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Distribution is a major part of the film industry, whereby production and film companies employ people to make sure that their latest films reach the largest possible audience. Distributors are hired by production companies, securing deals with the filmmakers and studios and assuming the rights to distribute a feature film or television programme.
Distribution is a competitive and fast-paced industry, with each distribution or film company wanting to ensure that their latest film release gains the most media attention and the largest audience. UK film distributors alone spend around £300 million a year on bringing new releases to market and building awareness and interest among audiences. Distributors can either be majors or independents, either affiliated to big Hollywood studios or working for independent film-makers.
Marketing a film to the masses requires a combination of good organisation and advanced marketing ideas. Distributors liaise with a variety of professionals, including filmmakers, producers, accountants, exhibitors and advertisers, in order to gather all financial, creative and market information about the film in question.
No project is ever the same, as a distributor must come up with a unique and edgy marketing campaign for each different film contract, across all genres. They must create informed and inventive marketing strategies, organising the release dates and targeting the correct audience in their campaign.
Distributors have a limited amount of control over the production process, potentially making changes in order to gain a specific classification, but usually their main responsibilities fall on the financial and marketing sides of production.
Experience in marketing campaigns and advertising is beneficial as a distributor, combined with a passion for film and good networking skills.