June 26, 2020

The Indie Film Distribution Playbook That Got Our No-Budget Film in Theaters

This distribution strategy helped the no-budget indie sci-fi feature COSMOS achieve a profitable minimum guarantee, a Hollywood premiere, a worldwide release, and a limited US theatrical run in NYC, LA, Las Vegas, and more.

I’m Zander, I’m 29 and, with my brother Elliot, I’ve just spent 5 years directing and producing our debut feature film, COSMOS—a contemporary sci-fi film that explores first contact when 3 astronomers intercept a signal from space. Costing $7,000, COSMOS is a “no budget” feature film (by industry definition of “​No Budget”​ costing $50K or less) and a true grassroots indie, crewed by just 3 people, paid for out of our own pockets, shot on the original 1080p BMPCC and edited on FCP7. No one on the film got paid, including ourselves, and any money spent was on unavoidable costs—gas, electricity, software, food etc.

Here’s the trailer:

Since my last article, we’ve received an outpouring of messages from filmmakers seeking clarity on our distribution strategy, so my goal is to share how we got COSMOS in front of paying audiences. Steal, adapt, or ignore as you please.

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Source: NoFilmSchool