IFA #11: Jerome Courshon and the Secrets to Film Distribution


In the latest episode of the Indie Film Academy Podcast, we speak with Distribution Consultant Jerome Courshon.

Many filmmakers spend years making their film only to give away the rights to an unscrupulous distribution company. Before you make any deals you need to make sure you educate yourself on the ins and outs of distribution. Jerome Courshon has put his vast knowledge of the topic into his 3-Day training series The Secrets to Distribution. In our discussion Jerome discusses what filmmakers need to know to protect themselves, some of the common mistakes filmmakers make when it comes time to distribute their films, and other tips for filmmakers to navigate the world of film sales.


More about Jerome:

Film producer, distribution expert, and today’s “go-to” authority of how to get a film to market, Jerome Courshon has broken open the “exclusive club” of successful independent producers with his innovative 3-Day Program, “THE SECRETS TO DISTRIBUTION: Get Your Movie Distributed Now!”

Along with his Master Classes, varied lectures and an elite consulting service under his banner Film Distribution Solutions, Courshon provides valuable strategies to Producers & Directors in getting their films into the top distribution markets. Clients have achieved distribution with Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, among numerous others.

Jerome Courshon knows the “game,” and his core lesson: How to play it.

A producer in his own right (he secured a profitable distribution deal with Warner Bros. on his very first indie movie), Courshon is called upon by many sources for his savvy. From beginning to veteran producers, as well as the press, they contact him regularly to gain access to his unparalleled expertise and invaluable knowledge.

Regarded as one of the world’s chief experts in distribution, he tracks the ever-changing film industry distribution markets to present relevant, trending and successful strategies in his lectures, classes and 3-Day Program. His ultimate goal for every filmmaker? Get your movie or documentary to the marketplace successfully.

Citing his own personal journeys of releasing films and working with distributors, Courshon highlights the many obstacles & challenges filmmakers face today — and how to overcome them. His teachings also pack powerful messages on how to stay in the game for the long haul. At the heart of every lesson on distribution is a focus on “what works and what doesn’t” in reaching your audience.

For more info about Jerome or his acclaimed Program, visit: www.Distribution.LA

You’ve taken a Herculean journey and made a movie. Congratulations! Or you’re about to embark on this journey. Great! What do you do to ensure the final stage of this major endeavor, achieving distribution for your film? How do you play “the game”? Is there even a game??The answer is YES, there is a game. There are strategies. Whether you’re about to start shooting, have finished final cut or are on the film festival circuit, there are strategies for successfully achieving Film Distribution that MOST Producers & Directors do not know. Consequently, most give up after spending a year or two spinning their wheels, or they throw their film online, hoping they make sales there.The Problem of Film DistributionThere are an estimated 5,000+ independent films made every single year. Here’s the unfortunate truth: Less than 5% of all these movies end up in distribution.

Why? What’s the real problem here?

Are all the other 95% of these films bad and unwatchable? OF COURSE NOT. How many movies have you seen, from your filmmaker colleagues or at a film festival, that you thought were decent/good/excellent and worthy of a larger audience?

Maybe you need stars in your movie to actually achieve distribution? Is this the real problem? NO. Plenty of movies attain distribution without star names, we see it all the time.

Well, perhaps you need to hire some “Producer’s Rep” and pay them a $10,000 fee to “unlock” the world of distribution. Is this the answer? NO. Some Producers do this, but those reps don’t give guarantees that they’ll be successful for you — and frequently they are not. (All one has to do is look up any discussion boards online about Producer Reps to learn the truth.) So you pay them $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 and end up a year later with nothing to show for it. Or a really bad distribution deal.

What’s the answer then? Do you need to struggle and suffer trying to figure out what the heck to do? Do you have to end your incredible journey — one filled with blood, sweat and possibly tears — does it have to end with your movie collecting dust on a shelf in your home? Or sitting online, inactive or barely generating revenue? NO.

The Solution to Film Distribution

The solution is that there are concrete, specific and proven strategies to achieve good film distribution — key strategies that literally unlock the world of distribution for you.

Unfortunately most Producers and Directors simply don’t have a clue as to what they are. Or they don’t realize they’re even lacking the right information to succeed. Most simply toss their movie out into the marketplace in a helter-skelter fashion, and wonder why they don’t get a deal. Or they don’t understand why people aren’t buying their DVDs, ordering it on cable VOD, or viewing it online.

You’ve completed “Film School”
by making your movie…
Now it’s time to get your “Masters”
and get it distributed successfully!
So where can you find this powerful information and not lose 2, 3 or 4 years of your life floundering around? Where can you learn the strategies of this seemingly complicated ‘game’ so you can start generating revenue and get on to your next movie?

Right here in the powerful 3-Day DVD Program, “THE SECRETS TO DISTRIBUTION: Get Your Movie Distributed Now!”

