Over the last few years I’ve released 3 DVD’s of projects I’ve made in Indian Country. The movie Rez Bomb, feature documentary A Thunder-Being Nation and the 13 part TV series The Hub. Next is the much anticipated Neither Wolf Nor Dog. Each time it has been a major undertaking trying to get them to the audience.
Marketing is a big struggle when you don’t have budgets to market and the audience is scattered throughout the globe. One ends up relying almost totally on social media and it takes a long time for sales to trickle in. It is far from sustainable. Every film maker working in Indian Country is going through a somewhat similar situation.
The irony is that because most films made in Indian Country are being made on a relative shoestring budget the number of DVD’s they need to sell to the audience diretly is not massive to get a financial return. But a shoestring in film terms is often one or two hundred thousand dollars. But if ten thousand people subsribed to buy that film and they cleared $10 a unit then that hundred thousand dollars could be recovered simply and quickly and most importantly the film maker could then move on quickly to doing what they are supposed to be doing, Making movies not marketing movies.
For years people quite rightly complain about Hollywood’s appauling treatment of Indian Country (my recent blog about Hollywood’s pro-genocide cinema goes into this). But the reality is also that the main reason that there’s not a lot of good Native films being made is that the few great ones being made are not being supported by the audience and lose money. You can’t complain about what is not there while ignoring and not supporting the ones that are.
If the audience stands up and is counted then things can substantially change. But if it’s not something you can afford to join at least help spread the word to those who may be interested.
The survey below goes into more detail.