Monday, August 28, 2006

GreenCine Daily Review of Date Number One

Regarding Date Number One, David Hudson at GreenCine Daily says, in part:

"... witty (I particularly like the recurring references to a band's unlikely popularity in Ohio), often inventive (the story in which the first date isn't really the first date at all is particularly well-written and performed) and, even better, airy: characters are given time and space to spell out their views on abortion, Buddhism, quantum physics or the ongoing war in Sri Lanka, views that never bear the artificial markings of a Hollywood screenwriter's compulsion to reduce them to sound-bites."

Read the whole review here.

Thanks for watching the movie & writing a review about it David!

Very exciting to see a review of my movie in GreenCine Daily (best indie film blog in the western world, no doubt), which is my favorite indie film blog (even if David's verdict on the film is a mixed one :).

- Sujewa

Movie Trailer Question - Answered!

Hi Stacy,
The person you would need to contact is (name left blank intentionally).
He is the one who reviews and approves content for the trailers site.

At this point all they need to be are films that are headed for U.S.
release. That release can be limited, but.. well.. a "real" release- not
into a college circuit or to video/web only. Verified acceptance to major
film festivals also count for placement consideration on our site. All
independent trailers are posted on a time/space available basis- submission
doesn't always lead to posting on the site. Films already out on DVD
typically do not qualify for placement on the site.

Trailers should be viewable for all audiences, free of foul language,
nudity, etc. NTSC tapes should be delivered to us on HD (D-5 1080p),
Digibeta, or BetaSP tapes. We would also consider an *uncompressed*
QuickTime movie file on a DVD-R disc. MPAA approved trailers are no
problem. We would want to encode it to assure the highest quality possible
since we are also the developer of the technology. We think you'd agree
your asset should look as good as possible. Our corporate campus is an
administrative site so tapes or DVD-R discs may not be able to be returned.
Prior notice and return packaging will need to be sent with the asset and
arranged beforehand.

Prior to posting a trailer, Apple will also need to have an email

1. Principal cast list w/ director
2. Synopsis
3. 1 sheet (theatrical poster)
4. Release schedule

That's pretty much it.

Thank you for considering our site for your trailer.

-Movie Trailers Team

--Sounds pretty doable to me!
If you want the email address for the contact at apple, send me an email and I'll send it on to you. I didn't want to put it on the web and let the trollers pick it up.
(Last one with their trailer on the apple site has to hold the boom...)

Indie Features 07 is alive!

Yup, the self-promotion festival that is Indie Features 06 will live on in the coming year at Indie Features 07 :

Filmmakers interested in participating in the blog should send me an e-mail with a description of the film that will be in distribution in 2007. E-mail me at: wilddiner AT


- Sujewa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Posting Trailers to the Apple Site

I want to put our trailer on the Apple trailer site. I've emailed Apple and am still waiting for a response.
Does anyone here know: Is it a submission process or do they troll certain websites for trailers?
When I find out, I'll post the answer. If you already know the answer, please post it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

jumping off bridges in Seattle and Albuquerque

Our tour officially begins in September.
Please help us get the word out about our screenings in Seattle and Albuquerque:

9/13, Seattle, WA
Broadway Performance Hall
7:30 p.m.
Tickets available through ticket window online.

9/15, Albuquerque, NM
Southwest Film Center, 7pm
Sponsored by the Agora Crisis Center

9/16, Albuquerque, NM
Southwest Film Center, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm
Sponsored by the Agora Crisis Center

6 days to go until the 8/31 NYC Premiere of Date Number One

Making travel plans, sending out e-mails, getting some DVDs & tapes ready for today's mail are the kind of "1 week 'till NYC screening" stuff I am attending to right now. Doing these one-off screenings are useful. So far each screening produced some changes to the movie. I think the version that will play on 8/31 @ Pioneer will be the very final version of the movie. So, screening #10, the NYC premiere, is coming up, & after that 100s more screenings to set up & do, DVDs to make & sell, & also need to look into VOD. Also trailers, clips on the web, posters, post cards, action figures. Right now DIY distribution is a full time commitment underwritten by full time dayjob work. DIY filmmakers/distributors are the hardest working (& sexiest :) people in show biz (next to James Brown, Michelle Mae & Ian MacKaye that is). But am glad the flick is getting out to customers, little by little. Here's all the info on the 8/31 screening in NYC. Tix are on sale now, see link below. Thanks!

