I’ve recently been involved in a number of discussions about low-budget filmmaking and whether or not it has a place in the NZ film scene. There are people who believe that it is an amazing idea and the only way to create a sustainable industry and others who think that low-budget filmmaking needs to stopped and should not be officially supported. Having made two low-budget features and knowing so many other people who have, I personally believe that there is a place for low-budget filmmaking as long as long as you are doing it for the right reasons and are smart about how you go about it.
A part of self-distribution that is not always discussed is classification. In NZ you must get your film rated to be able to screen it or distribute it. It may seem daunting initially but the process is relatively simple and easy to do. Here I will explain the basics of the process and the few things to think about before you start. Continue reading
Having had an awesome night celebrating the first screening of Crackheads on the Friday we were looking forward to another day at the festival, which included the awards luncheon, Tim’s panel, a talk from Robert Rodriguez, a packaging seminar and the screening of a film filled with kiwi talent. Another jam packed and interesting day…
So the parties were crazy. Met so many cool filmmakers and had so much fun handing out flyers and consuming much free alcohol. We put up more posters and handed out more flyers in between the parties (one filmmaker in the morning commented that you couldn’t go into any store around the festival venues without seeing Crackheads so I think we achieved postering the town). The second party ended up with a massive cue right around the block and was pretty amazing also (as was the pedicab ride there ‘transpertainment’ great word).
While out that night India beer and tequila infused haze we decided to take on a crazy mission for the morning…
The trip to Austin was obviously long. I was lucky that my flight to LA was mostly empty so I had a row to myself and the stopover in LA felt really short. By the time I arrived in Austin though I was still exhausted. Waking up in Austin to beautiful weather was amazing. Austin, like Auckland, is incredibly spread out so you can’t walk everywhere. Have yet to try the public transport but the taxis are cheaper than Auckland.
It was the day before the festival started so Tim (director of Crackheads) and I knew that we had to start getting out and marketing our film and making a plan for the festival – all while also sorting out the NZ premiere of the film.
I have said it many times before but there is never enough time to prepare. This is doubly true if you are over ambitious and trying to prep more than one project. That being said I think a number of things have been accomplished that I can be proud of.
With traditional distribution options disappearing for filmmakers it is no longer possible for independent filmmakers to think that someone else will devise their marketing strategy. Just as you create a great screenplay for your film which you then breakdown and storyboard before shooting, having a marketing plan thought out gives you a way to communicate to others the way that you will reach your audience. In this post I will outline the aspects of marketing planning that I found useful for Crackheads.
As you may, or may not be aware, I have been working on a film called ‘Crackheads’. The film can be as controversial as it sounds, which makes it a marketing dream. Well dream in the sense that a number of elements are easy to define, such as using crack, P, meth – whatever you like to call it – as a large part of the marketing activities, and that by exploiting these elements we are sure to gain some attention…
Before we get ahead of ourselves I thought I would go through some of the elements of marketing planning for films that I believe are crucial.
‘Crackheads’ the movie!!