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.
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…