The Film Business

Five Ways to Collaborate with Other Filmmakers


Photo by Ian Skiee


For most filmmakers, with the exception of when they’re physically on-set surrounded by cast and crew, the art of filmmaking can be a relatively isolated experience. The satisfaction usually comes when they see the reactions from an audience. However, filmmakers can actually share in and enhance their experience by working together. There are many ways to do this cheaply, and effectively. Some examples include:

  1. Sharing Trailers – Whether it’s before a screening or on your DVD, swapping trailers with other filmmakers is a great way to get free exposure for each other’s films. This not only helps you build relationships with others in your industry; it will also help get your work in front of an audience that may never have heard of your project before. In other words, a new potential audience!
  2. Go On Tour Together – When filmmakers share the cost of multiple screenings, it can cut down costs for everyone, and helps many films get seen by a larger audience than they would have at an individual screening. This also opens up the discussion for creating events around your films. If you make an evening of it, there is more incentive for an audience to come from farther away to partake in the event.
  3. Bundle Like-Genre Films Into DVD Box Sets – In an age where self-distribution is becoming a rule rather than the exception, filmmakers have an opportunity to create value for their audience by packaging their films with other filmmakers’ movies and splitting the profits. By bundling and selling these sets across each filmmaker’s circle of influence, it increases the chance of everyone’s films getting discovered by an audience.
  4. Market Each Other Via Email – Most filmmakers SHOULD have their own email list and/or newsletter where they share updates and information on their films with their growing audience. Why not take a moment to include links and descriptions of other people’s films as well? This will help build filmmaker goodwill as well as engaging your audience further; they might inquire how they can see these movies, and you can work in a plug for your film while answering them. Either way, the conversation becomes 2-sided rather than just them reading your email every month.
  5. Affiliate Market Each Other’s DVDs – Everyone makes money when you use affiliate marketing. Earmark 10% or more of each DVD unit sold through another person’s website as incentive for them to sell your film for you! Filmmakers trading affiliate links can make a few bucks off each other’s audience by selling each other’s films. This build awareness as well as the bank account.

The game hasn’t changed much since the creation of the film industry over a hundred years ago. Ingenuity in marketing always stands out and people who work as a team usually have an advantage over those who work as individuals. Start connecting and fomenting plans with other filmmakers you meet at festivals, on Twitter, Facebook, and filmmaking forums. Start cooperating and succeeding in finding audiences, and selling your films, together. Share your results with others. Build and grow a true community of indie film.

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MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Routledge authors and industry experts, features tips, advice, articles, video tutorials, interviews, and other resources for aspiring and current filmmakers. No matter what your filmmaking interest is, including directing, screenwriting, postproduction, cinematography, producing, or the film business, MasteringFilm has you covered. You’ll learn from professionals at the forefront of filmmaking, allowing you to take your skills to the next level.