TOTBO in Edinburgh and London

June 19, 2011
posted by sheric

photo credit Leilani Holmes

Once again my friend Jon Reiss will be heading to the UK for 2 events. The first is early this week at the Edinburgh Film Festival where he is giving the keynote at Short Sighted on June 22, an event that will educate you on getting your short film distributed. He also will be doing one on one consultations  with filmmakers through Creative Scotland the next day.

He will then bring his 2 day film marketing and distribution workshop to the London Film School June 25-26. The workshop is a live step by step guide into to new world of hybrid distribution and marketing including how to create a release strategy that is unique for your film, the various markets that are available for your film, how and why to engage your audience as early as possible and how to think beyond the feature film to create new forms of content and/or to market and distribute your film. He will be joined by many special guest speakers including:

Terry Stevens from Dogwoof- Using a fresh approach, Dogwoof partners with filmmakers to help themselves giving them direct access to professional film distribution services, while letting them retain the rights to their film, controlling costs, and actually having the chance of seeing revenues and profits. The film experience is changing and they intend to help filmmakers set the new rules.  Terry will speak about a new theatrical initiative that Dogwoof is launching.

Peter Gerard and Andy Green from Distrify- Via Skype: Peter and Andy will discuss DIY digital distribution.  They created Distrify which is a revolutionary toolset for social-media marketing with sales and distribution built in. Share and embed your movie trailer with Distrify. With built-in VOD, downloads, merchandise sales, and audience engagement tools including an affiliate revenue program, Distrify makes every view of your trailer a potential transaction. Sell anything, anywhere.

Chris Jones- Chris Jones is a filmmaker and author of the The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook series and he will talk about the ever confusing world of deliverables that trips up so many filmmakers.

I will skype in to talk about creating your filmmaking brand – and promoting yourself to the world as an artist. If you have no audience around your work, you have no future. I want you to have a sustainable career.

Gregory Bayne- Gregory Bayne is a filmmaker who has run three successful Kickstarter campaigns to fund and distribute his films.  Greg will talk about the dos and don’t for a successful crowdfunding campaign.

When we were there last year, all the participants raved about the quality and quantity of information they received. I am personally in touch with many of these people to this day! It was a very inspiring workshop for me as it was the first time that I really saw people get what I was trying to say and feel excited about it and determined to undertake this work. I think there is still a lot of resistance to having to undertake both the production of film as well as the marketing and distribution of work. I will never tell you that it is easy work or that you will hear the magic piece of advice that will work for every film. Anyone who promises that is a fool. But the days of artists moaning about how there isn’t a level playing field, that studios have all the  power to reach audiences are over. ANYONE can use the tools available to make their work a success. It doesn’t “just happen,” there will be blood, sweat and tears so accept that. But if you are truly looking to take advantage of the tools available to help you and gain the knowledge of how to do it, then you shouldn’t miss this workshop.

To follow all of the workshop speakers on Twitter, here are their handles

@jon_reiss @shericandler @dogwoof @gregorybayne @distrify @livingspiritpix   (Chris Jones)

TOTBO Tip of the Day-Tip 34

June 4, 2010
posted by sheric

When Booking Your Film: Make the Call 

When calling the theater, ask for the person in charge of programming. These bookers are generally very nice people who love film. Why else would they be involved with small theaters that make no money? And remember, it is important to call first before sending an e-mail. An e-mail cannot express your passion, nor will an e-mail exchange allow you to address the bookers‘ concerns about your film in a direct and instantaneous fashion. I always followed up my phone calls with an e-mail and not the other way around.

My workshops are coming to NYC on June 5 & 6th organized through IFP – and Vancouver on June 12 & 13th.   One of the perks of attending is a digital pack of articles and documents my theatrical pitch letter and a list of theater listings etc.  I hope to see you there! Check out the book and workshops here.

TOTBO Tip of the Day-Tip 33

June 3, 2010
posted by sheric

When Booking Your Film: Do Your Research

Of course you have done your organizational research, but assuming you are still going to book some conventional theaters the first step is: Research. Most information you need to book your film is readily available online.  There are already lists of theaters that book independent films available online.  My distribution and marketing tools site: ultimatefilmguides.com has a list of these lists!  Most theaters have Web sites, and in nearly all of them, the office number can be found if you look hard enough. To compile your list of theaters to contact, check out where other similar independent films have played.

My workshops are coming to NYC on June 5 & 6th organized through IFP – and Vancouver on June 12 & 13th.   One of the perks of attending is a digital pack of articles and documents my theatrical pitch letter and a list of theater listings etc.  I hope to see you there! Check out the book and workshops here.

There is also a tweetup planned in NYC at the Rooftop Films location on Friday June 4. For more details, see the posting on it below

TOTBO Tip of the Day-Tip 32

June 2, 2010
posted by sheric

Use Organizational Partners

If you have laid the groundwork with organizational partners, you can have them organize many of your screenings what Lisa Smithline calls DIFY – or Do It For You.  This is one of the many added benefits of starting your distribution and marketing groundwork from the beginning.  Even if they don’t do the actual screening organization, they can provide audience, support structure, event production, and event talent.  If you don’t have an organization – but have an engaged audience – you can work with your audience in this way too.

