Filmmaker Success Story: Miguel Gaudêncio

August 8th, 2018 • 4 min read •

Raised in Portugal and currently residing in Poland, Miguel Gaudêncio started his career shooting commercials for companies like Mercedes and Coca-Cola. Pivoting to filmmaking in parallel of his successful commercial work, he completed a couple of projects in his native Portugal before moving to Poland in 2010, where he proceeded to produce four critically acclaimed documentaries.

Despite a strong portfolio of success, Miguel Gaudencio still struggled to get access to streaming services that could exhibit his independently produced movies. His wife’s recommendation that he try Filmhub “changed [his] life as a filmmaker”.

Before Filmhub: Miguel was frustrated by the gatekeepers of the old system

Before using Filmhub, Miguel understood the challenges involved in pre-production, production, and post-production. Making the film is less than half the battle. Making a film costs money, and budgeting and finance are hugely important. Miguel largely self-funded; “We usually self-fund 50% of a project through our production company and the other half out of private funding from sponsors and other backers,” he explains.

When making your film, Miguel advises; “Control your budget. Work with the least money possible. Use a small team. Things will be more efficient that way.”

Miguel’s friends warned him about the risk of rip-offs associated with the traditional distribution process. He found out the hard way how right his friends were, when he was stymied by middlemen who demanded large upfront fees just to “pitch” his work. This financial risk was a major obstacle and demoralized him as a filmmaker:

“Before, you never knew if you would end up with a huge bill. In addition, there were always some hidden extra costs that were [only] revealed during the distribution process.”

But then Miguel listened to his wife, and tried Filmhub.

Screenshot from the documentary Easter Monday (2012)

With Filmhub: fair, transparent, and profitable digital distribution

“Just a few months later, it felt like a 180-degree turnaround on the process for us. Using Filmhub changed everything.”

As Miguel says, Filmhub democratizes film distribution, giving independent filmmakers like himself access to global audiences. Miguel’s titles were placed seamlessly on Filmhub’s marketplace, where they were quickly discovered by streaming platforms around the world, a process powered by the Filmhub’s smart data-driven tools and algorithms.

Miguel’s films have been licensed by 16 channels and watched in 10 countries, and those numbers are still growing.

“It feels like there is a lot of honesty and transparency in the whole process. Everything is very clear and communication is truly amazing. Every time I have a question it doesn’t take more than 24 hours to receive a reply, in some cases only 10–15 minutes.”

Filmhub also handled all of the technical and time-consuming aspects, eliminating potential (and costly) errors in the submission process he had experienced in the past. Miguel could focus on filmmaking and had no need to take care of technical issues anymore.

Miguel takes advantage of Filmhub’s free services; upload, QC, storage, transcoding, encoding, and delivery of Miguel’s works.

“The process with Filmhub is impeccable. We are now able to set our independent release dates, target our most important streaming services, and coordinate our promotion like social media & ads around it.”

Screenshot from the documentary Down, But Not Out! (2015)

Removing the burden of distribution for independent filmmakers

Since he became a Filmhub user, Miguel increased his return on investment significantly.

He is now able to work more effectively, and has gained the ability to develop more projects. Four of his movies are already on the platform, with more to come.

“Filmhub does the hard part of the work: pitching films to streaming services. It’s a huge relief for us as filmmakers, and we can concentrate on the things we want to do — creating great and truly independent films.”

You can read more about digital distribution and producing movies in our interview with independent filmmaker Ryan Balas.

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