Compact and powerful, our team of industry veterans and pioneers possess the knowledge, resources, and passion to turn projects of all sizes into a smashing success. Whether your project needs our help from the initial concept phase, or it just needs a good kick in the pants on its way out the door, we are here to help.
We encourage all of you artists and fans to support independent artists worldwide by seeking them out, spreading the word about things that are good, and paying a fair price for their product as directly as possible. Because it matters.
Thanks for stopping by. Let's get a beer sometime!
Devolver won't just release your film. We take on just a few titles at a time, so we can jump in with both feet and treat each one like we made it ourselves.
We craft a unique strategy for every title, with an aim to place it on all the right platforms in the best possible order to maximize your return and visibility.
Digital distribution is changing fast - new outlets spring up every week, old ones falter, and the ecosystem changes constantly. That's why we're always adding finesse and up-to-the-minute options to craft the very best strategy for your film. We work hard to retain the best relationships for placement on existing platforms, and we're always adding new ones when they start doing enough business to matter for you.
We love to get our hands dirty to reach your fans in all the places they might be found – and we'll help you make the most noise, so those fans can find you.
Devolver is one of the most creative and imaginative distributors I've ever seen. They've managed to take my little movie to a whole new level and expose it to audiences that otherwise never would have known about it. I hope to work with them for a long time to come.
Jon Lindstrom, "How We Got Away With It"
We had a number of other options we were considering — including figuring out ways we could just distribute the film ourselves. At the end of the day, we went with Devolver because they showed sincere interest in the film and in working with us, not against us. In today's unstable indie landscape, we need a partner who's just as committed to getting the project out there as we are.
Will Prescott, "Feeding Mr. Baldwin"
I've found working with Devolver to be a very straight forward and honest experience, in a biz where these two things are difficult to come across. The communication is good, I feel supported, and in the loop with things. I don't feel things are candy coated, and this allows me to develop trust and respect.
Nicole Elmer, "In The Shadow"
I was almost ready to give up on Indie Distribution when I met Andie & Mike at SXSW... They were so refreshing and pumped to invest time, money, and support into my film "One Couch at a Time." Not only did they leave a great first impression, they follow through with every one of their promises and then some. I am so grateful that I took a chance with them and will not work with anyone else on my next project! Thanks for restoring my faith again in people & the industry!
Alexandra Liss, "One Couch at a Time"
My film was never going to be a good fit with old fashioned distribution and as a filmmaker I wanted to experiment with newer technologies, so I was thrilled to be able to partner with Devolver Digital because they understood the new media landscape better than most other film companies I've come across. They understood my audience, my needs, and my desire to try new and innovative approaches with my film. I could not have asked for a more suitable partner when it came to distributing "Good Game." The transparency in their process, their excitement for indie film, and their innovation make them the artist-oriented business partner I was looking for.
Mary Ratliff, "Good Game"
We prefer online screeners to DVD's, since our review team are dispersed. Please also include a link to your trailer, and your website, or your IMDB listing.
Depending on our current backlog we will review within 1-4 weeks. We do watch a lot of submissions, but will do our best to get back to you ASAP, and we give every submission a fair shake.
We work with all kinds of genres across narrative and docs. We aim to curate a diverse library of films that we think deserve to find an audience, and because we do just a few films at a time, we select only films we have genuine personal enthusiasm about, and that we truly think we can make bigger than they would be without us.
We definitely keep our eyes peeled for genres that our own global core audience of Devolver Digital fans and gamers would enjoy, but they are only part of our reach. If you look at our diverse slate we hope it’s clear that we have avoided getting into a genre pigeonhole. We just love independent movies, so long as they make us happy we spent 90 minutes watching them.
You could, but it's not going to make things any easier on you (or us). Getting signed with a distributor does not guarantee your film will be picked up by every single one of the platforms we work with – some of them have a curation process of their own, and at least a few festivals and awards counts for a lot (although you don't have to have dozens of them under your belt, and you definitely don;t have to wait until you’re finished with fests to start the distribution process.)
