Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Amazon Video Direct and Createspace

I was going to do this big post about how Amazon is changing their video system(which will mostly affect indie people like us), but then I came across this post that pretty much says everything I was going to say, and probably better.


See, the thing is that I've had Createspace for a long time. I like having full control of my movies because when you sign a license agreement with a distributor you lose all your rights(in general) for quite a few years.

Hell, I don't get Fear of Clowns back until 2020. I'm actually pretty surprised they haven't started streaming it places.

The first movie I put up on Amazon was Fear of Clowns 2 way back in the day when I turned down the Lionsgate offer for the flick. I figured it would do pretty well with the awareness of the first movie, and how often "scary clowns" gets punched into search engines.

And I wasn't wrong. It's done fairly well on Amazon, though we're still off from making our money back. It was my highest-budget movie, after all.

Then I put up Garden of Hedon. Then Bounty. All with no trouble.

I got Hunting Humans back, and went through the rigamarole of getting it to Createspace. (their method of delivery was for you to upload an ISO of a dvd of your movie. Yeah. Makes no sense. I gotta upload a snapshot of my dvd that they can rip the .vob file out of, rather than just uploading an .mp4 or otherwise)

I tried to upload it and kept getting failures. I contacted their support, who kept giving me stupid answers that presumed I know nothing about video and formats. After they figured out that was definitely not the case, they got me to tech support.

Who kept trying to say it was on my end. It was the browser. Changed browsers, still no. It's my cache file. Emptied my cache. Failure.

Try a separate computer. Failure. The iso is encrypted. (it wasn't)

Finally I just gave up. That's when it gets weird.

Amazon announces this whole Amazon Video Direct thing. Like a week later, even before AVD launches, Hunting Humans shows up on Amazon. You can stream it right now here:

I honestly only know about it because four people DID stream it last month--I just got my reports. How they found it, I don't know. I typed Hunting Humans into Amazon to see where it is. Gotta click on Movies. Then it shows up like six movies down. Probably because I called it HH Remastered to keep it clear of the regular HH.

Anyway, it's weird. Amazon never got back to me to say they figured anything out. I never uploaded anything else. But somehow my "encrypted" iso gets figured out.

So I think they were just in the midst of porting this massive thing over, and didn't want to tell anybody, which led to errors on uploading to their servers.

Anyway, if you're an indie guy who doesn't give a shit about the stroke-session of claiming "My movie got distribution from XYZ company" while also cursing yourself because you got zero money then perhaps you should try AVD.

Not sure about the Prime thing though. Seriously, FIFTEEN CENTS per hour?

If your movie is 90 minutes, and 10,000 people watch it(which, let's face it, is a homerun for us) then you're going to be a rich man! That's $1500, pal. Get ready to make your next epic movie!