Volume 1

Taught by Producer & Distribution Expert Jerome Courshon, you can reach your final goal and achieve movie distribution (or documentary distribution), with key resources, key information and proven strategies.

This 3-Day Program contains Jerome’s full 2-Day Master Class, plus an additional Day of material, all on 9 DVDs.

[Note: As this Program is continuously updated, you will receive all updates for 1 year at no charge.]

Volume 2

“I can’t say enough about Jerome’s Program! It’s fun, sincere, candid and informed. You can’t put a price on the information he teaches — but avoiding the pitfalls of distribution could save you north of $50,000!”

Kerry David, Producer of 7 Movies including
“Agent Cody Banks,” “My Date With Drew,”
“Like Dandelion Dust”

“GREAT Program! What makes Jerome’s material so powerful is his personal experiences in the trenches. He fills a gap in most filmmakers’ education and provides a roadmap for the often murky and ever-changing world of distribution. His Program is important, valuable, and one that filmmakers of all levels can benefit from in getting their movies out there.”

Doug Atchison, Director/Writer,
“Akeelah and the Bee”

“Since the class I attended, I’ve sold 2 films to Lionsgate and I have a 3rd that I’m shooting for them. Everything Jerome says — as much as I fought it initially — is right on!”

Bobby Leigh, Producer/Director,
“Unraveled,” “Experiment In Torture”

“Incredible Program. Never before has a film producer put together a step-by-step approach to navigating the world of distribution. Taking this course is a MUST for any producer or director who’s serious about having success. To not understand the marketplace and how to work it, is financial suicide for your movie. Don’t do that. Don’t be one of those filmmakers who think they know everything. Get this phenomenal ‘Secrets To Distribution’ Program, understand what you need to do to have success, then do it!”

Darin Scott, Producer of 9 Movies including
“Menace II Society,” “Tales from the Hood,”
“To Sleep With Anger,” “Love and a .45″

Volume 3
From the Publisher of MovieMaker Magazine:
“As we often say at our magazine, being a successful independent filmmaker is often more about mastering the business side of this industry than the artistic side. With a clear eye, straightforwardness, humor — and the all-credible voice of personal experience — Jerome Courshon breaks down the distribution process in a comprehensive, step-by-step Program that’s tailored to the filmmaker seeking distribution in today’s complex, fast-changing marketplace.

Distribution is the most difficult phase of the filmmaking process, but it’s also the one that’s most critical for an independent producer to personally understand. I’ve been publishing MovieMaker Magazine for 20 years, and until Jerome, there wasn’t any other instructor or producer who walked you through this process in a way that could dramatically improve your chances of actually making money. Perhaps it can be said that your moviemaking journey is as unique as your film itself, and it’s possible that even with all the information in Jerome’s ‘Secrets To Distribution’ Program, you may not hit a homerun. But I do know this: You absolutely won’t reach your distribution goals without it.”

Timothy Rhys, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, MovieMaker Magazine

“Without Jerome’s information and resources, I’d never have gotten distribution through Warner Bros. for my ‘no name’ feature. Not in a million years!”

Vince Rocca, Producer, “Kisses & Caroms,”
“The Ghostmaker”

Material covered in this comprehensive and advanced Program includes:

Theatrical Distribution
What to do and not do with theatrical distributors; Most filmmakers fail here, even when they have an excellent movie.
Service Deal Distribution
What this is, how it works, and why some prominent Producers & Directors are utilizing it.
DIY Theatrical Distribution
How to get your movie into theaters yourself and launch a theatrical run. Can one do what Kevin Smith did with “Red State”? (Yes!)
The 8 Fundamental Models
…of getting your movie into the revenue stream to maximize earnings.
Home Video Distribution
DVD & Blu-ray is actually alive and profitable for many Producers. Last year DVD Distribution (& Blu-ray) was a $10.3 Billion market — still the largest revenue generating market of all. This doesn’t mean getting into this market is easy for the indie producer today, but there are still dozens upon dozens of active DVD Distributors. Contact list included.
VOD / PPV / Cable Distribution
VOD has been the hot topic of conversation for the past several years now, but how can you actually generate significant revenues here?
Foreign Distribution
How to get your film sold internationally. How to approach and gain interest from a foreign sales company to handle your movie.
Digital / Internet Distribution
How to make the most of this worldwide market. Where to go, what to do, and the best digital platforms to currently be on. (99% of filmmakers do not understand the shifts that have occurred within the past 3 years with online distribution, and are still wondering why they’re seeing little money on MOST platforms their films are sitting on. Learn what you need to be doing NOW.)
DIY Distribution
Making your own DVDs and/or Blu-rays and successfully selling them into the marketplace yourself. This has the highest profit margin, and some producers do this very successfully.
Film Festivals
Are they worth your time & energy? How to generate Buzz, Press & Awards. How to effectively use festivals to attain distribution.
Key Art / Taglines / Press Kits
Is your poster artwork & press kit REALLY up to snuff? Or are you sending out inferior materials with your film, causing distributors to say ‘No’ before even watching it? (This happens all the time. And if you’re saying to yourself, “Press kit? What do I need that for??” …then you are making a huge tactical mistake.)
Deals & Contracts
How to contractually protect yourself when making deals with distributors. This is — unfortunately — where too many filmmakers drop the ball. (Seriously drop the ball.)

