Managing Your Movie Brand

A few weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and interview filmmaker and entrepreneur Dennis Dortch. Talking to him, I was glad I had the camera rolling because he’s a couple steps ahead of me in his thought process, and it occurred to me, I should have been taking notes. So take this series of videos as a free master class in how to approach web content and managing your brand.

This whole idea of, ‘a brand’ or a niche really intrigued me. I thought immediately of filmmakers like Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino (who would prefer not to be in the same company these days but…) who, when you see their movies, you have certain expectations. Now those expectations are not always met; people who loved Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Bastards didn’t really dig on Jackie Brown, and I remember the confused looks when Spike did Summer of Sam and 25th hour. But at the same time, the audiences who went to see Django don’t always turn out to see black films… but Django was a Tarantino film. So even his brand was able to override his genre. Hmm, you’ve got to have a brand, unless you’re Spielberg who’s had several brands in his career. I mean most people wouldn’t lump Jaws, the Color Purple and ET into the same pile.

Then there’s how the business, ‘works’. Dennis talks about not so much the 9 – 5, but the cashflow and expectations of making a living.

I appreciate Dennis’s candor when talking about this: he is an entrepreneur. He didn’t consciously mean to be in this position, but he has accepted the challenge and become one of the homesteaders on the frontiers of independent filmmaking and web content.

And if you’re feeling romantic this Valentine’s Day or when ever, Check out ‘A Good Day to be Black & Sexy’ on netflix and Valentines day episode of  The Couple.  If you don’t normally feel “Black & Sexy,”  go ahead and give it a shot, it’s Black History Month, right? LOL.

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3 Responses to “Managing Your Movie Brand”

  1. The old Filmmaking, Marketing & Distribution structure needs to be adjusted to the Internet era, and everyone will be safe with an earning!! =)

    • I always wonder why the music industry managed to survive -somehow- the Internet era and the Filmmaking industry is struggling with it? Do they need more time to plan a good strategy or to have their egos completely shattered? Someone explain, please?

      • admin says:

        Hey Mario,
        I think the challenges the movie industry is facing is the exact challenge the music industry faced ten years ago. The music industry realized they can still rely on live performances to pay high profits, so now the idea is to give away the music for free and get people into the concerts. They also leverage movies, superbowls, commercials, T-shirts and such to cross market and profit with artists.
        The movie business on the other hand is wrestling not just with piracy of films in theaters, but people watching TV online are circumventing ad dollars too. This is why Netflix is creating waves with their original content because it’s where the online people want to watch TV anyway – watch it on your TV. Watch it on your computer. When ever, where ever, it’s the movie/TV pirates dream, and it doesn’t take up harddrive space or give you viruses like downloading. Just $8 bucks a month.
        Movies and TV will find they’re way, they already are. As Dennis mentions, there’s a possibility for the ‘channels’ to become the new networks and content creators to become the new, ‘artists.’ All in all, watch this space, it proves to be ineresting

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