Marketing and Distribution Training course- Mastering one of the most secretive and difficult processes of filmmaking; ‘selling your movie to distributors’.

  • This course is open for 12 weeks
  • 13 lesson series
  • Certificate of completion
  • 5 hours, 15 minutes of video
  • Industry-Leading Instructors
  • Illustrated Companion Guides

About this course

You’ve made your cinematic masterpiece, now what? One of the most secretive and difficult processes of filmmaking is selling your movie to distributors.  When you’re at the negotiating table, of all the people at the table – sales agents, distributors, agents, and managers – you are the least knowledgeable person there, and they know it.

The Arts & Business Center Distribution Course takes you behind closed doors to teach you how the sales end of the industry works.  We take you to the American Film Market and the Sundance Film Festival to see how deals are struck.  Learn from the VP of Distribution of Lucas Film how to navigate the sometimes tricky waters of domestic and foreign distribution. Learn how to market your movie at a film festival and ultimately get the best deal possible.

You will learn from Hollywood’s top producers and distributors as they walk you into the heart of the Hollywood sales machine to arm you with the knowledge to be the smartest person sitting at the negotiating table.


Film marketing

Film marketing is the other half of a Hollywood movie’s budget. The cost of reaching an audience and getting them interested in seeing a specific title is an art and a science. In this lesson, you will learn how the film marketing machine in Hollywood works and how you can use it to market your movie.


How the marketing machine in Hollywood works; How you can effectively plan the marketing campaign for your movie; The costs of marketing a film; How to find a voice amid other Hollywood movies

Reaching your audience

Before you can start building a marketing campaign, you have to know who your audience is. Every image, every colour, every word, and every place you put your ads need to be strategically chosen to speak to the audience you want to attract.  This is Marketing 101 – and it’s often the most overlooked part of a marketing campaign. In this lesson, we will show you how to determine your audience to craft the perfect marketing campaign for the best results.


26:06 video that walks you through the process of determining your audience; Illustrated companion text; How to determine your audience; The Hollywood four-quadrant system; How to craft a call to action campaign; How to craft a brand awareness campaign; How to focus and hone your marketing message


Designing the key art

First impressions, as the old cliché goes, are lasting. This couldn’t be more true than when talking about the movie poster.  The movie poster is only one component of the marketing campaign and relies heavily on the “key art” for the film. Key art is the visual motif that defines the entire marketing look and feels, including images, fonts, and the colour palette.  The key art is used everywhere from social media ads to movie posters and is the first and most important marketing tool in gaining the interest of audience members, distributors and producers. In this module, you will learn techniques for designing effective key art.


How to design great key art; How to adapt key art for distribution across print and social media; Design guidelines for posters; The psychology of design; How to hone your marketing message

Making a movie trailer

The movie trailer is the most important marketing tool you have to sell your movie. Distributors have made deals on the trailer alone, which makes the look and feel of the trailer even more important than the movie itself.  In this module, you will learn tips and techniques for creating an engaging trailer to properly represent your film.


What makes a good trailer; Tips and techniques for cutting a solid trailer

Building your website

One of the least expensive, yet most effective ways of marketing your movie is to set up a website.  While you can make it as elaborate as you like, always think about the audience for the site – moviegoers who may want to see the film or distributors you are courting to buy the film. In this module, you will learn how to properly craft an effective site to market your movie.


How movie marketing websites have evolved over the years; What essential materials to include in your site; How to build a site on a budget

Building a Press Kit

When approaching television, radio, and newspapers to do a story about your movie, they will ask for a press release or an electronic press kit (EPK).  This EPK provides journalists with a variety of useful information, quotes, and photographs they can use to quickly and easily compose the story. In this module, you will learn how to craft an EPK for your film.


What is an EPK; How does the media use an EPK; What types of materials should you include, and how do you format them?; What should you start collecting on set during production?; How to craft a press release


Working with the media

The film industry is more about marketing than it is about film production. The studios often spend more money on advertising, publicity and marketing than they do on producing the movie itself. While the same holds true in the independent filmmaking arena, few filmmakers can afford much more than a few hundred posters and a website. That makes media coverage a critical part of your marketing campaign. In this lesson, you will learn how to reach the media, how to conduct an effective interview, and how to get your message across.


Learn how to approach the media; Learn how to craft and focus your message; Learn how to manage yourself during an interview; How to work with television stations, radio and podcasts, newspapers and magazines, and online blogs; Techniques for getting your message across to the public; How to maximize the media’s reach and impact on your project

Intro to Distribution

Now that your movie is finished, it’s time to sell it and begin generating revenue.  But this is easier said than done – the costs of distribution, marketability of your project, and dozens of other factors will impact the price you receive.