Plus, participating in this powerful Program are these distinguished Guest Speakers:

– Brian Stevenson (Lightning Entertainment): Discusses VOD/PPV and Cable Networks including HBO, Showtime & Starz
– Alec McNayr (McBeard Media): Presents amazing internet distribution information and tools
– Linda Nelson (CEO, Indie Rights): Linda works with all the major digital platforms and shares information you need to know, if you’re putting your film online. She also does a presentation on utilizing Facebook for your movie — something every Producer & Director should see!
– Jon Reiss (Filmmaker, Author of “Think Outside the Box Office”): Shares innovative alternate approaches he’s used in distributing his documentaries
– Mitch Levine (The Film Festival Group): Veteran filmmaker AND festival director speaks in depth on film festivals

Whether you have a completed movie — or have yet to begin production — this is the definitive course on getting your movie into distribution. Most longtime veteran Producers (and Distributors) who know this information will NOT share it with you. BUT I DO.

Bottom line? This course is about getting results. Whether you want a distributor to handle your movie, OR you want to use the Internet and DIY methods to handle it yourself, this is the Program to learn the real and key strategies to achieve real results.

This extraordinary Program — easy to understand and implement (this is not brain surgery) — will assist you in achieving successful Distribution. On 9 DVDs are 18 Hours of Powerful Information & Strategies to assist you in achieving this. Also included are 3 Workbooks, containing 300 pages of resources, case studies, and 3 crucial Distributor Contact Lists.

How much is tuition for a Program like this?

If you were to jump into the film distribution ‘game’ and just go for it, from doing festivals to submitting to distributors, to perhaps even opening your movie theatrically yourself, you could easily spend $20,000, $30,000, $50,000 — just to get your movie into the revenue stream to start making real money. People jump into this game all the time — and spend a lot of money — without knowing what they’re doing. And many of them lose their butts.

Or, you could hire some distribution consultant (there aren’t many who are good at this), and you’ll get charged a minimum of $300 per hour, with some so-called consultants as high as $750 per hour. To learn what’s in my 18 Hour Program could cost you between $5,400 and $13,500. That may sound outrageous, but it is true.

Or, if USC Film School, NYU Film School or AFI offered an advanced ‘real world’ course like this Program — which they don’t — it would cost $4,000 to $5,000. Just for this one course.

But I’m a Producer, a filmmaker like you, and it’s not my desire to have this Program be accessible only to wealthy Producers & Directors. My goal is to help as many filmmakers as I can with this Program.

So tuition is not $50,000 (which would be ridiculous of course) or $20,000. It’s not what it would cost if you sat with a consultant for 18 Hours, $13,500 to $5,400. And it’s not even the cost of one class at USC, NYU or AFI.

I have colleagues who’ve viewed my Program and tell me I’m absolutely nuts to not even list it at $2,000 or $1,000. (I’m not kidding.) They know what it took for them to get where they are, and they feel I’m giving it away.

Perhaps I am, as the tuition for this 18 Hour Program, 9 DVDs + 3 Workbooks, is just $600.00. (See Below)

Literally 1/7th – 1/8th the tuition of one course at USC, NYU or AFI. And this course — this “Secrets To Film Distribution” Program — is MORE important and MORE powerful than any course offered at any film school. In fact, it is probably the most important course you could EVER take for your film career.

For a limited time, order now and you get the following added Bonus:

BONUS (FREE): Foreign Distributor Contact List. This is a 57 page complete Contact List of the 270+ Foreign Sales Companies that can sell your movie into the international territories. (Some businesses actually charge $200 – $300 just for this list alone.) Yours FREE with your order.

“Wow! It’s about time someone created a road map for this crazy complicated world of movie distribution. As film producers we need to know how to distribute our own films. It’s not just about producing them anymore. What’s the point if no one goes to see it? Finally, with Jerome’s 3-Day ‘Distribution School’ DVD Series, we not only have the knowledge to distribute our films, but we get to make money doing it! It doesn’t get any better than this!”

Suzanne Lyons, Producer of 10 Movies
including “Undertaking Betty,”
“The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things”

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts
Stay In Touch

Pinterest Master