We all know the old adage. You get one chance to make a first impression. But in the world of independent filmmaking, impressions are what make a project. It’s not just about releasing your key art, trailer and feature, it’s about building an audience along the way on both the consumer and industry side so when those events do occur you’ve already built some sort of market for your project.
Developing an audience and awareness for a film (or any project for that matter) takes time and is not easy. Sure every filmmaker wants the widest possible release for their film, but unless you have major studio level financing behind you (and even that may not work…remember John Carter and Battleship) or strike literal gold on the viral front, you have to package your project the best you can with the resources available to you so when you start talking to distributors you have something in addition to the film to present.
Last week we released the first official poster for Justice Is Mind. I came up with the concept in September but really had no idea it could work visually and still get a message across. Justice is a large story with numerous undercurrents that revolves around a first of its kind criminal trial. But it does center on a key theme—the science fiction of MRI-like mind reading technology and its consequences.
When the statistics on our press release indicated over 100,000 headline impressions I was wondering what triggered this avalanche of audience. I went to Google and typed “Justice is Mind official poster released” and over 300,000 results returned. What I discovered is that Justice hit on science fiction, real estate, writing, restaurants, courtroom news, independent film and a variety of other topics including town specific news (Oxford, MA, etc.). Suffice to say, the press release was very successful. Why? That’s a pretty good question. Something in the release triggered the push it received. While it was certainly in the keywords and phrases, the resulting data will well figure into the continued marketing of Justice Is Mind.
With the poster now listed on impawards, movieweb, themoviedb, movieposterdb and others, Justice Is Mind is being nicely presented on forums outside of this website, our Facebook page and soon to be launched dedicated website. In regard to Facebook, I was really pleased to learn that the demographics for Justice Is Mind are pretty evenly split among all age groups. But women win with 55.6% of overall reach.
But other impressions are even more important and they have nothing to do with the world of social media. You can have the greatest marketing program behind you, but without great photography and performances it doesn’t matter. Again, it comes down to first impressions. Having seen the rough cut of the first 22 minutes of the feature and heard the same with the score, the product is looking great. The post-production process really is like building a car. It’s designed (pre-production), fabricated (production), built (post-production) and driven to market.
Our next event will be the official trailer. The one thing I can impress is that there will be a post or two…or three…or…
P.S. And for those of you following me on Facebook or Twitter, this past week the DVD of the short film version, Justice Is Mind: Evidence, was released on Amazon. The short will also have its ninth screening at Loscon on November 25 in Los Angeles!