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October 31 at 3:11pm

Play

This looks fun.  I wish I was going to be in Berkley on Nov. 15th.  The Haas Digital Media Conference.

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October 31 at 10:01am

Truly Free Film Heroes

I’ve moved the “Truly Free Film Heroes” sidebar over from my Let’s Make Better Films Blog to here at TFFilms and clarified it a bit in the process (although you don’t get to add a descriptive on Blogger’s “Links” gadget unfortunately).  The Truly Free Film Heroes are the folks that I have found that are actively engaged in working to create a Truly Free Film Culture.  

The potential is before us to expand beyond a film culture designed only to serve the widest possible audience.  We can have something else other than a limited supply of mass market product.  We can move away from a gate keeper culture economy.  We no longer need to address only the audiences that are best served by the dominant apparatus.
The most critical work at the moment in terms of establishing this new culture is not the content itself but the infrastructure needed to support it.  Great work is being done in this regard, but we all need to share what we learn; we have to open with it.  A new model is being unearthed.  The Truly Free Film Heroes are doing the groundwork that we all will benefit from.  You need to support them.


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October 30 at 12:40pm

And What Makes It All Worse Is…

As freeing as the growth and utilization of new media is, the death of traditional media certainly hurts Art Film and The Specialized Film Market.   When I read (online of course!) articles like David Carr’s “Mourning Old Media’s Decline”, I can feel that jolt of panic.  It starts in my legs, and then spreads…

“The auto industry and the print industry have essentially the same problem,” said Clay Shirky, the author of “Here Comes Everybody.” “The older customers like the older products and the new customers like the new ones.”

The problem is that Art Film’s audience is predominately over 35.  They are not generally online as much as others.  They are not participating in the blogosphere.  How is the audience going to get their information?  How are we going to get them signed up?  We need to make sure they are getting their RSS feeds of the great film lover websites like Hammer To Nail (okay, I confess to being a tad self serving on this) and Green Cine.  
I think for every film fan over 35 that you get to subscribe to such a blog, you should get a gold star.  Two gold stars if they are over 45.  Three for 55!  I don’t know the solution, but we have got to sign them up.  What to do, what to do?  We have to act fast…


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October 30 at 10:00am

Film Festival Plan A: DVD sales

Your film screens and everyone loves it.  They want their friends and family to see it too, but there are no more screenings left.  Your audience loves your film, how are you going to mobilize them into action?

Festivals are a great place to sell DVDs of your film, but will the Festival let you? It’s probably a good idea to inquire in advance. Will you be able to set up a table outside the theater? Will you need to have a website in order to sell them? Will you need to have some one do the fulfillment? Figure this out before you show up.

People that buy your DVD at a festival are your core base and they want to help you out.  Give them your card and ask them to email you.  Get theirs and email them.  Let them know that this is a special sort of DVD they bought; tell them that is a DVD for house party use.  Let them know that if they can get a certain number of friends to come over (25? 50?), you will do an iChat with them live for an hour and discuss how you made the film.  Let them know that you will get them more of these “House Party DVDs” for their House Party that they can sell on your behalf and keep a cut for themselves.  Trust people; it will do more for you than the harm the few times you do get ripped off will hurt.


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October 29 at 10:00am

Film Festival Plan A: Online Screening

Major Festivals are great for media exposure, but they reach a really limited audience. Sundance is predominately film industry professionals and wannabes; what about the real ticket buying people? If someone hears about your film and they can’t attend the festival, how will they get to see it?

With your audience’s interest piqued, is it a good time to get your film online soon after the festival screening? What method will best serve your film: streaming, ad-supported, pay per download? There are many variations on this, but the point is you need to have it figured out before your screening if you are going to take advantage of it. And you need to have some way to let people know.
Some festivals, like Slamdance, are doing this directly themselves, and I think that’s a great idea.


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October 28 at 4:48pm

Word Of Mouth Radio

I was just interviewed by Virginia Prescoot of WordOfMouthRadio.org for New Hampshire Public Radio.  Check out their website and download the podcast, unless you happen to be out campaigning in that state today, in which case tune in.

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October 28 at 10:00am

Film Festival Plan A: Getting The Word Out

Word of mouth is the key thing in generating want-to-see and future revenues for your film.  You want to shape that conversation as much as you can.  
It once was that film critics truly helped shape these discussions, but most have them now have been fired and lost their platforms.  Even before that, many had shifted to a simplistic way of reviewing, reducing things to a yay or nay and a synopsis.  But whom is doing this now?  There certainly is a galaxy of film bloggers out there.  And they are a lot easier to reach than their prior generation of film critics.  
If you got your film into a major film festival, I am sure the blogosphere will want to hear from you.  But why not go that extra step and get them a DVD in advance.  It’s hard to see more than 25 films at Sundance and since there is five times that amount there, why not make sure that they see yours in advance?


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