Your film discovered in an AWESOME new festival

February 9, 2008

I occasionally volunteer my services to a film-related activity (seminar, educational article, festival, charity benefit).  I don’t volunteer very often.  I don’t have much free time on my hands, and frankly, I’m discriminating about which projects I want to support.   They have to fit with my own desire to advocate and publicize quality films, to educate filmmakers about publicity and promotion in the era of social media and social networking, and to support the art.  They’ve got to be something really special.

I’ve recently signed on to support something very special.  Actually, a better word for it is ‘awesome’.  Founded by DIY filmmaking pioneers Lance Weiler (The Last Broadcast, Head Trauma), Arin Crumley (Four Eyed Monsters) and M dot Strange (We Are The Strange), From Here to Awesome – a discovery and distribution film festival is the first of its kind, and if you’re a filmmaker it just might be the perfect system to get your film blasted to audiences in theaters, living rooms, online and via mobile phones.

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Using your online fans for grassroots film marketing

February 1, 2008

In my first Q&A on the marketing and DIY distribution of the film Honeydripper,  I mentioned one of the several members of the marketing/publicity/distribution team was Brian Chirls.  He also worked with Arin Crumley and Susan Buice on the marketing efforts for Four-Eyed Monsters. 

Cinematech’s Scott Kirsner caught up with Brian during Sundance to discuss using connections with online fans in a grassroots marketing campaign for Four-Eyed Monsters.


“Make it incredibly easy for people to publicize your movie” – Scott Kirsner, Cinematech

September 21, 2007

I owe Karina at SpoutBlog thanks for bringing attention to a post that almost has me doing cartwheels of joy.

I think I heart Scott Kirsner.  Why?  Well, I often take the idea of allowing fans to help with film publicity and I pound it, over and over, into the heads of filmmakers I work with.  “Use the fans, use the bloggers, use social networking!”  Pound, pound, pound, until my filmmaker and production company clients succumb to my nagging.    And I’ve beat the same drum on this blog.  Sometimes it seems a lonely job.  But it’s my mission in life.  Or at least my mission as a film publicist who firmly believes that Web 2.0 and social networking must be incorporated into publicity and marketing campaigns for films.

So, when I read Scott’s post about his experience while attending a workshop on Niche Marketing at the IFP market, I felt like shouting “Yes!” and spinning a cartwheel or two down the hallway.  I love it when others also beat the drum:

“The lesson for filmmakers (and other studios): make it INCREDIBLY EASY for anyone who wants to help publicize your movie to do so. Production notes should be on your site, making-of clips, production stills, press releases, cast bios, your prize-winning recipe for beef stew, etc. “

Rat-a-tat-tat!  Thank you, Scott, for helping to pound in a great idea!


DIY Distribution

July 28, 2007

I suppose the DIY royal couple right now is Arin Crumley and Susan Buice.  It’s safe to say they’ve broken some new ground on innovative DIY distribution of their film, Four-eyed Monsters.

Talk about embracing Web 2.0. These two seem to live and breathe it, and in the process, have not only racked up some significant credit card debt (you can help ease their pain by registering free at www.spout.com/foureyedmonsters, Spout pays them a dollar for every new registration), they’ve done the heretofore unthinkable — put their entire film up on YouTube for everyone to watch — for free.

Turns out, showing the film for free, along with the partnership with Spout, may be the most profitable thing they’ve done, according to Arin in his interview with Cinematical indie. Check it out, it’s an enlightening interview, you can read the transcript or watch a video version of it from Arin’s pov. You may learn something new, like I did: a new online distribution company, b-side. I looked around their site, read the FAQs, etc. What I liked most about them is (1) their pricing structure: you can purchase a download of a film and watch it to see if you think it’s worth buying the DVD, and the cost of your download gets credit as a downpayment to DVD, and (2) all their downloads are DRM-free. Sweet! I don’t know that their distribution agreement and deal is any better or worse than any other out there, but I think they’re worth checking out.
Tip: There are options for DIY Distribution.
Talk: Are you self-distributing your film? Post a link to your film, trailer, or other info, and I’ll feature it in a future post.