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 horror distribution platform that helps creators sell their work. Enjoy the interview.
Can you briefly describe HODTV?
HODTV is a 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?
We have been filmmakers ourselves, we have been on the other side, and we know what it is like to run up against the wall of getting horror distribution.
Film festivals allowed us to network, and understand others’ needs. We immediately noticed something pretty easy to understand, there was a distribution problem.
Each year Horror/Thriller masterpieces are created that won’t ever reach the viewers who could enjoy a bunch of those jewels. This was the motivation for creating HODTV, and after years of hard work, we launched it last September.
How many films do you have available on the platform?
There are more than 250 titles in our catalog and that is just the beginning.
Tell us more about your mission.
Our mission is to help these films and advance these creators by expanding our presence globally.
We know our filmmakers care about their work and we want to give them a chance to be proud, appreciated, and recognized for their hard job.
Our vision is to spread a passion for horror all around the world.
Do you accept only feature-length films or you will also accept short films?
We pick films that depict something different.
It doesn’t matter if they are short, medium, features, or series.
We look for films not subject to the vagaries of fashion or market laws.
We look for original Horror and Thrillers produced with love.
We like that producers retain all of their rights and that your relationships are non-exclusive. How important is this to helping filmmakers succeed?
Filmmakers must be able to control their image and distribution.
They know their audience best and what will resonate with them. So, we think it’s crucial to give them a chance to promote their work in the way that they want, with no intermediation chains.
How do you help them market and promote their work?
We spent a lot of time and resources on building meaningful tools and marketing strategies for filmmakers.
First of all, HODTV is not a classic SVoD. During weekends, it turns into a TV channel, and for 24 hours (between Saturday and Sunday) subscribers can watch a handpicked selection of titles in heavy rotation.
This helps our films get a wider reach.
Secondly, we have got social tools such as the ability to share updates on Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail to reduce the overhead of reaching out.
Thirdly, creators have a rich dashboard that gives them live performance data on their films. Not to mention our engineer’s department is really committed and always helps HODTV perform better every day.
Lastly, we constantly run ads to promote our films and HODTV.
Can you tell us about the level of security you provide?
The security system of the entire platform does not allow any data breaches. All the files, documents, and details are accessible only inside our system and each possible intruder is blocked immediately.
Do you have any advice on what people can do to increase their chances of success with their horror distribution?
Involve your audience on social media from the earliest point possible. Don’t wait until you need cash to start looking for your audience. Your fans are your best ambassadors. Let them have easy access to your marketing content and let them do the talking. This is the best advice we can give you.
Can filmmakers submit a film directly to the platform for consideration?
Yes. They can apply via online submission and will be asked to provide a link to the film in the entry form.