1) FILM FESTIVALS
Film festivals are basically carefully curated smorgasbords of independent cinema. You submit your film, and if the festival deems you worthy you screen to their audiences of festival-goers, film fans, critics and other industry movers and shakers. Festivals can often be the best way to start expanding awareness beyond just your friends, family, community and core audience on the Internet. Building greater and greater awareness is a crucial part of the overall gameplan--think of a movie like any new type of product a company wants to launch. You have to get people interested, excited, engaging in conversation, until it all builds to a critical mass that can hopefully crossover into the mainstream.
If your movie plays well at certain festivals, you may start to see interest from buyers in distribution rights. There are all sorts of distribution rights: theatrical, non-theatrical, VOD, television, DVD, educational, and digital rental/download are some of the big ones. These buyers have access to the biggest audiences and specialize in delivering your movie directly to the most interested eyeballs. So for our project, film festivals are the first step. If we sell the movie, the where/when question gets answered in conjunction with the dealmaking. One of our top priorities is making sure that the film is released in a timely manner, and hits a global audience.
Depending on how they perform at festivals, some filmmakers may choose to go on tour! Think of this as an extension to the awareness-building. Here you're taking the movie around the country and playing to audiences most excited about seeing it. Kind of like a band goes on tour for a new album, but instead of filling concert venues with music we'd be filling theaters and conference rooms with an online poker movie.
3) DIGITAL/DVD RELEASE
This usually comes last if you crush at festivals and sell all your rights for MEGA BUCKS!!!, but depending on how things play out this could happen sooner. Some filmmakers have been conducting interesting experiments in delivering their movies direct-to-fans and cutting out all the middlemen and red tape. The Internet has had a majorly awesome impact on creating and distributing content, and seeing as how Taylor and I are very much cut from the cloth of online poker players, Internet creators and entrepreneurs, we are totally psyched to see what kinds of strategies we can come up with to push the envelope. How could you create a feature length online poker movie and not have a badass online component, amirite?
Anyhow, I hope this sheds some light on the subject for those curious. We may be finishing up work on the movie itself, but there's still a long road ahead. When/where can you see our movie? We don't know yet, but stay tuned!