Distribution: How To Get Your Film on Public Access

Public access television stations are important for a budding filmmaker, producer or businessman as they provide free access to airwaves, training, equipment and even support. These are stations which have been made open for the community to use for local programming purposes. It gives people an avenue where they can display their work, product or promote a particular person, such as a candidate for a government position. There is little limit as to what can be shown on public access stations. This makes it an important tool for student or independent filmmakers to show their work to a larger audience. Here are several steps in order to distribute your work on public access stations.

Step 1 - Research

There are plenty of public or local access stations in the country, approximately 3000 of them within the United States. Organizations such as the Alliance for Community Media and the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture have comprehensive databases and even links to some of the local access stations. Each town has its own set of public access stations. Call or check online on whether they have for your particular town. The Internet is also a rich source of information on public access channels. Do a search on search engines such as Google or Yahoo for channels in your local area which provide public access services. Each town normally has its own website which you can check for info. Another option is by contacting local cable companies for contact information regarding these types of stations.

Step 2 Book Date

Most local public access channels are not selective when it comes to where the content is from. This means you do not have to be a resident of that particular town or area in order to take advantage of the free services. Select one and book a date. Public access stations provide a number of free services such as video making orientations, training on the use of equipment and the studio. Take advantage of these services. They can also provide additional help in case you need a crew.

Step 3 - Produce and Edit the Video

In most cases, the entire show is recorded. This includes spoofs, mistakes or takes which you may not like to see on television. It is important to have a post production phase where you can preview the video and remove any unwanted scenes or takes. This is also the phase where you can mix different shots, add graphics, music or even transitions. Essentially, this is the time to make sure that the video is fit for public viewing.

Step 4 - Distribute and Promote

After you have produced the show that you are happy with, submit the final version to the public access station. Ask when the final show will air so that you can promote the finished video even further. Some public channels can air it for several times a week. To add distribution, there are local public channels which can "bicycle" or have the video shared between several access channels. Another option is to have the video promoted online with sites such as YouTube and even Google Video.