A few days ago MGM acquired the distribution rights to a movie that has been exclusively promoted on the Internet. “A Dog’s Breakfast” is an independent comedy written and directed by David Hewlett. Hewlett is a star on the Sci-Fi show Stargate, but this is his directing debut.
The first trailer Hewlett released on YouTube received 20,000 views within a few hours, and distribution companies noticed. Hollywood is watching the web — if you put your work in the right spots and people respond, there’s a good chance you’ll be noticed. Online distribution outlets allow anyone to build a following for next to nothing, something that was impossible just a few years ago. I think it’s great news for all artists that big distribution companies are more willing to invest in Internet success.
Hewlett gives some great advice on his blog.
Find your niche, get to know your market and then make sure that you include them in the process. If people connect with you and your film, you don’t need to sell them anything. Just welcome them along for the ride!
“A Dog’s Breakfast” now has a worldwide distribution deal with MGM and a development deal to create a pilot for NBC. So far the three clips Hewlett posted to YouTube have been viewed a total of 200,000 times. If “A Dog’s Breakfast” had shown at the Sundance film festival it would have been seen by 3,900 people at most. From a distributors perspective, does it make sense to get behind a movie seen by 3,900 people or a trailer loved by 200,000?
Here’s the trailer that started it all:
View it here.