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Selling a DVD to museums and schools

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David BrookSelling a DVD to museums and schools
by on Jul 18, 2011 at 3:40:53 pm

Our company got funding a year or two ago to make a historical documentary involving the local community about the Pilgrim Fathers and their roots in our local area (Lincolnshire, UK).

We finished the film a while ago and had a local screening, but now it's gathering dust in our vaults.

What we thought we should do now is try and sell it to museums to sell on themselves and other local educational establishments to use as a learning resource.

We're not too clued up on distribution though, we're used to just making films for festivals or other companies to do with them as they will. So I thought I'd post our predicament online for some advice:

Do we need to go down any special avenues to be able to have museums sell our film or can we just batch produce a bunch of them and see if the museums will have them?

Also how does it usually work for such establishments, do we get the museum to pay us a small amount to have the DVD's and they sell them for a profit or do we just give them the stock, they sell it and we receive a cut of what they sold?

As for selling copies to schools, what needs to be put in place to secure copyright and sales etc?

I apologise if these questions sound a bit naive, but you've got to start somewhere!

Thanks

David Brook
Blueprint: Film


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Tom SeftonRe: Selling a DVD to museums and schools
by on Jul 18, 2011 at 9:30:13 pm

Hi David,

My company deals quite a lot with museums so I may be able to offer some advice.


Do we need to go down any special avenues to be able to have museums sell our film or can we just batch produce a bunch of them and see if the museums will have them?

Of course, as long as you own the copyright for absolutely everything on the DVD; music, stock footage, release fees for actors/VO artists etc, then there is no reason why you cant approach the museums direct and ask them if they are interested. Essentially if you own the copyright for the film in perpetuity then I think (may need some clarification here) you are essentially acting as a publisher, selling direct to retailer.

Do you have any museums in mind? With the economic climate as it is in the UK at the moment, many museums have lost funding and/or are having to cut costs - namely staff. I would imagine that they would be much more interested in a business situation where they have to do as little work as possible. If you can find a way to replenish their stock for them, monitor sales and offer support for people who can't put a DVD in the right way in a player (this was a serious request that I had to deal with after providing some free copies of a DVD to a museum for them to hand out - the fact it was free didn't matter, and I had to deal with a complaint from someone and establish that they had put the disk in upside down) then go ahead. Best thing would be to get in touch with a local museums trust - don't know what they are in North Lincs - we did a job a few years back at the Wilderspin museum in Barton on Humber, I could probably dig out some names of people at the museum there?

Schools are pretty similar - budgets are being cut for them too. I would check to see if your project is on the national curriculum for any school ages and then pursue some headteachers to see if they would be interested in purchasing copies, or renting them with some equipment for playback?

Museums would be your best bet if the film isn't on the national curriculum - I'd approach a local one to ask how they would prefer to use your product to make some money.


Best of Luck.


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David BrookRe: Selling a DVD to museums and schools
by on Jul 26, 2011 at 10:56:09 am

Great, thanks for the help guys. That's a coincidence, we did a video for the Wilderspin museum a couple of years ago too! We have a couple of contacts in museum trusts around the area, although it's been a while since we've worked with any of them. I'll have to start rebuilding some bridges.

I'll look into BBFC classification too. Hopefully it won't be a problem.

Cheers.


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Andrew RendellRe: Selling a DVD to museums and schools
by on Jul 18, 2011 at 9:37:29 pm

Give a thought to classification. It may well be exempt, being educational, but I'd check it out just to be on the safe side.
http://www.bbfc.co.uk/

I'm led to believe that schools generally have a narrow time period for purchasing, which is usually in the late spring/early summer when they plan for the curriculum and the budget for the next school year (that comes from knowing someone who has self published books, so it's probably not a hard and fast rule but it's very much the impression that one gets).


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