

      Thank you for your interest. I had all of the intentions to continue posting the further adventures of DIY through IndieFlix and my next blog was going to be when I finally received my first payment. Guess what, I’m still waiting. There are NUMEROUS potential reasons for this, many of which have nothing to do with IndieFlix. I plan to write a new blog this week and (potentially) close out the books on this series of blogs.

  2. Albert Pyun Says:

    Hi Nathan,

    I can’t wait to find out how it all went and your perspective on the process. Beyond the info, the telling is might fine as well.

    Best,
    Albert Pyun
    Albert Pyun Movies / Facebook
    http://www.talesofanancientempire.com
    http://www.roadtohellmovie.com

  3. Kangas Says:

    Holy crap, man! Albert Pyun is posting on your blog! Freakin’ Sword & Sorceror director! That rocks. I’m jealous! Albert–LOVED S&S–lookin forward to the sequel.

    And yeah, I have recently submitted by 3rd flick(which is the sequel to my 2nd flick, which Lionsgate distributed) to Amazon VOD to see how that goes. (for sale through download(buy) and rental)

    We should all pool our resources and start getting info out there on what the best ways to self-distribute are.

    Gotta be a way to make money without the middleman taking all the money…

  4. Albert Pyun Says:

    Hi Kangas,

    Thanks for your kind words. I hope Tales doesn’t disappoint and I don’t think it will.

    I agree we need to marshall our resources and information. Actually Nathan and I are doing so. Because I have 30 years worth of studio style and foreign sales experience and you youngsters have the New World Order resources, we should figure out some cooperative way of pulling everyone together.

    I’d be glad to advert and support your efforts as part of my own. Maybe connect your films direct to foreign buyers. And maybe you tell me when I’m about to step in it or what the better 21st century path might be.

    You hit it right, the middle gatekeeper gobbling up the lion’s share of the revenue has to be bypassed in order for an indy film to receive the bulk of the waterfall.

    Albert
    Albert Pyun Movies / Facebook
    http://www.talesofanancientempire.com
    http://www.roadtohellmovie.com

  5. Kangas Says:

    Absolutely–I know a lot of indy guys in my area and we’re all pooling our resources and knowledge to figure out what’s going on with distribution at the moment.

    I’m checking out your Facebook and Myspace stuff now.

    And it would be great to talk to you about foreign distribution–it’s one of the harder areas for indies–my producer’s rep has never handled any foreign. You can get me at zzzz@kangaskahnfilms.com if you replace zzzz with kangas. (you know, the spambots…)
    Thanks,
    Kangas

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