Of course a good festival buzz also helps you build an appreciative fan base prior to release, and can garner a first wave of critics' attention and reviews, which can be harder to do without the festival circuit.
There's no problem with that. You’ll have 6-8 months from signing to your release date, so you can keep doing fests in the meantime. Excepting the very top tier of festivals most fests are just fine exhibiting a film that's found distribution already, and it can be a great way to keep your buzz alive while you wait for your release window to commence. Ideally, one rolls right into the other without too much lapse, so the festival run can serve to build your core audience and start the buzz.
As part of the release strategy, we'll help promote any screenings or other special events you have along or on your way out of the festival circuit.
Not at the moment. We’re always happy to meet and connect with filmmakers, so by all means you can say help, but we are not resourced to produce films and cannot invest nor help find investors at this time. We're small and mighty, and right now we're utterly focused on the mad world of digital distribution, strategy, and promotion.
You can review the full list of deliverables here. You'll definitely need to have poster / artwork, feature and trailer ready plus stills, all your legal / licensing stuff and an IMDb listing before we can submit a film and get you a release date. Closed captions are also required.
Happy to give feedback. We'll sign a film that’s still finalizing its promotional package and give you our honest input, as long as you understand at signing that we can't start the clock ticking or secure a release date until all assets are ready to deliver to us for QC and placement, and that we’re not currently producing films nor offering MG's or finishing funds.
EPK’s are enormously helpful if you've already got one made, and ideally your social media efforts started long before you finished shooting! However, if you've gotten stuck on any of the steps, or you just aren't feeling savvy on the social media front, we are skilled and ready to jump in, help flesh it out and make it great, even helping you to admin your pages and feeds. This is part of what we mean by getting our hands dirty.
Much depends on the film and what you're hoping for. Our deal isn't all-rights, so we do only take rights that we think we can put to best use for you — you hold onto the things we literally can't do for you anyway.
Our reach on many digital platforms is worldwide, and our margins are small, so it's frankly harder for us to do our full task of digging in to promote the film if we are only doing part of the release. It is also very important to us to be filmmaker-friendly and do what's best for your unique project, so we’re listening. Let’s talk about what you are hoping for.
No, we don't work that way. Our deal is a basic split of revenues, which begin to come in after the platform's setup fees are met. Our skin in the game is the staff time / machine time, replication and submission to the platforms where we'll put your film. You send us one drive — we do the rest.
No. We know other companies are doing that these days, but it's not the way we want to do business. Setup fees are recouped by the platforms before first revenues are paid to us; that amount is capped at $3,500. That covers the cost of getting your film onto every platform we reach — it's money they keep before paying anything out, not money retained by Devolver. You deliver us one drive and we take care of submissions and processing for all the platforms we'll reach.
If you have all assets ready to deliver, it usually takes about 4-6 months, give or take some weeks for lead time. Much depends on the time of month you submit, since there are some internal deadlines and shipping contingencies. Your release can be delayed if you don’t meet exact specs or don't pass quality control, and release windows vary by platform. If you have a certain date you'd like to aim for, let us know.
It takes at least 8-10 months before the first checks come in. The way most platforms work, it's reasonable to expect money to slowly trickle in over the course of the first year, because with few exceptions platforms are slow to report to us and pay out.
We refuse to make up numbers like that. We’ve had it done to us for our own films... but then when those numbers failed to materialize, suddenly nobody wants to pick up the phone! The fact is that it's a particularly volatile and unpredictable time in an already-dynamic industry. The playing field quite literally changes not just month by month, but week by week, making comparisons and projections a crapshoot. Two films that seem exactly alike can have wildly different experiences on the market.
All these factors do not make for realistic projections, so we don't blow smoke, or make up numbers that we can't really know. We have a devout drive to be a part of improving the entire playing field for indies during these tumultuous times, and we will only promise you we will work as hard as we possibly can to make sure every film we touch is bigger than it could have been without us. This is extremely important to us.
Also, when you call us? We pick up the phone.
