No doubt every filmmaker wants their film projected to the big screen in front of a large audience. We dream about it every time we sit watching someone else’s film, thinking, “Surely if they could do it, then so could I.” That is 100% true. You can and should. Your film deserves it. Every film does. The big screen is where it’s meant to be. But it may not happen in your time frame or in your way. It may take years for your film to reach even one theater, and often at a financial loss rather than gain. The ‘screen’ may not even be the screen you envisioned. The odds for a marketed film in the U.S. to generate financial gain is roughly 3%. “Wow. Thanks for being such a Debbie Downer,” you may say. “Why don’t we tuck our tails between our legs and call it a day.” But let’s get real: The San Diego Padres have roughly a 0.0% chance of making it to the playoffs, and the Colorado Rockies are close behind. Odds say they should hang up their cleats and shut the team down. The Padres haven’t entered the World Series since 1984. Then again, the Padres went to the World Series in 1984. So did the Rockies in 2007. Who’s to say they won’t again? But besides that, what keeps a ball player playing when the odds seem stacked against them and the years between keep stacking up? The love of the game. And even if they never made it to the World Series again, the teams keep playing games because, for one, their fans keep paying.
So how does baseball have anything to do with filmmaking? Nothing. And everything.
We live in a magnificent time of opportunity and versatility with regards to exhibition and distribution. Your film’s ‘premiere’ doesn’t have to wait for funding or the opportunity to theatrically release. Instead, outlets like IndieFlix, Distribber, and Distrify provide platforms for streaming play and instant download, equating sometimes to instant revenue. Aggregators such as these branch out to major players like Hulu, iTunes, Amazon VOD and other streaming services, delivering your content to a wide spread audience. You could approach the outlets individually, of course, but that’s your preference – your prerogative. This isn’t a new revelation, but a reminder that the resources exist to, quite frankly, eliminate excuses. Men all over the country, including Major League ball players, were called away during WWII. Did that mean baseball stopped? No. The league worked with what they had to “get done what they had to get doing.” It was about the game – not about the player. Here, it’s about the film – not the venue. Some day you’ll have your theatrical release. It’ll be amazing. Your twenty-dollar tub of popcorn will have never tasted so… buttery. But in the meantime, “get to doing what you gotta get done:” show your film. Because, “There’s no crying in baseball.” (Columbia, 1992)