Selling your cherished Video project is a lot harder than you think. Luckily, Road Junky is here to help.
If you’re a film maker then the odds are you’ve been working for a couple of years on your own video project, even spent all your savings and mortgaged your parents’ house to pay for it and now that it comes to trying to market your documentary, no one wants to know.
Your video documentary may be cutting edge, it may be original and insightful with plenty of juicy footage and beautiful scenography but none of that matters too much. Television is one of the most callous and regimented businesses in the world and unless your work suits exactly what they’re looking for at the time then they won’t buy it.
Even if they like your video, they may well just shrug their shoulders and say, “Ah, if only it were a 13 episode series we could maybe pitch it, but a one off documentary….”
In the television business there are only 2 rules of thumb to selling your work:
Who you know and who knows you
TV channels and production companies simply have no time to read through piles of unsolicited submissions. The only people they take even remotely seriously are those with a proven track record or who are represented by someone whose opinion they trust. And you know, those who are sleeping with the executives.
A video producer fresh out of film school just doesn’t qualify. You have precious few contacts who can vouch for your talent and no one has ever heard of you outside of your immediate circle. Send off your discs in the post and don’t be surprised if they come back unopened.
So off you go to film festivals around the world, taking out loans from any bank or credit card company that gets their teeth into you. You might get your documentary shown (though indies like Sundance are now almost a closed shop) and you might just make the right contact who promises (which cost nothing, remember) to show it to their ‘people’. Or you might just acquire a massive debt that takes years of waiting tables to work off.
All of this isn’t to say that you can’t make a documentary and sell it, what it does say is that you’ll have an easier time selling something that companies actually want, not your own personal dream project. You also need exposure and association with projects that will bring you some recognition and respect within the industry.
Of course, you might get lucky. You’ll just have to spend a lot more time on the phone, writing letters and waiting for people to keep their promises than doing what you love – making good film.
Find out how Road Junky Video Can Help You