March 31 deadline for From Here To Awesome film submissions

March 27, 2008

Filmmakers, you’ve got until next Tuesday to submit your film to

 From Here To Awesome – a discovery and distribution film festival.fhtalogo2.jpg

 If you’ve been struggling to find and build an audience for your film, if you’ve been unsure or unsuccessful with distribution alternatives, if you’re seeking new methods for building buzz about your film, then this festival is for you.  There’s no entry fee!


Budgeting for marketing and publicity

March 25, 2008

“How much is it going to cost?” I hear that question often from filmmakers.  The simple answer is “probably more than you thought you’d need to spend.”

That costs vary widely is an understatement.   At one end of the spectrum are the millions per film spent by the major studios, while at the other end, some DIY filmmakers are doing it for themselves, while others turn their friends and fans into flacks.

fa0109.jpgThe March/April issue of FilmArts Magazine contains an informative article, penned by colleague Lyla Foggia, that explains why it’s important to build marketing and publicity into a film’s production budget, and includes some rough estimates for various costs (as well as a quote from me).

I’ve written before about how important it is to think about publicity and marketing at the very beginning of the filmmaking process. And not only to think about it, and plan for it, but to incorporate it into every phase. You’ll find this article useful, I think, as you plan your production budget for your next film.

The FilmArts Foundation is an invaluable source of information, education, low-cost filmarts.gifequipment access, fiscal sponsorship, exhibition opportunities and numerous other methods of support for the independent filmmaker community. Check them out if you’re not familiar with them. They are a non-profit organization, and can really use some support with their fundraising campaign.  

Article shared with permission from FilmArts Magazine, thanks to Laurie Koh, Managing Editor.

Great tips on building online street teams to generate viral buzz

March 18, 2008

Substitute “movie-goer” for “customer” and “film” for “brand” whenever used in this excellent How-to and you’ve got a fantastic guide on finding and building an audience for your film, and getting that audience involved as partners to promote your film.

Obama Girl: Can the buzz from one viral video shape a national election?

March 5, 2008

I’ve written often about generating buzz for film through viral awareness, incorporating viral video into publicity campaigns, deploying embed-and-spread to find, build, and engage an audience.  When it’s done well, it’s very successful. We’ve all seen plenty of examples.

barelypolitical.jpgWho would have guessed viral awareness tools would sweep into our country’s political process as well?  Certainly, not much in the 2004 elections would have indicated viral video’s power in the political arena. What? Buzz around a satirical YouTube music video of a sexy undulating young woman could possibly figure into something as sober as the decision-making process of American voters in deciding the next President of the United States??

 Who knew?

And yet, it seems that’s exactly what has happened in 2007-2008.  While following Barack Obama’s campaign progress, one thing that struck me is the number of younger supporters he’s gathered.  I thought about what would make him seem attractive to that particular demographic.  I’m sure there are lots of things.  Obama has one thing, however, that the other candidates don’t.  There’s a pop culture phenomenon associated with him that remains unique to this one particular candidate. 

Obama Girl.

Am I crazy for even entertaining the notion that one viral video could have such an impact on voter preferences?  Read the rest of this entry »