Several platforms and carriers do curate, even films brought in by distributors. Some of them change what they want from one quarter to the next. We’ve made a point to learn what works, and we don’t pick up films we don’t think we can get placed, but the reality remains that all placements cannot truly be guaranteed.
Examples of heavily curated platforms are iTunes, Hulu, Snagfilms, Netflix, many cable VOD carriers (of those that are still taking indies at all, anyway — there are but a few left that do) and selection for Amazon Prime.
Aside from failing to pass a quality control review (which you should pass if you carefully review your film and the Deliverables Document to be sure you hit all the marks), these platforms do curate for what's going to do well with their viewing audience, and they use certain standard criteria to establish at least a basic core audience.
It can be a bigger challenge to get your film placed if it has no proven fan base, no festivals, no awards, no name cast, AND a terrible poster image... basically, if nobody has heard of you or your cast, things like festivals and awards give these platforms some idea that already out on a digital platform somewhere else. On the flip side, it is often helpful for us to be able to take a film like that and describe a promotional plan to them that helps it make sense after all.
We'll start by saying that our Devolver Digital mother ship is a game publisher — we publish, not produce, games. That said, if you have truly saved up a whole second budget (which can be as big as the one for your film, depending on your idea) or you think you can raise it, and your vision just demands a video game, well... we're not saying no outright, but it's a rare story package that actually works as both a game and a movie. If you're new to the video game thing, think of it like this: it's kind of like making another indie film, so if you’ve got a few more spare years or a big pile of money at the ready, you're in good shape.
PR means us doing everything we can to make sure the film is bigger than it would have been without us. Whether your film's particular release calls more for old school publicity or new media engagement (or both), we'll find the way, hand craft a strategy, and stay nimble and involved from beginning to end. We only take on a handful of films at a time so that we're (really) available day by day to get our hands dirty.
Our team of heavy hitters boasts years of experience with distributing digital content, grassroots community organizing, public relations, social media management, and special event production — we know how and when to pull out all the stops. Your film's release will be supported by a well-organized and transparent campaign. Tools we've used on previous films include intense social media efforts (including paid promotions — and those come out of our percentage, not yours), traditional press relations (we our publicists!), special events, theatrical-on-demand screenings, four-wall / community / on-demand / rental theatrical, special event screenings, international partnerships, corporate partnerships, nonprofit sponsorship campaigns, film bundles, flash sales and other dynamic pricing, cross-promotion... the list goes on, and we're still coming up with new ideas for every film.
*additional costs apply for screenings, but we’ll always work that out with you in advance
We come with our own substantial network of film fans, and best of all, the other filmmakers on the label do, too. We have worked to foster a cooperative, mutually supportive ecosystem amongst all the film teams we represent, and we encourage reciprocal reviews, filmmaker-to-filmmaker interviews, cross posting and linking, and lots of Twitter re-tweets.
After all, who is more poised to be a trusted indie superfan than another independent artist like you? Sign your film with us and you'll be joining forces with the whole Devolver Digital Films family — and really, that's not just lip service. We mean it. Networked marketing and networked promotions are lifeblood for independent film in these crazy times, and we love watching it in action.
It's possible on most of the platforms we work with and we want you to be able to do what's very best for your film. However, the more territories and additional platforms you have to hold back, the more challenging it can be for us to get it placed in the places you do want it, and it's harder for us to take on the promotional and setup cost for a film if we can't release it in all our available territories. Let's talk about your plans.
We're not a theatrical distributor, but we do have contacts and industry rates at supportive NYC and LA theaters, and other cities in the US. We can help to conduct the kind of theatrical that qualifies your film for critical review in the top press, if we think your film is up to the challenge. Keep in mind, these are paid screenings co-presented with the theaters (so they're curated by the theaters and not every film is eligible) and they do require additional financial contribution and effort from the filmmaker.
We don't recommend theatrical for every film in the current state of the industry — it's very hard to get people off the couch to go to the movies — and not every film that comes to us is a good candidate. If you are doing other theatrical, or you have festivals coming up, or your own community screenings, etc. you can count on us to help get the word out to a wide audience.
Seriously? Maybe we shouldn't be friends after all.