Whatever you choose to call it: direct distribution, self-distribution or as some prefer "alternative-distribution" - the tools are out there for filmmakers to publish their work and get paid for it. It's not a fast track to success and will likely require the full breadth of your attention to make it work, but it is quickly becoming the most viable way for filmmakers to carve out a market for themselves in this industry.
Here we speak with Sergio and Elena, the founders of HODTV, a platform that helps creators share and sell their work. Enjoy the interview.
HODTV is a brand-new international streaming platform for independent horror and thriller films.
Our double purpose is, on one side to offer our audience films that would be otherwise hard to access and on the other side to encourage and spread everywhere independent productions.
What motivated you to get started with your project?
Our journey started from far away.
At the beginning we were just filmmakers.
We produced a couple of horror films before noticing that the producers – just like us – needed more than what the actual market could have offered them.
We sadly discovered the complete lack of products and services that could add value to the real soul of the independent Horror and Thriller films and so, we started working on HODTV.
Tell us more about your mission.
Our main goal is to discover new productions.
We are looking for independent movies not subject to market laws, trends, and decisions from the top. We aim to convey the best quality and originality of the film with no filters.
HODTV doesn't stream sugarcoated or trivial stories. We only pick genuine and intense movies that will excite you. We want to give you gorgeous films to spark your emotions.
Our mission is to expand all around the world the real meaning and the deeper soul of the independent horror and thriller filmmaking, and giving the filmmakers the chance to be proud, not only for the festival selections but, most of all, for being appreciated and recognized for their hard job and quality.
We are focusing only on horrors and thrillers because we are creating a big thematic Web TV. We are building a "horror house" and we are working hard to transform HODTV as the landmark for the horror and thriller genres.
Do you accept only feature-length films or you will also accept short films?
It doesn’t matter if they are short medium or features, if they are a series or not, we accept all sort of quality movies produced with professionalism and love.
We are thrilled and absolutely in love with the emotions given by this genre of film and we absolutely know it is possible to transmit emotions, fear, and anxiety also in a short movie and not only in the “classic length movie”.
This is the message we want to share with all the people who love horrors and thrillers but are not so familiar with the incredible world of Indie cinema. We would like them to discover and appreciate it.
Behind the screen there is a great big amazing world that deserves to be discovered, lived and watched and HODTV.NET was born for this reason.
It was a long and difficult journey and we walked impervious paths but, in the end, after 2 years of hard work, with great satisfaction, we were able to give life to HODTV.
We like that producers may retain all of their rights and that your relationships are non-exclusive. How important is this to helping artists succeed?
Freedom is the first winning weapon to obtain the results you are following.
We firmly believe that letting the Authors free to decide if giving HODTV the exclusivity or not, is the main path of trust we can walk together with them to build a strong partnership, we love to define “friendship”.
We do not want to exclude anyone at all, we want to help the authors to be discovered, to be appreciated and to be part of our great project and, the freedom of expression, the freedom to have several distribution chances, shouldn’t be removed by anyone.
We also fought against the system, against the intermediaries that wanted to exclude us by our rights and against this dark side behind the scenes.
That’s why we created HODTV: to share our vision as producers/authors and to help others to believe in a better world, where distributors are not bad beasts but a pleasant Island where to find a safe friendly chance.
Chance of what?
Chance to be distributed without chains, without being blinded by impossible contracts, chances to be free to decide, the chance to be promoted, chance to earn.
HODTV infact will pay each author on the basis of the views and each month will divide 50% of his net income with the authors.
How do you help your customers market and promote their work?
Well, HODTV is not only a classic SVoD: During the weekends, it turns into a real TV and, for 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday, subscribers can also watch the films proposed by our show schedule.
The Real TV-mode, will help all the films of our list to be watched. Each show schedule is different from the previous one, and the users could watch them just like an ordinary TV.
Authors have their own personal area where they can verify how their films are going, divided per titles.
They will find the statistics for the completed, uncompleted views divided for month updated day by day.
They can also find the section related to the payments and the amount and they can also manage the account and also, find the SHARE area useful for the self-promotion of their films on the main social media.
HODTV works with its custom IT architecture and Team.
The entire platform has been developed by our Engineer’s department who is active day by day and helps HODTV to perform every day better.
The security system of the entire platform has been developed by our engineers and does not allow any data breaches and no one can have access to them.
All the files, documents and details are accessible inside the system. Each possible intruder is blocked immediately and before even being able to enter the platform.
We are also in constant contact with our Authors and also with our users. Anyone could find them via e-mail and Social media and any information or question is briefly replied thanks to our team!
Do you have any advice on what people can do to increase their chances of success with direct distribution?
We love to talk to others exactly as we were talking to one of our family. We love to be honest end clear and we don’t want to deceive anyone.
We all dreamed to wake up in the morning and discover that we were rich, popular and appreciated all around the world. But you can’t reach your objective without working hard. Success doesn't happen overnight and neither in a month but, you can work to follow your objective and being modest and authentic.
This is the only advice we could give to the authors but, in general, to everyone.
HODTV is possible only thanks to those who believe in the effort and for whom who believe in co-working.
For this reason, HODTV offers to the authors a chance of self-promotion.
Inside the personal area of each author, there is the “SHARE” button.
It will allow the authors to auto promote their movies on the main social media and via e-mail, in addition to the promotional ADV activities done by HODTV’s marketing department.
What are you particularly excited to be working on at the moment?
We are working on a global ADV campaign. We aim to become a landmark, a safe island where filmmakers can store their productions without fears or doubts.
Where can we go to learn more?
HODTV was officially launched on September 1st.
You can now visit: https://hodtv.net