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.
Filmmaking continues to be a high-risk investment, but one that can potentially be extremely lucrative. There are more films are being made now than ever before due to technological advances in camera and editing equipment making filmmaking accessible to more people.
In New Zealand film distribution and exhibition brought in $348 million in 2011, a 6% increase from 2010. Producers who sold films, in New Zealand and internationally, generated $116 million (Statistics New Zealand, 2012). This proves that although competitive there is still an opportunity for independent films to compete in the marketplace.
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.
The research on the current state of distribution I completed for a recent marketing assignment. Brief and basic, but some of you may find it helpful.
Film distribution is a complex industry encompassing many different intermediaries and processes in order to make a film accessible to an audience in the numerous mediums now available.
The last half of the AFM gets crazy as an influx of filmmakers with half market passes sweeps into the hotel. This means that my haven, the filmmakers lounge, once empty is now filled with people and gaining access to a computer can be a hard task.