Introducing Zoomtilt & Their Mission in Indie Film
We’ve made new friends at the independent filmmaker supporting company Zoomtilt, who below share the story that inspired their mission to aid independent filmmakers in a new and unique way:
A few years ago, my friends Dan and Jake had a great idea for a script. It was about two brothers who were wildly different and never got along…until their mother became terminally ill and they were forced to interact. The script was touching and funny, and they knew they could turn it into an amazing feature. So they spent the next few years making a film — finalizing the script, putting the crew together, casting the main characters…they had many long shooting days that sometimes had unexpected troubles, and finally went through post-production. They got donations from friends and family. They maxed out their credit cards and then got new credit cards to max out. And they did this because they were sure they would get a distributor and get into theaters and pay everything back.
Once the film was done, they sent it into the festival circuit. It did the rounds, it won awards, it even did well at some of the major festivals. They talked to distributors after the screenings, followed up on leads, and did everything they were supposed to do. And then…
None of the distributors picked them up, and there wasn’t really a good reason why. After their film had been in the festival circuit for a couple of years, they finally gave up. The project was dead.
I’ve heard this story from many, many filmmakers. Sometimes they even get a distributor, but that doesn’t guarantee anything. Distributors take on a hundred films hoping that one or two will hit — then they spend their marketing dollars on those, leaving the others to languish. All the filmmakers I know think that their film is going to “make it” — that their film will get a distributor who will get it into theaters, promote it, and pay the filmmaker back more than the cost to produce it. But the sad reality is 999 out of 1000 of those filmmakers are wrong — only 0.1% of independent features falls into that category.
I was an independent musician from 1993 to 2003 (a jazz trumpet player and vocalist). And during that time, I saw the music industry go through a revolution. When I started, everyone wanted to be discovered. The idea in LA was that you perform in clubs for free, send your tapes to A&R reps at the major labels, and hope that someone signs you. But within ten years, digital distribution had changed everything. Now any musician can be distributed through iTunes, and musicians no longer hope to “be discovered” — they promote themselves and are discovered every day by new fans.
This same digital distribution revolution is about to happen for independent filmmakers. The first videos to make money on YouTube were random, one-shot user generated content, but increasingly they are episodic work by people who create entertaining content every week. This revolution will not be televised, and it won’t be under the reins of Hollywood insiders — it will be built by thousands of filmmakers and millions of viewers.
Here at ZoomTilt, we believe that the moment for independent filmmakers is now, and that digital distribution is the answer. Great independent filmmakers are great storytellers, and these stories should be seen by as wide an audience as possible. All it takes is some marketing savvy and the right connections that can help fund and promote these stories. But great filmmakers are not necessarily great marketers, and that’s where we come in.
ZoomTilt helps independent filmmakers fund and promote their episodic storytelling content. We match filmmakers with brands and others for funding and we market and promote the series once created. Becoming part of ZoomTilt is easy — anyone can send us a pitch with a script sample, and our industry expert judges help us choose the best few. We fund a pilot episode for each, and then promote each pilot to see the viewership and demographics. Then one winning series goes on to create an entire season of content.
The world of the independent filmmaker is about to change — and you can help make that happen. IndiePix has already started the digital revolution of independent film, and we applaud you for being part of it. We hope to augment your love of independent features with great, episodic indie filmmaking.
ZoomTilt is a media company dedicated to helping video storytellers earn a sustainable living making great web entertainment. Created by filmmakers for filmmakers, screenwriters, actors and other creative artists, we find and fund standout, original internet TV projects. We help with development, we distribute and promote the best ideas we see and we help match filmmakers with great resources and brands for product placement and branded content.
For decades, independent filmmakers have submitted work to the film festival circuit hoping to be discovered. The reality however, is less than 1% will ever see their hard work widely shared with audiences. It’s time for independent creative artists to build a following online and earn revenue with their talent. It’s time for ZoomTilt.