DiBacco Films, a motion picture company based in Maine run by Kevin & Raffaele DiBacco recently inked a seven year, worldwide distribution deal for their film, Back to the Beyond. This is the brothers’ second motion picture deal in three years, making them currently the only New England filmmakers with two distribution deals worldwide. Because one of the most important things about independent filmmaking is finding a way to distribute your movie and have others see it, Hollywood East Connection spoke with Raffaele DiBacco to find out how he and his brother have been so successful at selling their features.
Made on a micro budget, the DiBacco brothers attribute their success to their continued emphasis on their target audience. Raffaele says that “it’s very important with any genre based audience that you focus on your target audience” because if it doesn’t appeal to your viewer, than you have less of a chance for buyers to acquiring your movie. Movie makers should also know what not to send to film companies. Raffaele made a point that companies receive too many slasher films and that “anything out of the ordinary” is always better. “With any genre film, story is very important. A horror movie has to have an excellent story…and something that’s a twist or angle that’s done very rarely.” In fact, Raffaele advises that independent filmmakers should make sure that the movie that they are making has an “angle that hasn’t been explored. It’s got to be something that they haven’t seen a million times.” Because movies have to compete with thousands of others that are released each year, if they are not unique they have no way of standing out amongst all of the rest and selling more tickets.
Raffaele attributes DiBacco Films’ success with the amount of resources they put in educating themselves about the industry, especially the Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles, CA that they attend every year. He said that he and his brother are “constantly educating and reeducating ourselves on how the market is changing” and made it a point for any filmmaker interested in getting their film distributed to do the same. “Education is number one. That’s what put us on the top.” Raffaele also advises to take classes in screenwriting and read books and magazines for screenwriters. He pointed out that the “heart of distribution is story. Put script above everything else. You start with the script…it doesn’t matter what camera you’re using” because what will keep audiences interested in lower budget films is the story.
Once your script is finished, he also recommends having a script consultant look at it because they will be able to tell you what you need to fix. If you’re worried about expenses, Raffaele points out that there are plenty of inexpensive script consultants who can help you.
For those who are worried about finances when making their independent film, Raffaele says to “work with what you have. This current movie we didn’t have any money. We had sponsors…some donations” and they were still able to sell their film. Raffaele reminds filmmakers that “independent film is a struggle. It’s something we have to do because it’s what we have at the moment.” but “ten years ago we were aspiring filmmakers and now we’re filmmakers.” Independent film was a way for both of the DiBacco brothers to achieve their creative aspirations and it is still the major reason for others to to make their own movie.
For more information about DiBacco Films, their upcoming movie, Back to the Beyond, or for personal advice on selling your film, be sure to check out their website.