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chris-with-shadowLast night I had the good fortune of being invited to the Producer’s Guild of America sponsored Producer’s Challenge Awards on the Sony Pictures lot. There were a multitude of great films screened including two phenomenal doc’s called Pickin’ and Trimmin’ and One Bridge To The Next (winner for the category). But the narrative film winner of the night was from the incomparable Chris Jones and his film Gone Fishing which has enjoyed tremendous success on the festival circuit. Congratulations Chris and thanks for the invite.Chris’ big highlight for the night came when Gale Anne Hurd (producer of Aliens, Terminator, Incredible Hulk) approached him gushing about how much she loved his film. He couldn’t have looked more proud (or incredulous!). The winner gets some mentoring time with Ms. Hurd, Mark Gordon, Marshall Herskovitz or other name producers in Hollywood. I hope for Chris’ sake, Ms. Hurd will make her time available.

From what I heard about the conference from the participants, it was well worth the over $900 fee to attend. The chance to meet Clint Eastwood alone was worth the fee for some. This was the first year of the Produced By seminar and it will be interesting to see how it develops in future.

Congratulations to Sebastian’s Voodoo

May 21, 2009
posted by sheric
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sebastians-voodooA week or so back I invited you to view and vote for animator Joaquin Baldwin’s wonderful film Sebastian’s Voodoo to win at the Cannes Short Film Corner online competition. I am happy to report that the film won this category by over 2,100 votes. Congrats Joaquin!

Ah the power of the internet. All voting was conducted online for this competition so it was necessary to drive as much traffic to the online voting site as possible and encourage people to not only view the film, but vote for it. Joaquin started with contacting all of his friends on Facebook and MySpace and telling them about the competition. When he contacted me, of course I said yes. We then created a separate page on Facebook so that he could contact all fans with one post instead of having to contact everyone individually. He notified all of his friends (who in turn notified theirs) to join the page and posted status daily on how the voting was going. I also encouraged him to Tweet daily to all of his followers on the state of the voting and encourage them to vote and join his Facebook fan page.

Next I contacted our friend Chris Jones, guerilla filmmaker extraordinare, to mention us in his blog which is widely read in the independent film community. Luckily he obliged because he had seen Joaquin’s work at a festival he attended and loved it. I think we received some solid votes from that effort. Joaquin was interviewed by an online publication in Paraguay and received featured posts at BoingBoing, and Of course, we both sent out blanket emails to all of our mailing list telling everyone to go to the site and vote.

This campaign was kept up for a week and a half with constant attention and people wrote back either on personal email or on the wall of his Facebook page giving us positive feedback and encouraging others to vote. This kind of grassroots effort is what it takes to sell DVD’s too people!

We are now investigating the best ways to leverage this win for his future projects. It is always important to follow up any win or positive review for your film by letting as many people, publications and organizations know. This expands your reach and gives legitimacy to your success in order to foster positive relationships with your fan base where they can share in your success.