See, now, I would never buy a DVD of a movie I'd never seen. Unless it was really cheap. I don't know if I'm typical.
But for independent filmmakers, there's the thing. Either sell your movies really cheap, which may not work either, or let your movie be seen----you won't get it into theatrical release, but in lieu of that, you could post it on You Tube or otherwise release it for free on the Internet. Then sell DVDs. I think it would work, assuming the movie was worth buying.
On another blog, I read about a filmmaker who made her movie available free of charge on the internet. She was able to thus make a profit from DVD sales as well as from donations.
Ken Kesey, ROG
Ken Kesey made a movie years ago of his bus trip in the 1960s. They had a lot of footage filmed at the time, but there was a technical problem. The cameras and tape recorders ran on the bus's electrical system, so they didn't run at a consistent speed. It was impossible to synchronize the sound and picture. It wasn't until the advent of digital editing that they were able to solve the problem.
Kesey began selling tapes of the movie online. And here's how he did it. You ordered the movie online. He mailed you the tape. Then you mailed him the money.
Just don't be stingy! How much is your movie really worth, anyway? Especially since anyone can turn on the TV and watch much better stuff for free. You're lucky anyone's watching it all.
That guy's charging something like $30 for DVDs. He's made a lot of movies. I don't know how they're selling. I've never seen one in a video store (I have seen Jon Jost's movie and Wayne Wang's early efforts) but Schmidt's were never available anywhere. I can't see shelling out $30 for a movie sight unseen.
I suppose he's doing okay, though. He has the book out (Feature Film Making At Used Car Prices) which publicizes the DVDs. But if he made the movies available (if they're any good) they could maybe publicize the book, too.
"Self-publishing" is standard with music and movies. Bands produce their own CDs and low budget filmmakers sell their own DVDs. There doesn't seem to be any shame in it.
Doesn't seem to work with books. Self-publishing gets you no respect at all.