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DISTRIBUTION U. Los Angeles: A One-Day Crash Course on the New Rules of Crowdfunding, Audience-Building & Distribution


Saturday, November 20, 2010 from 8:15 AM to 6:00 PM (PST)

DISTRIBUTION U. Los Angeles: A One-Day Crash Course on...

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On-Site Registration   more info Ended $295.00 $8.37
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Event Details

[ Please note that we have limited spots available for on-site registration. Bring a check or money order for $295. ]

Note: If you plan to arrive later than 10 AM, you'll want to buy a parking permit at the first kiosk you see on campus, and then proceed to Lot SV. Before 10 AM, Lot SV will have its own attendant.

Distribution U. is back by popular demand. The inaugural event in late 2009 was sold out, generating useful strategies and valuable new connections for the filmmakers and producers who participated. (Here’s coverage from the 2009 event in the
New York Times, Documentary Magazine, and CinemaTech.)

This year, we’re doing an entirely new edition of Distribution U. in both New York (Nov. 13th @ NYU) and Los Angeles (Nov. 20th @UCLA). We're calling it Distribution U. Version 2.0. Our Los Angeles workshop is co-sponsored by UCLA's School of Film, Theater and Television.

Designed and presented by leading distribution strategist Peter Broderick and cutting-edge author and tech analyst Scott Kirsner, this is a unique event that informs and engages its participants in new ways. The Distribution U. audience is active — film industry professionals and emerging filmmakers absorbing new ideas and sharing their experiences. Distribution U. focuses on the newest strategies and the latest tactics that actually work, avoiding theoretical predictions about the future. There’s interactive brainstorming  — an opportunity for you to get ideas for your current project. You’ll sit down for in-depth lunch discussion groups with industry experts. You’ll hear how successful filmmakers built an audience and made the distribution decisions for their latest projects. And you’ll engage in resource-sharing and networking with the other participants.


Last week in New York, here’s what our participants said about Distribution U.:

- "Worth every penny."

- "Incredibly inspiring, insightful and energizing."

- "A lot of my prior assumptions about distribution and audience-building were shown to be faulty, and I gained a more realistic view of it, plus a lot of ideas."

- "Thank you for the non-stop, out-of-the-box ideas."

- "Honestly, this event really exceeded my expectations. Awesome."

- "I'd recommend it to anyone."

- "The networking and friendliness were terrific - it ain't easy being a filmmaker!"

- "I loved it and felt it was well worth my time. Really rejuvenated me."

- "I was surprised how many people sought me out to ask me for advice or hire me for consulting work. Didn't expect that."

- "You're showing us how to think differently in a time of rapid change."

- "Really loved the event, and learned a tremendous amount about how to move ahead with our movie."


Distribution U. is an event unlike any other. It is panel-free and hype-free. Information is candid and real, coming from filmmakers and key members of their distribution teams.  (At left is Adrian Belic, producer of "Beyond the Call" and "Genghis Blues," leading a lunch discussion.) We tap the experience of our participants, along with the knowledge of speakers and resource people. There is a collective sense of mutual support and collaboration. It’s designed to produce constructive ideas you can actually act upon — not confusion or anxiety!


“Casual, participatory, and supportive, Distribution U. was chock-full of useful information with which anyone embarking on a filmmaking adventure should be familiar,” wrote Tamara Krinsky of Documentary Magazine.


“The 200 filmmakers inside the conference room laughed, soaking up Mr. Broderick’s pitch as if their careers depended on it, which perhaps they do,” wrote Manohla Dargis of the New York Times. “Independent filmmaking has never been for the faint of heart.”


Distribution U. Version 2.0 will use the same format that worked so well last year. The content will be new — fresh case studies and up-to-the-minute information — reflecting all the changes and developments in the past year.  We’ll talk about the realities of crowdfunding, an area of rapidly growing importance to filmmakers. There will be outstanding new speakers, resource people, and participants, all of whom will differ between New York and L.A.


We hope you’ll be part of this in-depth, interactive, and practical event on Saturday, November 20th on the campus of UCLA.

Our plan for the day:

8:00 – 9:00 AM – Registration and Networking Breakfast

Arrive early to get your name tag and materials, sign up for a lunch discussion group, and meet your fellow participants. We’ll supply coffee, tea, juice, and breakfast pastry.


9:00 – 9:45 AM – Ignition

We’ll get off to a fast start by discussing the objectives of the day… hearing from you about what you’re working on, and what your goals are…and inviting you to describe resources and expertise that you can offer others in the group.


