This Company Was Supposed To Help DIY Filmmakers Profit From Streaming. That Dream Became A Nightmare

By Ryan Faughnder
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “Distribber” started out as a promising solution for do-it-yourself filmmakers working outside the traditional Hollywood system. The company charged filmmakers about $1,500 to get movies uploaded on each streaming platform and collected royalties on their behalf. This September the company collapsed.

Los Angeles Times

In 2017, Burbank-based indie filmmaker and producer Alex Ferrari, 45, was singing the praises of a small tech company that helped him self-distribute his movie “This Is Meg,” about an actress struggling to navigate social media-obsessed Hollywood.

For a fee, the Los Angeles-based company, Distribber, had gotten the low-budget movie onto video on-demand sites including Amazon.com and Hulu. Thrilled with the results, he invited Distribber executives onto his podcast, Indie Film Hustle, and recommended the service to others. Here was a company, he said, that could get your movie on the world’s biggest platforms, and best of all, you’d keep all the revenue generated from sales and views.

But the lovefest tuned sour. Ferrari in April paid Distribber to upload two clients’ films, only to find out in September that the company had collapsed.

Distribber, he learned after multiple calls and emails to contacts there, had already closed its offices, leaving its filmmaker customers in the dark. The company’s chief executive, Nicholas Soares, had left, as had other top executives. The firm’s assets, he was told, were being liquidated.

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