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It was during the post-production of Justice Is Mind in 2013 that the idea for SOS United States came to me. And like the original idea for Justice Is Mind that was sparked from research on the sequel to First World, as a writer once I get an idea in my head I just have to write it out and see where it goes.  When I do write, I think about the story not about the market.

Who would have thought that when I was writing Justice Is Mind back in 2010 that mind-reading technologies, patient privacy and genetic seizure would be trending in the news? Likewise when I wrote SOS United States last year it really didn’t occur to me what the state of the world would be with the United States withdrawing from various hot spots. And with China’s space program advancing at a rapid pace, the science fiction in First World in regard to space travel, is rapidly approaching science fact. But in the end, it all comes down to raising capital.

This is a case-page-0

As I read the trades on a daily basis, there’s always a story about a film that took years to make (Dallas Buyers Club),  a filmmaker/actor with award winning credentials who couldn’t get “traditional” financing at the start and resorted to crowdfunding (Zach Braff) or some major production company that misread the market (Senator), but isn’t this like any business? We are inundated with the extremes. The epic failure of one film or the stunning achievement of another. How about what’s happening in the middle? That’s what I look for. Will the trends today hold for tomorrow? What I think we all know is that theatres and VOD are here to stay.

There is one trend that I find pretty unsettling in this industry, but it was this way in magazine publishing too. The “experts” selling their services. Honestly, you might think that sliced bread has just been invented and if you don’t buy a loaf from them you’ll never be part of this industry. Really, what it comes down to is raising cash to produce a film. I’ve written so many business plans over the years. Of course you do the same with this industry and identify a return on investment.

The USS Massachusetts at Battleship Cove where SOS United States opens.

The USS Massachusetts at Battleship Cove where SOS United States opens.

We live in a world of constant change and changing priorities. And this industry magnifies that x10. When I was talking to a producer a couple of weeks ago who releases a good share of their films through one particular studio, they only take on projects that are based on intellectual properties because that’s pretty much what the major studios are backing these days.  I read about this in the trades and one stop to your local cinema chain and the proof is on the marquee. But, there will always be independent films. Always.

Yes, my world is about spirited optimism. If someone says no, I just keep navigating until someone says yes. I try very hard to avoid the storms of this industry always thinking, “What does the consumer want?” The consumer doesn’t care about unnecessary industry noise, they just want to see a movie. From day one of distributing Justice Is Mind, my only concern is the audience that is buying tickets (at theatres or online). All theatres and VOD platforms want are paying customers. Promotion and marketing are the key to those customers.

New markets.

International Premiere-page-0

Day and Date

World Online Premiere July 6 posting-page-0

Yesterday Justice Is Mind had its world online premiere on VHX! You can view our listing at this link. If you select the Deluxe Package be sure to enter promo code: JUSTICEPREORDER for a $2 discount with your final price being only $7.  With over 3.5 hours of programming that includes the feature film, original short film, clip from the feature along with a compilation video of our screenings across the United States, I personally think it’s a great value. Your purchase also supports the independent filmmaker!

With traffic to the site increasing throughout the day and orders coming in from Boston to Buenos Aries, I’m pretty pleased with our initial results. Through VHX alone, Justice Is Mind is available in over 200 countries. But the marketing doesn’t stop because we are on one platform. Nor does the drive to push Justice Is Mind to market. There’s no magic switch when you go live on one site or several VOD platforms (additional platforms will be online soon).  Sure, there’s the discovery process, but there’s also the direct push to those platforms. For a $20 investment on Facebook, our promoted post reached over 8,000 people. But like this blog, Facebook is just one part of the marketing mix. It has to be, there are simply too many films vying for attention. My overall goal is to make Justice Is Mind discoverable and then deliverable on whatever platform you want to watch it on.

Last weekend I visited the USS Massachusetts.  In SOS United States the President speaks to the nation on this deck.

Last weekend I visited the USS Massachusetts. In SOS United States the President speaks to the nation on this deck.

As we still own the rights, Justice Is Mind continues its theatrical run.  In addition to our upcoming international premiere on Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth on October 29, I have been invited to meet with a theatre tomorrow for a possible screening opportunity in September.  How did they hear about us? Word of mouth and the press we have secured in connection with our past screenings.  Taking social media out of the equation entirely, positive word of mouth and press, in my view, are still two of the most powerful ways to get a film noticed.  Our screenings have been successful because of these two initiatives.

This weekend will be an interesting one for me as I will be visiting my cousins at the Cape where I filmed First World back in 2006.  It was eight years ago when I stood on Corporation Beach in Dennis, MA making my first film with Adam Starr. In some ways it seems like ages ago, in another it seems like yesterday.  Who would have thought I would return all those years later with a completed feature film that will probably screen at a nearby town. Yes, it’s all about perseverance and patience.

With Justice Is Mind now live on VHX, other VOD platforms coming online soon and additional theatrical screenings on the horizon, those days I have so longed for now have dates.

Justice everywhere.

Justice VHX poster 3-page-0

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