For the Sundance/Slamdance Chosen

December 1, 2010
posted by sheric

(I’m working on the audience building post, I promise!)

In the next few hours and continuing throughout the week, both festivals will be making their public announcements about the lucky chosen for this year. If you are one of those people, listen up.

You should be ready to press send on a press release right after they announce. DON’T SEND ANYTHING out ahead of their announcement. No need to piss them off or get disqualified. But be ready with at least a release. Then you need to find a publicist if this person isn’t already on board.

You should also have a website up, even you short form filmmakers. When people hear about your film, they look you up online. I know you think this is common knowledge, but even last year some of the Sundance features did not have a website up before the festival. Tsk, tsk.

Next, you should be making a hit list not only of the major publications, but the publications that actually reach your target audience (which is NOT everyone). Getting coverage is one of the main reasons this fest means anything to you. Get your story to them as soon as possible, the earlier the better. I would advise against sending screeners if this is your world premiere. In the case of Slamdance, this may not be your premiere and you may already have some coverage and reviews. Put it all together in your press kit, online. Ditch the notion of having a paper press kit, I don’t care what the Sundance/Slamdance press office tells you. But do have all your elements together. Plenty of hi res, good quality production stills of the action, director’s statement, bios for all the major people, synopsis (both long and short), reviews if you have them, laurels from other fests if you have them. You’ll also want to remember to get a copy of the laurels as official selection.

Also, you should be devising a steady stream of content to release at intervals during the lead up. Make several trailers or release small clips. Customize them to the publication that is doing the coverage. What does this mean? In the case of a horror flick, there are lots of different horror sites. Some bloody, some scary, some monster-centric. The audiences who read those sites are all looking for something different from their horror movie so don’t release the same content to all of them. Know what I mean? Find something that is customized to their audience, it also gets people talking about all the different content out there for your film. You may even pick a publication to whom you only give exclusive content. But make every piece of content kick ass! Good god hire a professional trailer editor! If you are ever going to do that, it is now when you will have benefit of the most coverage. Think up lots of different angles to your film’s story because after a few have covered the fact that you are an official selection, there really isn’t that much more to talk about if you don’t have other story angles to pitch. This all happens in the lead up to the fest. During the festival, you’ll be doing work on the ground too.

The next 7 weeks or so are non stop promotion. If you aren’t ready, you need to get on the stick. Don’t waste this opportunity. It might be the biggest push your film ever gets. Also, have your distribution plan in place. I know you think this will just happen automatically since you’ve been accepted. Don’t count on that. Go into it like that isn’t going to happen and then be pleasantly surprised if it does. Everything you can do to get attention for your film will only help your distribution chances no matter how the film gets distributed.

Congratulations on your acceptance and make the very most of it.

S

Slamdance Commentary Pt I-Meeting People

January 31, 2010
posted by sheric

Sorry to have left this space unattended for so long. It was a whirlwind couple of weeks in Park City and now I am traveling cross country by car. But I did want to do a little check in so readers would know what was happening.

Slamdance was a blast, as expected, and I am still trying to frame it cohesively in my mind to give you a good perspective on what to expect from the experience should you have it next year. One thing I would like to address, because it came up for me and for many first time Slamdance visitors, is the issue of meeting people and networking.

It is a well kept secret ;) that I am not the best mingler when it comes to cold introductions at parties and networking events. I hate walking into an event not knowing a soul and trying to go around introducing myself to groups of people all standing together in conversation and obviously already acquainted. While there was a filmmaker meet and greet at the festival, it consisted of rows and rows of chairs holding over 100 people and we stood up one by one and introduced ourselves and our projects.  Not the easiest setting for talking amongst the group when someone you might want to know is seated way across the room from you. Then we were adjourned and people went back to talking to their own group! The large festival setting is very overwhelming to most people.

I will say that this occasion allowed me to meet many of my tweeps from Twitter. When I met them in person, we already had loads to talk about from previous conversations. In fact, we arranged to meet ahead of time and it made all the difference in getting to know people to hang out with quickly. People may disparage Twitter, say it is dumb and all that, but I have met many a filmmaker and connection from my tweets. You can follow me @shericand, BTW. 

A filmmaker I met, Chuck Gomez from NY, complained about not meeting fellow filmmakers easily and we concluded that it would be a good idea to hook up with filmmakers involved in the festival ahead of time by emailing them or finding them on Twitter or Facebook and communicating well in advance of the event. Introduce yourself and your project, even if it is in competition with theirs, and tell them you would like to meet up for coffee or whatever. Get the details of films and filmmakers selected from the festival media coverage and go their film’s website, Facebook or Twitter page (because I KNOW they will have them, right?) and find out the contact details. Not all will respond, but many will because they are all going to have the same situation and should want to connect to their fellow attendees.

Slamdance

December 10, 2009
posted by sheric

YellowBrickRoad logo

 

Announcement was made last night on Variety for this year’s Slamdance Film Festival and I am happy to report that I will be working with one hell of a film called YELLOWBRICKROAD.  It is a horror/thriller with an awesome cast by two young filmmakers, Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton, who are filmmakers to watch. I hope everyone attending the festivals in Park City will come out to support us.

Watch this space for more news about what we are doing. You also can follow us on Twitter @yellwbrickroad and join our fan page on Facebook.

UPDATE:We have received our world premiere screening time. Saturday January 23 at 10pm in the Main Screening Room at the Treasure Mountain Inn. This is an awesome screening time for a horror film! To purchase tickets, please access the Bside site here . An encore screening will be Monday January 25 at 3pm.