In this module you will learn how the distribution process works, the way studios approach the process, the windows and time frames of distribution, how to approach self-distribution, and knowing your audience. Guiding you through these tricky waters are veteran studio executives from LucasFilm, Sony, and FreeMantle Media.

Unlock the distribution process so you can get the most for your movie.

  • 32:55 video that takes you into the world of movie distribution
  • Illustrated companion guide
  • Sample Downloadable Delivery Requirements
  • Sample Chain of Title
  • Sample Billing Block
  • Sample Music Cue Sheet
  • Sample Script Sheet
  • Sample DVD Synopsis
  • Sample Copyright Information
  • Sample Legal Information
  • Sample Character Descriptions


The difference between foreign and domestic distribution; How a film is distributed through the windows of distribution; How to determine the audience in your target market; The realities of making money; Self-Distribution; Working with producer’s reps and foreign sales agents

Film Ratings and the MPAA

The MPAA is responsible for issuing the ratings we see in a movie – G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17. The rating your film receives has a direct impact on the willingness of distributors to pick-up your film, and your film’s revenue potential. In this module, you will learn how the MPAA works, and how you can best prepare for a favourable rating.


What is the MPAA?; How a film rating can affect the revenue potential of your movie; The process of getting a film rated; The cost of film rating; How to appeal a rating


Domestic distribution

Making the film is only one part of the process. Selling it is the other. Whereas making the movie has been a stressful process, the game of finding a distributor, negotiating the contracts, preparing the deliverables, and facing the sometimes staggering costs of E&O insurance, conversions, and M&E mixes hit most filmmakers by surprise.

In this module, we will prepare you for the distribution process so you know what to expect, what materials are needed, and most importantly how to protect yourself in the high stakes game of film distribution.

  • 23:32 video that takes you into the world of domestic distribution
  • Illustrated companion guide


The various markets through which movies are sold in the United States; How to attract a domestic distributor; The deliverables you’re expected to provide a distributor; Errors and Omissions Insurance; DVD distribution; Tips for choosing a distributor

Foreign distribution

Selling your movie in the United States is only part of the distribution.  Now, it’s time to sell your movie to the rest of the world, and in doing so navigate the challenging path to making money in the foreign market. With thousands of films produced and marketed every year, foreign distributors are faced with more choices than ever before. Knowing how this process works can put you at a tremendous advantage.

In this module, you will learn how foreign sales agents work, how to find a reputable agent, common scams used to steal your movie without paying you, what you will be expected to deliver, how to collect your money, and hundreds of other tips.  We take you to the heart of it all at the American Film Market to see – first-hand, how the foreign distribution process works.

Become the smartest person at the negotiating table by learning the process, and make a profit on your movie.

  • 37:19 video that explores foreign distribution
  • Illustrated companion guide


What foreign sales agents do?; What makes a movie attractive to foreign distributors?; How foreign distributors are structures?; What film markets are?; What happens at a film market?; How to successfully navigate a film market?; How to protect yourself from predatory distributors?

Film Festivals

We all dream of an extravagant Sundance Film Festival premiere where we are showered with offers from anxious distributors stepping over each other to acquire our films.  While this certainly happens, the reality is that film festivals offer much, much more in the way of contacts, self-promotion, and an opportunity to pitch your next project to investors and producers.

In this module, you will learn how to find a qualified producer’s rep, how to get into top film festivals, what to do once you are accepted, how to attract the right audiences at the screenings, and how to leverage the opportunity for your next production.

You worked hard, so learn how to maximize you and your film’s exposure at film festivals.

  • 26:46 video that takes you into the inner-workings of film festivals
  • Illustrated companion guide


How to choose the best festival; Differences between festivals; How to get representation; The relationship between studios and festivals; How to market your movie at a festival; How to promote your career at a festival; How to get into Sundance


Internet Distribution

The Internet has become a powerful alternative to traditional distribution outlets for independent filmmakers, but while this option seems alluring, it is fraught with challenges. Finding a voice and an audience online is a long and expensive road, and while the profit margins can be greater, so can the time and effort you put in for those profits.

In this module, you will learn how to properly distribute your movie online, how content aggregators work, how to find a unique presence online, and how to leverage your online movie to get your next movie deal.

Invest your time wisely with the best results by learning the right way to approach Internet distribution.

  • 27:34 video that explores the current state of Internet-based distribution
  • Illustrated companion guide


How online distribution compares with traditional distribution models; How the streaming market and DVD markets have changed; How the windows system of distribution applies to online sales; Challenges and difficulties with online distribution; How to make money online; Benefits of online distribution


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