9:45 – 10:30 AM – Fans, Friends & Followers: The Secrets of Successful Audience-Builders

Scott will explain the latest counter-intuitive approaches to using the Web in a way that won't be a distraction to your real work — in fact, it'll help you move your projects forward. He’ll focus on social media tools that will help you build a fan base interested in your current (and future) releases and willing to support you. Case studies include documentary and narrative filmmakers, as well as musicians and artists.


10:30 – 10:45 AM – Networking Break


10:45 – 11:45 PM – Setting a Course for the New World of Distribution

Peter will give an overview of the latest distribution strategies and explain the principles of hybrid distribution. He will reveal the techniques that made a number of independent films so successful this past year, and share details on how they did it.


11:45 - 12:00 PM – Announce lunch groups

Join a lunch group that interests you, or create one you’d like to lead. Topics may include: film funding, publicity, VOD and digital options, social networking, etc.

12:00 – 2:30 PM – “Off-the-Record”: Small Group Lunchtime Conversations, Led by Experts

We'll provide healthy box lunches for your lunch discussion groups, along with beverages and dessert. We'll have many pre-arranged, led by industry players, and also allow to to create your own on the spot, if you wish. You'll be able to join three different groups.

Discussion leaders, their topics, and locations:

Roko Belic, director, "Genghis Blues" and director/crowdfunder, "Happy"; Roko has extensive experience working the festival circuit; Working the Circuit: How to Win Festivals and Influence People [ WEST COAST ROOM ]

Joe Beyer, social media strategist and director of digital initiatives, Sundance Institute; Social Media 101: Promoting Your Film on Facebook and Twitter [ NORTH RIDGE ROOM ]

Adam Chapnick, founder, Distribber, the innovative company that works with filmmakers to maximize their digital revenues; iTunes, Hulu, SnagFilms, and More: Understanding the Digital Platforms, Deals, and Potential Revenues [ GRAND HORIZON ROOM ]

Jonathan Dana, producer and veteran producers rep for docs and features; Dealmaking: Setting Up Your Film for a Vibrant Release in Theaters, on TV, DVD and Beyond [ WEST COAST ROOM ]

Nolan Gallagher, founder and CEO, video-on-demand and mobile aggregator Gravitas Ventures; Making the Most of Your Cable, Mobile and VOD Opportunities [ GRAND HORIZON ROOM ]

Jim Gilliam of NationBuilder, the Internet strategist who helped Robert Greenwald launch (and finance) his Brave New Films series of documentaries and online videos; Turning Your Film Into a Cause [ NORTH RIDGE ROOM ]

Roberta Grossman, producer/director, "Blessed is the Match"; director/crowdfunder, "Hava Nagila"; How to Succeed with Funders, Donors, Festivals, and Your Core Audience [ WEST COAST ROOM ]

Madelyn Hammond, marketing guru, Madelyn Hammond & Associates, former top marketing exec at Variety and Landmark Theatres; Designing a Killer Targeted Marketing Strategy for Your Film [ NORTH RIDGE ROOM ]

Producer and editor Joel Heller ("Winnebago Man"); Establishing Relationships with Blogs and Web Sites — And Getting Them to Fill Theaters [ SOUTH BAY ROOM ]

Justine Jacob, attorney for independent filmmakers and director, "Ready Set Bag"; Keep the Law on Your Side: Legal Advice for Independent Filmmakers [ WEST COAST ROOM ]

Oren Jacob, CTO, Pixar and executive producer, "Ready Set Bag," which is using Groupon for its unique theatrical release; Combining the Latest Online Tools with Offline Partnerships [ GRAND HORIZON ROOM ]

Skot Leach, co-founder, Lost Zombies, the first community-created zombie movie; Let the Audience Participate: The Benefits of Building a True Community Around Your Project [ NORTH RIDGE ROOM ]

Cara Mertes, director, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program; New Allies: The Cutting Edge of Documentary Funding [ WEST COAST ROOM ]

Cora Olson and Jennifer Dubin of Present Pictures; How to Make the Most of Hybrid Distribution: Choosing Partners and Splitting Rights [ GRAND HORIZON ROOM ]

Danae Ringelmann, co-founder, IndieGoGo; The Essentials of Setting Up a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign for Your Film [ GRAND HORIZON ROOM ]

Chris Shellen, Web strategist and producer, "Marwencol" (now in theatrical release); Build a Great Web Site & Marketing Campaign with No Budget [ NORTH RIDGE ROOM ]