a comedy about several first dates
a movie by sujewa ekanayake

Thursday, August 31, 9 PM
The Two Boots Pioneer Theater
155 East 3rd Street (between Avenues A and B, closer to A)
New York, New York
ticket prices:$9 adults, $6.50 members
Buy Tix Now:

Film's Description:"Date Number One" is a comedy about several first dates. This 115 minute movie is made up of 5 different stories: Story 1: Just Another Ninja Searching For Love, about a ninja who goes on a blind date (ninja is played by John Stabb Schroeder from the DC punk band G.I.), Story 2: A Romantic Dinner For 3, about a woman attempting to add a third partner to a romantic relationship, Story 3: Washington "City Of Love" DC/Start Over, about a writer who tries to get back together with his ex-girlfriend, Story 4: Air Quotes Woman, about a woman who always uses air quotes, and her search for a new boyfriend, Story 5: The Superdelicious French Lesson, about a first date where a character learns a little bit of French in an unusual way.

Featuring Hot DC Indie Film Stars John Stabb Schroeder, Julia Stemper, Jennifer Blakemore, Shervin Boloorian, Dele Williams, Steve Lee, Kelly Ham, Christine D. Lee, Fritz Flad, Subodh Samudre, Jewel Greenberg

Not Rated * 115 Minutes * yummy

Director will attend the screening.

"The film is about as charming as they come...presents a world in which cultures don't clash, they mesh. It's refreshing to see characters who all appear to have a natural optimism, as opposed to the typical indie-film predilection for bitterness and cruelty. "
- Michael Tully, Rotterdam & SXSW film festivals selected filmmaker

"I found the characters and the premise sexy, sexy, sexy."
- Jerry Brewington, Hollywood Is Talking blog, on Story 2 of Date Number One

"FIVE really entertaining, fully realized romantic interludes...a shamefully rare achievement"
- Tom Kipp, Seattle audience member, former film reviewer for Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger

"Heartfelt...poignant...I loved it!"
- Jon Moritsugu, award winning filmmaker

"Date Number One is quite funny...twentysomethings and occasional thirtysomethings looking for romance recall Richard Linklater's philosopher slackers and Jim Jarmusch's minimalist attention to conversation...also a subtle, thoughtful film...might be understood as the anti-Crash depiction of life in the city...depicts a comfortably multi-ethnic community...I'd happily recommend it."
- Chuck Tryon, media professor & blogger, The Chutry Experiment blog

(Pioneer is a small theater, buy tix as early as possible, thanks!)

Copyright 2006 Sujewa Ekanayake/Wild Diner Films

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A DIY breakdown

Over the course of the run I want to share as much of the process as I can. Here's a breakdown on how I’m working the HT release. This theatrical release is designed to:

A. Give HT a chance to play theatrical so audiences can experience the movie on the big screen. In some cases this will also help to spark word of mouth and assist in building a mailing list.

B. Help build awarness for HT on a national level – to assist in making the movie a national story.

C. Having a national theatrical release will help to position the DVD release of the movie.

So here is a brief rundown of the mechanics of the theatrical release as they stand so far. The DIY distro book I’m writing will go into WAY more detail. It will be release in 2007.

I worked out 50/50 splits with each of the venues so that I don't have to four wall. In some cases four walls can be great but since I was doing 15 cities without any real budget it was out of the question. I approached the theaters with a pitch, it was designed to show that I was approaching the runs as business partnership of sorts.

The Promotion
For the press I target print, radio, print, TV, web. I start each cities press push about three weeks out. I make sure to coordinate the efforts with the theaters. In fact in most cases I get a press list from them. The first wave is e-mailing and faxing a press release. Next I'll follow it up with a phone call to let them know I'll be in town for the run. And the last phase consists of two media alerts. In most cases the media alerts are for radio and TV due to the fact that there is always a chance that they could have a slot open up.

The Hard Costs

DIY on a large level can be a challenge and the biggest issue is finding a way to make money and then how to not spend money along the way.

To help offset travel expenses I booked about $1500 worth of speaking engagements at various schools and film socities. This not only helps with cash but in most cases will lead to free lodging and also free meals. It also helps drive people to the theater.

I made a run of really high quality 27 x 40 posters, which I can sell for $10 bucks each. In my experience I sell about 5 to 20 posters in a night. This money is great for food and miscellaneous expenses.

