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Distribution Options
You may have an award winning film but if no one sees it, it will not be effective.
Fortunately there are numerous inexpensive ways to get your program in front of viewers.

Here are a few ways to reach the masses:

Small Theater Presentations
If you have a facility or visitor center that has public access you can set-up an LCD display with an High Definition BluRay plaer or solid state media player for less than a thousand dollars. Find a place where visitors can sit and relax for a few minutes. It doesn't have to be a large room. I've installed theaters in rooms 10'x16'. A typical theater presentation is around 10 -15 minutes long. Make the presentation part of your educational program so every child in the county has a chance to view the program before heading out on nature hikes. The video can provide detailed images and sounds of plants and wildlife found on your nature trails. This can enhance the experience of students and visitors when they go out on the trail. You could even make an exploration game out of it. Students can try to find in the field things they saw or heard in the video. (Theater Film Production)

Public Space Kiosks
One of the challenges faced by many conservation organizations and museums is finding ways to reach audiences that may not have a particular interest in learning about or experiencing natural history. It seems we are often preaching to the choir. People who tend to watch nature programming already have an interest in preserving and protecting natural systems. One way to reach a broader audience is to set-up mobile kiosks in public spaces, places where people have to stand in lines or sit in waiting rooms. They could also be positioned in businesses such as medical clinics, banks or hotel lobbies. These businesses could also be a sponsor of your organization and thus cover the cost of the display. There are also ways to distribute content to existing video networks that provide programming to hotels and resorts. These cable networks provide an opportunity to reach thousands of visitors with your program. (Informational Film Production)

Web Video
This is one of the most exciting and exploding areas of media distribution. The quality of streaming video content just keeps getting better. Now you can watch full screen high definition video on your computer. I've been streaming client's films on my website for many years and it's a very effective way to make programming accessible on a global level. Social networking is the buzz phrase. Using YouTube, Vimeo, FaceBook, blogs & twitter to promote you organization and distribute you videos is a must.  The best thing is it costs little to host video programs on the internet.
(Web Film Production)

Local and Regional Public Access
Public access television has often been linked with low quality local programming produced by amateurs. This seems to have moved to the internet as basically anyone can publish anything on the web. But many local cable TV stations are now predenting some very high quality programming and are constantly looking for new content. This is good for non-profits who have video programs that they want to share. Although cable stations prefer half hour programs they are also interested in PSAs and short films that they can insert into other programming. Local cable stations are required to provide a certain amount of public access programming. Many universities systems have their own TV netwrks as well. They to are always on the lookout for information and arts programs. This is an excellent way to increase awareness of local habitats and species. (Nature Film Production)

Public Television & Cable Braodcast
On the broadcast end, if your program is high quality, you may have a chance to have it aired on your local PBS station or national cable stations. They do use Public Service Announcements (PSA) and interstitials (fillers) from time to time. There is also a chance they may be interested in funding or at least partially funding (co-productions) production of a documentary program. Having a compelling story is key to getting a film distributed on national tv.
(Expedition & Research Film Production)

DVD Fundraiser / Mailing
Although there is a growing trend to use the internet to ditribute content distributing a DVD directly to a tarketed audience can be highly effective. The cost of replicating DVDs has dropped significantly. You can have 1000 DVDs made for under $700.00. Compare that to designing and printing a full color multi page brochure. DVDs in a well designed eco-friendly  cardboard sleeves can be mailed directly to potential sponsors. They can also be use as a membership incentive and be given away to members who join at a certain level. A nicely packaged DVD that includes maybe 30 minutes of pure nature can be sold in gift shops with the revenue being used to support you activities. (Eco-Travel Films)

Public Outreach Presentations
Video programs can be a vital component of your community outreach efforts. A short 5-10 minute video program used during a live presentation can provide an overview of your organization, its mission and projects. They can be shown on a laptop to a small group of people sitting around a table or projected on a large screen in a conference situation.
(Informational Film Production)

Broadcast Documentaries to IMAX films
On the high end are the big budget one hour documentaries, feature documentaries and large format IMAX films. These programs have very large budgets and thus usually have investors who hope to make a profit from distribution. Distribution for this type of programming today is global and has the ability to reach tens of millions of people.

So you can see there are many options for reaching the masses with your film. Your media campaign should include several of these distribution avenues. I provide clients with free streaming video hosting and offer packages that include DVD and presentation systems. Please contact me if you have questions about distribution and production packages.

Copyright 2012 Jim Karnik Films