With our new sound mixing team at Visionary Sound bringing the “sound of Justice” to life, and with color correction starting shortly, my focus has pretty much turned to the next phase of the project – distribution, marketing and more marketing. Simply put, you can never do enough marketing. In the world of film production, it’s all about laying the groundwork and establishing a solid presence. And these days, that presence is online.
This past week, three emails arrived, one from a cast member about a possible screening at prestigious university in Boston, another titled “Justice Is Mind possible screening” and a third “Distributing Justice Is Mind.” The screening opportunity came from a theatre we screened the short film version at last year. They now have a film festival connected with their theatre and asked us if we would like to screen the feature film—of course I said yes. The distributing inquiry came from a distributor looking for independent features to distribute and found me through my contact information on IMDB. For anyone that has an IMDB listing I cannot stress enough to have a direct email contact. Unless you are repped by CAA, WME, UTA or ICM, it behooves you to have direct contact information. An email account will suffice. Seriously, sign up for IMDBpro it’s worth every penny. To pull a quote from North by Northwest “Roger, pay the two dollars.”
Each one of these contacts was just another opportunity for Justice Is Mind to not only get the word out but to establish an audience for the film. While we are in the very early days of evaluating distribution options for the film, screening opportunities are always welcome. That is the whole point of producing a film—getting it “scene”. Whether it be a film festival, a college, a convention, a theatre, it’s all good and should not only be welcomed but embraced. But make no mistake about it, these opportunities take time, perseverance, patience and cost. In every case you are dealing with new people, a new venue and, in my experience, varying technical capability on the part of the venue. The latter point is really important. Many years ago when I produced an event on a cruise ship, I transmitted to our figure skater guests the list of “accepted media to run on our (ship) systems”. Sadly, one skater ignored it and their program wasn’t played.
One relatively new producer, and successful actor I admire, is Zachary Quinto. We all know him as masterfully assuming the role of Mr. Spock in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies. But as a producer he totally gets it when it comes to the state of the industry and perpetual discussion that filmmakers have to exhibit in a theatre versus VOD.
What Quinto told the Hollywood Reporter in regard to the distribution of his film Breakup at a Wedding fits in perfectly with Justice Is Mind, “You get into the budget of the film and the reach of the movie and the fact that many of the actors in this are up-and-coming, and for some of them, it’s their first feature and there’s no big box-office name to draw people into the theater, but there’s very good quality material and really good acting great humor and good heart, so we wanted it to reach as many people as we could and we felt like the VOD platform was the way to do that.” This is not to say you don’t pursue theatrical, but it’s imperative that you keep you options open. Because in the end it comes down to revenue for your investors and capital for your next motion picture.
The one thing filmmakers have now is options.