Tips from Tribeca

April 30, 2009
posted by sheric

I was reading an article this morning from Indiewire talking about 10 Tips for Strategizing Distribution for indie filmmakers.

It provides great insight into what filmmakers should be considering when they make a film and try to distribute it. One of the main tenents for marketing your film that is not mentioned until quite late in the article is “You need to start thinking about who the audience for your movie is when you start making the movie.” – Cynthia Swartz of 42 West Publicity. Thank you Cynthia! I always try to drive this home with filmmakers when they start making a film and the answer from them invariably is “Everyone.” NO IT IS NOT! Every product (or project if you prefer) has a target market. The group most likely to buy (or see) your film. This is a small number of people and it is the primary group you are trying to reach with your publicity efforts. All of the filmmakers I know are on less than shoe string budgets and no one but the major studios can target “everyone” and even they have a primary target. It is not in your best interest to try and target everyone. You do not have the money or resources to do this. Think much smaller. Who are these people?, where do they congregate?, what do they watch online?, what activities are they involved in?, what organizations do they belong to? etc. Then you take your message, ie. publicity efforts, to them in hopes that they will perpetuate it for you in their network of friends with similar interests.

I know, it isn’t like a sexy TV or magazine ad, this grassroots approach. Make yourself aware of how much those ads cost and it will bring you back to reality. Grassroots method is much more focused and likely to pay off for you even bigger in the long run.

Also mentioned, changing the way filmmakers see a distribution method as successful. Many filmmakers can only visualize their film in a theater. A real, popcorn selling, surround sound speakered theater. That isn’t the only way to see a film and, for some, not even the preferred way to see a film. Consider showings in a gallery, museum, park, community center or school auditorium as theatrical as well. Really we are talking about a bunch of people sitting in the dark looking at a screen together. That is theatrical. And a hell of a lot cheaper to support than the local Edwards Cinema!

The last point I wanted to bring up to synopsize the article is a point voiced from filmmaker Jon Reiss (Bomb It). “Filmmakers need to realize that it’s not just about making films, but it’s about generating audience for our films. That’s your responsibility, and frankly, it always has been in the independent world… Yes, it’s a lot of work to do self-distribution or hybrid distribution. It’s pretty much a year of your life… But you have to work and get your audience. The only person that’s going to be the most passionate about your film is you.” The work doesn’t end with the wrap party. You are only half way finished. If your goal is to find a distributor and not do self distribution, you still have to generate an audience for your film. Whatever you can do to influence a distributor to take on your film and then help them sell it by generating an audience, you should do. Distributors have hundreds of films to sell, they can’t push only yours. Both of you will benefit if you champion your film.

Check out the article for more worthwhile pieces of insight.

Just setting up, please be patient

April 5, 2009
posted by sheric

Hello everyone looking to find information on me. I have decided to use this as my website for introducing my services, my advice and my portfolio. But, like with everything, design takes time. Please excuse this site while it gets up and running. I am having a designer whip up a cool site with lots of useability and this work is totally out of my skill set. I utilize the space, not design it. Check back within the next month and see what I have come up with.

In the meantime, here is a link to a great article for all of you indie producers who want to do some distribution but are not up on the latest techniques. Please note, these techniques do not get you out of the obligation to self promote, only to self distribute.

I will continue to blog in this blank slate until I get a prettier one.

“What really matters is what you do with what you have”-Shirley Lord
and Sheri Candler