Jill Sobule, crowdfunding pioneer and musician; Jill's latest release is "The California Years," funded entirely by her fans; Building a Persona Online: Creating a Presence and Attracting Fans & Patrons to Your Work [ GRAND HORIZON ROOM ]

IndieWire writer Anne Thompson of "Thompson on Hollywood" (formerly of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter); How to Work Effectively with Bloggers and Traditional Journos [ SOUTH BAY ROOM ]

Nancy Willen, head of Acme PR, documentary publicist and Academy Award campaign specialist (including “Taxi to the Dark Side”); Customizing PR for Festivals, Theatrical Releases, and Academy Campaigns [ SOUTH BAY ROOM ]

2:30 – 3:15 PM – The Audience Comes First

Peter discusses crowdfunding as a strategy both to raise money and also build a community of supporters, with recent examples from around the world.

3:15 – 3:30 PM – Networking Break

3:30 - 4:30 PM –Case Studies 

Artist-led case studies will highlight recent projects that are successfully implementing innovative crowdfunding, marketing, and distribution strategies (including theatrical, television, non-theatrical, home video, educational distribution, and web sales).

Featuring Jill Sobule, crowdfunding pioneer and musician, and documentary filmmaker Roberta Grossman. Jill's latest release is "The California Years," funded entirely by her fans. Roberta has been using a crowdfunding approach with her current project, "Hava Nagila," to both build community and raise money.


4:30 – 4:45 PM – Networking Break


4:45 - 5:45 PM – Strategic Brainstorming: Marketing & Distribution Improv

We'll brainstorm crowdfunding, marketing and distribution strategies for filmmakers in the audience. Come prepared to pitch your project, describe your core audiences, and leave conventional wisdom at the door.


5:45 – 6:00 PM – The Final Analysis

An opportunity to ask questions that haven't been answered...and to discuss where we go from here.


6:00 PM – Onwards – We'll supply sodas, water and snacks for some post-event schmoozing.

Extras: We’ll send you a list of participants and their projects before the course, so you can decide who you’d like to connect with. (Please do not e-mail everyone on this list about your project/service/financing opportunity.)

At the event, you’ll receive a free paperback copy of Fans, Friends and Followers (a $16 value) and a packet of resource materials from Peter.

We recommend early registration to hold your spot, since space is limited.

To register, select a quantity of tickets above, and click the "Check Out With PayPal" button. You'll be able to use a major credit card, or a PayPal account, for the purchase. (Please note: Cancellations made before midnight on November 5th will receive a 50 percent refund of the ticket price; thereafter, we are unable to refund the ticket purchase, but you are welcome to transfer your pass to another participant.)

About Peter Broderick: A leading distribution strategist, Peter consults with filmmakers and media companies to develop strategies to maximize distribution, audiences, and revenues. He was previously President of Next Wave Films, which helped launch the careers of Christopher Nolan and other exceptionally talented filmmakers. Peter also established Next Wave Films’ Agenda 2000, the world’s first entity devoted to financing digital features. A key player in the growth of the ultra-low budget feature movement, Broderick became one of the most influential advocates of digital moviemaking. Now focused on the revolution in film distribution, Broderick has given keynotes and presentations in Cannes, Berlin, London, Sydney, and Tel Aviv. Check out his seminal reports, “Welcome to the New World of Distribution” and “Declaration of Independence” and sign up for his distribution bulletins at www.peterbroderick.com.



About Scott Kirsner: Editor of the blog CinemaTech and author of several books including Fans, Friends & Followers (2009) and The Future of Web Video (2008), Scott has written about how new technologies are changing the entertainment industry for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, and Fast Company. Scott was the lead organizer for The Conversation, a gathering held last fall at UC/Berkeley, and has spoken or moderated panels about marketing, distribution, and new technology at the Harvard Business School, MIT, SXSW, Sundance, the LA Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the IFP Filmmaker Conference, and the Rome Film Festival.

Have questions about DISTRIBUTION U. Los Angeles: A One-Day Crash Course on the New Rules of Crowdfunding, Audience-Building & Distribution? Contact CinemaTech
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When & Where

UCLA's Covel Commons
Grand Horizon Room
200 De Neve Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90077

Saturday, November 20, 2010 from 8:15 AM to 6:00 PM (PST)

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CinemaTech chronicles changes in the world of digital entertainment, and most recently published "Fans, Friends & Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age." Visit http://cinematech.blogspot.com.

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DISTRIBUTION U. Los Angeles: A One-Day Crash Course on the New Rules of Crowdfunding, Audience-Building & Distribution
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