“Joe [Leonard], Tara [Samuels] and I produced an independent feature in 2008 and found pretty quickly that the distribution world sucks,” says We Make Movies (WMM) co-founder Sam Mestman candidly over coffee at Whole Foods. “We naively put all the money into making the film and not anything into building an audience. We figured we’d go through the fest circuit and they’d just love us and distribution would line up.Theoretically, we still believed the 90s existed.”
They were wrong, of course. As so many of us over the last three years have had to reevaluate how to get our projects ‘out there,’ Leonard, Samuels and Mestman made it their full-time job to both help themselves and others in the same position.
“What we got from that first experience was a crash course in the business end of how awful trying to make a movie on your own is,” says Mestman. “Indie film distribution isn’t really viable at this point.”
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