I don't do advertising unless I can find sponsorship to help offset the costs and even then I won’t do anything but a weekly city paper ad. These on average cost anywhere from 250 to 1,000 or more per ad. I’ll usally run a 1/4 page or smaller.

In each city I'll send the theaters and or street team (die hard fans) a package of flyers (b&w) with a high quality master so more can be made if needed. I’ll also include a small number of postcards. $12.00 in flyers per city and I pay $250 for 3,000 4 color front and 1 color back postcards.

To be continued…

Friday, August 18, 2006

New York City to see a lot of indie film DIY distribution action in the 2nd half of 2006

LOL, Date Number One, Head Trauma, Four Eyed Monsters, Mutual Appreciation, The Guatamalan Handshake, Jumping Off Bridges will all screen in New York City starting late August (LOL & Date Number One at Pioneer Theater in August), through September (4eyed, mutual, HT & more in September), and into late '06 (Bridges in Nov at Pioneer).All of the films mentioned are being fully or partially self-distributed.

I am preparing a more detailed post re: this wonderful occurrence, will have all the info - dates, places, film summaries, soon (let's say by Tue, got a few Date Number One edit things to do this weekend).

Post comments here about other DIY distributed low budget indie/real indie flicks that I may have missed/not heard about yet. Will look into them to include in the upcoming more detailed post re: The Heavy DIY Season New York '06.

In the meantime, check out this awesome indieWIRE article about Head Trauma & Four Eyed Monsters & their DIY distribution adventures.

Also, if you live in NYC, & you want to check out Date Number One, meet the director, hang out, you can NOW BUY TICKETS for the 8/31 Thu 9 PM show! See ya there.

- Sujewa

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Report from Portland

So far today had been great. HT has gotten some great reviews in the weekly pubs. I'm doing some radio tomorrow and I did an interview today for a major online site - more on that next week.

The ad I placed in the weekly looks excellent and the placement is killer. I did a tech run through today at the theater and everything is ready for tomorrow night. I'll be talking after each of the evening screenings this weekend - so if you happen to live in Portland or know some who does tell them to come on out to see the flick.

On the buzz side of things. IndieWire ran a nice story about HT and Four Eyed Monsters yesterday. Click here to check it out.

I got into Portland late last night. Over five months in the making and tomorrow night everything goes live.

Yesterday I finished preparing HT for a 24p HD digital transfer. A number of the screenings of HT will be making use of a new prototype d-cinema solution. A self-contained media server of sorts that provides true HD resolution and surround sound. The box is called IndEx and a team of very talented people created it. Index is meant to be an economical solution for filmmakers and theaters. A way for a filmmaker to travel with their work and no matter what venue their in they’ll have a pristine version of their movie to show. IndEx comes out later this fall. When I can I’ll make sure take a ton of pictures. And as I can release more details I’ll post them here.

I’ve added two more venues - because I’m crazy. I’ve picked up an additional screen in Seattle and the 2nd venue is a surprise, so I can’t say but I promise it will be something worth checking out if you can.

Juggling press, theatrical runs and a DVD release is a handful. I’ve been documenting as much of the experience as I can. I’m working on a book about DIY distro and the changing landscape of content distribution. Last week I brought on a co-writer and a researcher in order to help meet our deadline for 2007. We’re very close to working something out with a publisher that will have the book out in a huge way.

Even though DIY can be a bitch at times it really can open doors. The forward momentum that it gives a project is amazing. I’ve been fielding a lot of amazing offers over the last few weeks. Offers to make another movie with a larger budget, invitations to speak at various conferences, publishing opportunities, as well as a couple very cool job offers.

More to come….

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Quick Update

Here's a quick update -

Earlier today iFilm featured the HT trailer and a special "Making Of" web short on the front of their site. Since then the trailer has been viewed over 9,000 times. And if that wasn't cool enough HT is ranked #2 just behind the Descent as the most popular horror vid on the whole iFilm site. The exposure resulted in a ton of e-mails and feedback. Gotta love the internet.

In other news I've been working on a new addition to the htMob (the film community for HT) and I'm happy to announce that it's ready for consumption. It's called Head Trauma radio and I've been seeding it for the last six months or so - making it available via myspace so that people could take the code and embed it into their own profiles, blogs or pages. I've gotten e-mails from Germany, Norway and a bunch of people here in the states that have embed the simple player into their profiles and pages.

