Here are two scenarios.
Your film gets into Sundance. Audiences love it and distributors swarm all over you. The film gets nominated for multiple Academy Awards and it grosses over $20 million dollars. You never get a dime.
Your film gets into Sundance. Audiences love it but no distributor offers you a deal. You build your own audience one person at a time using all the tools the Internet provides. As a result of two years of hard work, you earn $500,000.
You are an indie filmmaker. Would you rather have $500,000 in your pocket or nothing?
In scenario A your hard work ceases when you finish the film and a distributor picks it up. In scenario B your hard work starts long before the film is finished and continues long after it is done.
In scenario A, you have no business control. In scenario B you are totally in control.
In scenario A, you take on no risk. In scenario B you take on all the risk.
You get a shot at fame or a shot at fortune. You get one or the other—not both.
These are not abstract scenarios or simple what ifs pulled out of the air.
They are based on real films in the real world.
What drives you, fame or fortune? The chance of fleeting celebrity or real income?
What is the plot of your film’s journey?