When I received the email newsletter this morning from Olde Mistick Village Art Cinemas with its subject line Now Showing, I just assumed it was only going to mention the feature films the Mystic, CT theatre was exhibiting over the next few days. To my surprise, Justice Is Mind: Evidence was included in the offerings not just as Now Showing but as an Exclusive Showing. Either way, it’s beyond cool and I’m looking forward to introducing Evidence to audiences on Saturday, February 18. Our showtimes are 1:45, 4:10 and 7:00.
Since Evidence’s theatrical premiere at the Strand Theatre on January 20 and our online premiere on Constellation.TV on February 2, momentum has certainly been building for the project. Oh sure, a couple of film festival notify dates have come and gone without acceptance, but after two seconds of “I wonder why they…” you just move on.
About an hour before our online screening, I received word that IndieFlix picked up Justice Is Mind: Evidence for distribution. Elated, didn’t even begin to describe how I felt on that news. Needless to say, I announced the deal after our online presentation. There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that a company believes enough in the product you made to market it to their customers. Stay tuned for the release date.
I think it was actor Maximilian Schell who said it best in the DVD extras from Judgment at Nuremberg, this really is an industry of chances and luck. But we also know that this industry, like any other, is also about hard work and perseverance. I believe the latter presents the former in due time. Point in fact, the anonymous contributor who donated $1,000 to our crowdfunding campaign this past weekend. A contribution of any size is very much appreciated, but one on that level signaled to me that Justice Is Mind is a project on the go.
With just over two weeks left to our IndieGoGo campaign and countless investor presentations out for consideration, sure we have a way to go before the feature can be green lit, but for anyone that has sought to raise capital to produce a motion picture it’s all about honing something else…the pitch.
Some filmmakers are content to submit their work to film festivals and wait…and wait…and wait. But unless you have an in with a programmer, hit that screener just the right way after they’ve watched over 100+ films or have a major marketing push from a studio, the chances of getting accepted to a festival are slim. Yes, quality still counts in the festival market, but we also know that there’s no accounting for taste when we see some of the selections festivals accept. More to the point, the length of time between submission and screen can be months if not up to a year. And let’s not even talk about the cost to submit a film. While I have included festivals in the Justice Is Mind: Evidence marketing mix, anyone even remotely connected to this project or have worked with me in the past on other ventures, knows full well that I don’t sit around and wait for the world to come to me—you have to push your project to the world.
On Thursday, February 2 at 8 PM EST, I am delighted to announce that Justice Is Mind: Evidence will have its world online premiere on Constellation.TV What’s unique about this method of screening films is not so much the online component (I love my Hulu!), but the social media aspect. When you sign up to watch Evidence you can save $1 off the $2.99 fee just by sharing Constellation.TV on Facebook while you invite your online friends to join you. And during the screening (and after) the director (in this case me) hosts via webcam to interact with audiences through chat. This is a great platform for filmmakers to connect with their audience. We all talk about films with our friends and family when we leave a theatre. Constellation.TV just brings this online and goes one better by adding the filmmakers into the mix.
I’ll never forget when I was starting to read about this new online “thing” called Hulu and then saw its capabilities and what this platform would obviously do for TV and film. My race to find a distributor that worked with them brought me to IndieFlix who was able to get my first film, First World, on to that platform from 2009-2011. And let me tell you, seeing commercials run during your movie feels great…trust me…ka-ching.
I learned about Constellation.TV through a December article in the Wall Street Journal and immediately made the pitch. When they accepted to screen Evidence I couldn’t have been more elated. The efforts of over 20 people are going to be seen…again. And isn’t this what filmmaking is all about—getting your work seen by the widest audience possible?
Being a filmmaker is not easy and it is certainly not for the faint at heart. If you bruise easy emotionally, are scared of your own shadow, hate hearing the word “no” or want a quick return on your investment, this is not the industry for you. But if you enjoy creating, seeing a written word turn into a visual presentation, working with teams of highly creative people and can be patient on the financial front (which can yield great returns), the process of making a film can be the most rewarding experience you’ll ever have.
But the reward of a finished film for cast, crew and audiences does not magically happen. Yes, this is where I plug our IndieGoGo campaign. As of this writing, we have had 3,289 views and 992 referrals. And while according to IndieGoGo our “GoGo” factor is up, we now need to turn these views and referrals into funders. Not sure yet about the quality of the motion picture we can deliver for $30,000? Check out Justice Is Mind: Evidence on Constellation.TV on February 2 at 8 PM EST. You’ll be glad you did.
To quote Jessie Landis in North by Northwest, “Roger, pay the $2.”