If Justice Is Mind was an airline it would show up on flight reservation systems as a non-stop flight. Over the next ten days, Vancouver, Boston, Plattsburg and Oxford will be screening Justice. From theatres, to law schools to sci-fi conventions, since our Maine premiere last Saturday there has virtually been non-stop activity with the film on both sides of the screen and continent.
As a distributor mentioned to me last week, if you plan pre-production properly then production goes well. It’s true, pre-production planning of Justice was a four month adventure. That planning led to a smooth, albeit intense, filming schedule for Justice that lasted two months. The same holds true for exhibiting the film. It’s all about pre-production planning.
At this stage in the project, there’s still more than just me involved. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, there is a literal army in the execution of this film. There is the dedication and support of my executive producers Mary Wenninger and Stefan Knieling. If it were not for Vernon Aldershoff, Mary Wexler, Arnold Peter, Kim Gordon and Gail Sullivan, certain screenings, marketing and production just wouldn’t happen. And then there is Sheila Mandeville who has attended the last three screenings of Justice with her own army! It takes more than a pilot to fly an airplane.
And like getting ready to leave the gate, I have what all pilots have—a checklist. Yes, I am a person that needs lists to function. As I mentioned to one potential theatre that may screen Justice, I need a 45 day notice. Sure, I’m happy to have a venue screen the film, but if we can’t plan it properly what’s the point. Press releases need to be written, media needs to be contacted, local marketing needs to be executed, if regional which actors/crew may be interested in going, the venue has to be tested, are we part of a larger event—you get the point.
Last Saturday was one day that required a lot of pre-production planning. In addition to our Maine premiere, I also conducted a workshop for Talent Tools titled “Independent Filmmaking: Script to Screen”. For the entire week prior I took an hour out of each day to outline what I was going to talk about. First, I owed it to the attendees to make sure they left with some new knowledge. Thankfully, when the day arrived I had my lists…so I was good! But even more important was the organizational zeal of Talent Tools owner Becki Dennis Buchman. I know whenever Becki does something it will not only be first rate, but well run.
Seriously, isn’t that what it’s all about? Don’t we want to enjoy ourselves at these events? Let’s be honest, this is the entertainment industry it’s all about the damn arrival! Of course we don’t live in a picture perfect world, things do come up at the last minute. Hell, that’s just life! But when it comes to day of, I prefer calm to chaos.
And then there is the activity going on behind the screen. Industry reporting, distributor conversations, long range strategy plans—it’s a list! As for the long range plans? I think it’s safe to say that during the entire development and release of Justice Is Mind a business model has been developed.
Clear for departure.