Again this is one of the many topics that are covered in depth in the workshops.  In NY we are fortunate to have social engagement strategist Sheri Candler and community outreach specialist Caitlin Boyle giving presentations!  In Vancouver we have Colleen Nystedt from Movieset!

My workshops are coming to NYC on June 5 & 6th organized through IFP – and Vancouver on June 12 & 13th.   One of the perks of attending is a digital pack of articles and documents, my theatrical booking  pitch letter and a list of theater listings etc.  I hope to see you there! Check out the book and workshops here.

Tweetup in NYC

June 1, 2010
posted by sheric

Some of you may know that I will be participating in the IFP/Jon Reiss TOTBO workshop in NYC this weekend. I am a late add, so you won’t find details about me on their event site. You can look me up on Google or on this site under About. Promise, my ticket is booked and I will be there. I have proposed a tweetup in the city the night before the workshop.

Friday June 4, I would like to have everyone come to the Rooftop Films screening at the New Design High School, 350 GRAND ST., NEW YORK, NY 10002 in the lower east side of town. The doors open at 8pm, screening starts at 9pm. If it rains, there is an inside venue at the same location. I have requested that they give us a small discount on the admission price, normally $10. They haven’t given me a definitive answer yet, but I wanted to get this news out so that you can plan accordingly. I will let you know their answer as soon as it comes and what the high sign will be for the discount (probably a twitter hashtag).

After a little cajoling, mostly because he is afraid of having a late night right before the early morning workshop, Jon has agreed to come along for a bit that night too. So if you would like to meet him, see what he is about, on the fence about joining us the next day, whatever, come. You can still sign up the morning of the workshop if you want. Come even if you have NO interest in the workshop, we might pout, but we’ll get over it and you can meet some of your fellow NYC filmmakers, people you don’t yet know in real life. AND since most of you have expressed a desire to see the tradition of indie films screened in a live setting continue, this will be a good chance to support the idea with a local organization trying to keep that spirit alive.

Hope to see all our NYC tweeps there. Please come up and introduce yourself to me, maybe even wear a badge with your Twitter handle so everyone knows who you are. Mine is @shericandler.

UPDATE: a discount of $4 off the admission has been arranged, but per Rooftop’s request, I can’t publicize the password that you have to say to get the discount at the door. Send me an email on Thursday and I will send you the word. shericand at gmail dot com

tweetup-logo-o

TOTBO Tip of the Day-Tip 30

May 27, 2010
posted by sheric

Request to Keep Assets that Others Create for Your Film

Make sure you get all of the elements for each stage of the delivery process, whether it is the files for your authored DVD or if it is a subtitled version of you film that a foreign film festival created or if it the files for the closed captioning of your film.   I had a cc version of Bomb It created for Canadian television.   I received the master HD of this version, however not the closed captioning file.  Because of this I will need to pay for the cc process again. I was however smart enough to request copies of any subtitled version made for foreign film fest screenings or broadcast.

I just screened Bomb It in Tel Aviv.  The venue wants to screen it again, but with Hebrew subtitles.  I just completed a deal for Israeli television which requires them to provide me with the subtitles and a Hebrew subtitled DVD.  So now I have a DVD to use for the next screening of Bomb It – this time with Hebrew subtitles.

My workshops are coming to NYC on June 5 & 6th organized through IFP – and Vancouver on June 12 & 13th.   One of the perks of attending is a digital pack of articles and documents including a delivery schedule and blank boilerplate budget in Excel.  I hope to see you there! Check out the book and workshops here.

TOTBO Tip of the Day-Tip 29

May 26, 2010
posted by sheric

Full Frame Video Delivery Still Exists

Even though the world is moving to HD and its 16:9 aspect ratio as a standard, some television and VOD contracts require a full frame 4×3 version. In smaller deals, you can often push your way out of this requirement, but on some bigger sales with bigger companies –just may not take your title if you don’t have a full frame 4×3 version.  This is not a letterboxed version that has black bars top and bottom.   It is the dreaded “pan and scan”.  However it is a pan and scan that you can control – and you can pay to have a pan and scan done. A less expensive approach is a 4×3 extraction. This is a down convert from HD 16:9  in which a machine pulls the center of the picture into the full 4×3 frame.   Remind yourself that you won’t have to be there when people see it. You can also wait to do this until you are forced to deliver one.  When you are doing your DI – make sure that your titles/subtitles/graphics are very title safe – so that they stay in the frame when the extraction occurs – otherwise you’ll have to replace each of those titles individually – NOT FUN (I know from experience)

My workshops are coming to NYC on June 5 & 6th organized through IFP – and Vancouver on June 12 & 13th.   One of the perks of attending is a digital pack of articles and documents including a delivery schedule and blank boilerplate budget in Excel.  I hope to see you there! Check out the book and workshops here.