How do I Judge a Marketplace for Filmmakers?
When you’re trying to make it in the film industry or stay up to date on all the latest gear and trends, film marketplaces can seem like an enticing destination.
But they frequently come with a high price and high risk.
Marketplaces for filmmakers seem enticing, especially when the difficulty of breaking into an established film and entertainment world can be demoralizing.
Places such as The Black List, Wooshi, Smartshoot, SimplyScripts and B2B are all very attractive spaces for a filmmaker to try and gain greater access, but the question is… are sites such as these truly worth it?
Today we’ll look at the pros and cons of some of these sites and talk about some alternatives that might help you as well.
Preaching to the Choir
One thing that needs to be thoroughly vetted prior to jumping onto a filmmaker marketplace is what is the primary demographic the site or service is reaching (not the same as what they may claim to be reaching).
Many times, a filmmaker marketplace becomes nothing more than a place where filmmakers end up trying to sell to each other, or where they merely have a place to air concerns, gripes and troubles within the industry.
Now, there is nothing wrong with such sites and services if this is what your filmmaking services require, but be sure to check out the credibility and viability of the site prior to joining.
Check out their FAQ page and see what they say they offer. Search them on Twitter or Reddit and see what people have to say about the site’s pros and cons as well.
Go in with as much knowledge as you can and you’ll get the best results.
Risk of Idea Theft or Product Pirating
As painful as it is to think about, nowadays, nothing can be taken at face value or trusted until it is thoroughly and completely investigated.
Any filmmaking market service needs to be checked to see if there is a history of IP theft (Intellectual Property), any troubles from clients reporting pirating of their films and products or any other such breach of ethics (and laws).
Request a list of references from the service and check them out. This only serves to protect you, the filmmaker, from damage.
Be sure you trust where you are placing your works, and that those works are going to be shown and distributed under a strict set of safety protocols and rules.
Also, before you post or send, copyright your work or register it with the WGA.
Know Your Market
Prior to joining or enlisting any service such as a filmmaker market, ask yourself what market you are trying to reach. If you are a filmmaker who specializes in corporate video or commercials, a service geared to short films and features will serve no good.
Find the right filmmaking service market and then check to see who has purchased from the service, all to ensure you get the needed exposure for your films.
There are numerous services and markets out there, but if that service is not the proper market for your work, it will do nothing but drain your precious resources.
Filmmaking markets are a great method of gaining needed exposure to new clients. Take the time to investigate and learn about the market before you join up and spend your hard-earned dollars.
The markets can be a very effective tool and part of your promotional campaign when done properly and not rushed into.
Free Services and Markets for Filmmakers
Sure, there are lots of places to spend your cash, but what about the free markets for filmmakers?
Sites like Reddit or Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook have lots of communities where you can seek advice and feedback for no money down.
They’re also great places to find actual paying work or to get a crew together.
While film markets can be worth the time and money, see what you can get for free first, so you can find the specifics that are worth your time and money later.