More for Filmmakers – Ep 1
In this series of posts I am going to answer questions that are often asked but will be answered here in more detail than is in the Filmmaker’s FAQ post. While I will begin with posts in the FAQ, I will also be asking for feedback from filmmakers in regards to additional questions that they would like answered.
Look for the MFF tag for more discussions.
Why do some movies play at theaters and some don’t.
This is a questions with a lot of nuances, so let’s break it down.
Nova Vento has two basic approaches to placement in theaters, the Premiere and the Demand programs. The Demand program is much more straight forward. In this program we provide access to your film in our market for theaters to choose from. The film stays in our system for two months and theaters are able to order a DCP and accompanying materials from the site. This is more of an open marketplace so if your package doesn’t appeal to theaters then they simply will not pick it – for example, releasing a horror film during Christmas.
The Premiere program is much more structured and much more difficult to get into, however we did want ways for more independent filmmakers to get into theaters so we opened the Demand program.
Regardless of which program you are in, let’s go through the things that will get your film better placement (Note: We will be creating posts on each of these elements in coming posts):
- Having everything ready to go. Are all of your materials ready to go? Things that should be ready when submitting to Nova Vento:
- DCP – You should have a DCP that is packaged as FLAT or SCOPE and NOT 16:9. We will need to add a logo to the beginning of your feature so make sure that you can download and accept the Nova Vento logo as an element in your DCP.
- Trailer – You should have a trailer of no more than one minute and fifty five seconds. No more.
- Poster – 27 x 40 one sheet size.
- Key art
- Other images – BTS, interviews, etc
- Prepared social media posts
- How well is your movie completed?
- Is the acting top notch? Nothing pulls an audience out of a film faster than a bad actor.
- Is the sound mix professional and proper. It should be mixed to the industry standard. Theaters don’t like movies that are severely louder or quieter than other features.
- Has it been color corrected so that it is uniform and thematic?
- Was it shot properly? You may think you are an auteur but you may just have a horrible sense of what is in the frame. Make sure the camera work is appropriate for your subject.
- Who is in it? As much as it pains all of us, since story SHOULD be king, WHO is in it is just as important for marketing as WHAT it is.
There is no real way to predict what films will be picked up and which ones do not. Nova Vento does not have the strong arm power to dictate what will or will not be shown in a theater and we hope that we never do. The showing of films should be based on merit and quality. We simply work with our theater partners and give them the best reasons that we can to show one of our films.
EDIT: Please understand that “How Good” your film is may not be reflected in the box office. We have had amazing films fail and it’s not uncommon, there are too many factors to consider in order to judge a film’s success. If everyone knew the formula of what makes a film successful then the crew on great films like Shawshank Redemption deserves a re-do.