What's really cool is that once it is embed in a page or profile I can update the audio tracks at any time. So it's like my own channel that rides over myspace profiles or any where else that someone embeds it. It allows me to update people about the project without them coming to my sites.

Here's what it looks like.


It's pretty simple - some would call it an audio blog of sorts others might call them podcasts but I'm calling it radio. HT radio is something that I plan to update as often as I can from the road. I'm trying to document all the phases of making HT. I started this past weekend with a couple posts about the Twisted Horror Weekend horror convention that I attended in Ohio. I plan to give simple audio updates about my travels in addition to interviewing various cast and crew involved in the making of the movie.

I've also setup a flickr account and over time I'll be uploading all the photos from the making of the film. Big props to Martin Pepe for all his behind the scenes photography. I'll also be snapping new pics from the road.

Checkout or to listen and see the pics.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I’m writing this from Cleveland. I’m in town for a horror convention called Twisted Nightmare. I’ve been invited to speak about indie filmmaking and to show some clips from HEAD TRAUMA. The convention started tonight and runs until Sunday afternoon. I’m going to be attending a number of horror cons over the next couple months - it’s a great way to get the word out about the movie. Plus horror fans are excellent and best of all there rabid fans! I’m going to snap a bunch of pictures to share the weirdness.

In the next couple days I’ll be launching a new feature to the htmob (which is a community, promotional, viral marketing experiment) - I’m calling it head trauma radio and it’s an audio blog / podcast of my experience on the road. As I’ve mentioned before I’m trying to document as much of the experience as possible. head trauma radio is a project I’ve been seeding for the last 6 months or so. In the next post I’ll go into more detail and I’ll also provide a link to the broadcast.

HT got a nice write up on the filmmaker magazine blog yesterday. People seem to be responding not only to the movie but also the way in which we’re rolling it out.

“Lance Weiler, writer/director behind The Last Broadcast, begins a 15-city self-distribution tour of his new chills-fest Head Trauma on August 15th. Weiler, who received slack and acclaim for The Last Broadcast – the first all digital release ever, isn’t a traditional filmmaker in any sense…” Read More

Last but not least I’m happy to report that I booked the 15th screen earlier today. Next week I’ll list all the venues, dates and links. Plus it looks like I could be adding a couple of extra screens! More info to come.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Storie Girls on the move...

A month ago, we decided to self-distribute jumping off bridges in a limited theatrical release. Our goal was 20 cities across the country, partnering with local and national suicide prevention groups. We wanted to reach out to the audience that kept reaching out to our film.

Our strategy: Play in venus that are indie friendly and in areas with a strong suicide prevention coalition and work with local film festivals and film societies to arrange special screenings.

I'm happy to report that yesterday, we hit our goal of 20 cities and there is a list of more we're still working to lock down.

We'll keep everyone posted as dates and venues are locked.

Please encourage your friends and family in Dallas, Lubbock, Seattle and Albuquerque to attend our August and September screenings!

jumping off bridges: Fall 06 screenings

  • 8/9, Dallas, TX, Dallas Video Festival, Angelika Film Center, 7pm
  • 8/11, Lubbock TX, Flatland Film Festival
  • 9/13, Seattle, WA, Broadway Performance Hall
  • 9/15 - 9/21, Overland Park, KS, Kansas City International Film Festival
  • 9/30, San Antonio, TX, Historic Guadalupe Theater at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, 7pm
  • Baltimore, MD, TBA
  • Washington DC, TBA
  • Chicago, IL, TBA
  • (week run), Jacksonville, FL, San Marco Theater, TBA
  • 10/3, Austin, TX, Alamo Drafthouse South, 7pm
  • 10/3 - 10/8, New Haven, CT, Connecticut Film Festival
  • 10/6 - 10/7 (weekend run), Tallahassee, FL, All Saints Cinema
  • 10/7, Boston, MA, Capital Theater, 6:30pm
  • 10/14, Nashville, TN, Belcourt Theater, 2pm
  • 10/14, Houston, TX, Rice University Media Lab, 7pm
  • 10/26, Portland, OR, The Hollywood Theater

  • Los Angeles, CA, TBA
  • 11/2, Montclair, NJ, Montclair State University
  • 11/3 and 11/4, New York City, NY, Pioneer Theater, 7pm