GOING BIONIC: DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS INTERNATIONALLY – THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER!

Greetings from Singapore and welcome to Going Bionic #251. By the time this article publishes, I’ll be up in the air headed back to Los Angeles after a four country, 12-day trek across Asia for a few technology companies I am a co-founder of. My colleagues and I spent time in Hong Kong, where investment funds for motion pictures is more than readily available, Macau, China, a gambling mecca that creates far more income than Vegas, Manila, Philippines, (where I befriended one of the cast members of the upcoming season 30 of Survivor as we watched an amazing sunset) and now Singapore, which is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever spent time in. Singapore features the Sands Marina Bay Hotel, which actually has a full-sized cruise ship resting on top of three hotel towers (see picture below).

In addition to enjoying the hell out of trekking through Asia, my journey has resulted in such incredible success, that we’re opening offices in Singapore and Hong Kong in the very near future, with a European office slated to open later in the year.

My reason for sharing this is because it’s astounding to me how many doors have opened, just because my partners and I are committed to taking a global view as it relates to our growth.

Thus, today’s focus is on: finding ways to use the entire world as your oyster to get your film made. If there is one thing I’ve leaned by being involved in globally targeted business (including Lonely Seal Releasing, my international film distribution company), it’s that the more you can look outside of your home country’s boarders for creative collaborators, business partners and funding opportunities, the higher chance you have of realizing your cinematic dreams. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but, these days it make take a continent or two to finance an indie film. So, without further ado, here are two international locations you should really look into in order to help you finance your film.

China!
The box office in China raised my 36% in 2014, to $4.82 billion. The year was headed by Transformers: Age of Extinction, which made $301,000,000 – but Chinese films actually outsold American made cinema, by capturing 55% of their box office with a $2.64 billion dollar take. The surge in China makes them the second largest market on the planet outside of North America, which made $10.3 billion in 2014. However, China has an estimated population of 1,367,850,000 as opposed to The United States estimated population of 320,267,000, so what do you think is going to happen to China’s box office? Answer: it’s only going up and up and up and up some more.

Singapore!
In 2007, Technicolor created plans to partner with the Singapore Infocomms Development Authority to create Asia’s first digital cinema hub. Furthermore, the Singapore video games and mobile applications industry rose from 26% from 2006-10, from $1.2 billion to more than $1.5 billion. And now, there’s a deep push to fund the arts. While Singapore hasn’t dove deeply into motion picture investments yet, it is an incredibly advanced world-class country that will likely become a source of film funding in the coming years.

When looking at both China and Singapore, you should be proactive as opposed to being reactive. Make inroads now, meet people, read about current opportunities, and expand your cinematic horizons, so you can reach your goals!

Okay filmmakers. That’s what I have for you today. Thank you again for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again next Tuesday. Until then, stay focused and stay happy! I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

Sunset in Manila.
Sunset in Manila
Sands Marina Bay Hotel
Sands Marina Bay Hotel

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