Marketing planet Earth one project at a time.

Posts tagged “the Senate

Five Year Mission

Gail Sullivan as Helen Granger with Robin Ann Rapoport as Margaret Miller in Justice Is Mind.

Gail Sullivan as Helen Granger with Robin Ann Rapoport as Margaret Miller in Justice Is Mind.

No this post isn’t about the five year mission about the Starship Enterprise (I love Star Trek), it’s about the concept, development, launch and marketing of an independent feature film called Justice Is Mind.

With our second anniversary screening coming up on August 18 at Cinemagic, it’s hard to believe that five years has gone by since I first started to write the screenplay.  From the screenplay, to the short film Evidence to the feature Justice Is Mind, it is a journey I would do again in a heartbeat.

Charles Laughton and Walter Pidgeon in Advise & Consent (1962).

In the Senate. Charles Laughton and Walter Pidgeon in Advise & Consent (1962).

This past week Gail Sullivan who plays Helen Granger in Justice Is Mind commented on Facebook, “How many movies are showing after two years? Just the classics, which means this one is definitely a classic!” Those words meant a lot.  But it also meant something else that’s very important to remember, just because a film is released once and isn’t part of the “studio system” doesn’t mean that it can’t be released again and again.

Visiting the replica of the Senate at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate last weekend.

Visiting the replica of the Senate at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate last weekend.

Will Justice Is Mind become a true classic? Only time will tell. But the glorious thing about filmmaking now is that video on demand makes longevity possible.  Gone are the days when a film is made and forgotten (unless it develops a cult like following). For me, it’s all about discovery.  While I love contemporary independent films like The King’s Speech and The Imitation Game, it’s classics like Laura and Advise & Consent that are true finds for me.  Then there is my passionate interest in 1950s science fiction (add The 27th Day to my list). But in the here and now there is Justice Is Mind to market.

This past week I finished up my interviews with the regional press. What will they report on? That’s up to them. But like I said last week, I try to always provide some sort of newsworthy hook. From the concept of the film, our screenings to date, the anniversary and the development of the sequel In Mind We Trust, all the reporters had their own take.

CombinePoster-page-0

One asked if I would have done anything differently. Yes, there is one thing. I wouldn’t have wasted good money listening to “experts” about film festival submissions, I would have just planned a theatrical release from day one. Thankfully, I got wind of the festival world before our world premiere so I started working feverishly on our theatrical release in the summer of 2013. If you want to read an excellent article about the film festival world, check out this article.  Bottom line, unless it’s a film market (Toronto, etc.), I’d much rather have my film screen in theaters dedicated to my film (with audiences paying for tickets) rather than having to play in a chorus with others. Sorry, I’m an “independent” filmmaker.

So as I continue to work on the final leg of the marketing and public relations push for Justice Is Mind’s second anniversary screening on August 18 at Cinemagic, I’m reaching the apex of the screenplay I’m adapting from the book Winds of Fall. Actually, that’s timing pretty good for a first draft to be finished by the fall.

The mission continues.

Justice is mind-page-0


The Senate

In the sequel to Justice Is Mind, McCarthy era-like hearings take place.

In the sequel to Justice Is Mind, McCarthy era-like hearings take place.

As I am in the throes of writing the sequel to Justice Is Mind I’ve moved my weekly blog post to Monday. On the weekends I do my most intense writing. The weekdays are largely reserved for marketing, research and the consulting work I do.  That research this past week took me back to the Joseph McCarthy era hearings. Let’s pray that our country never has to live through that time again.

Writing the sequel to Justice Is Mind has been an interesting experience. Yes, I wrote the sequel to First World, but as the first installment hasn’t been produced yet, adjustments can still be made without disrupting the canonicity of the story. As some may have noticed, I set up a variety of character and plot points that will carry over to the sequel.

What happens to the characters in the sequel.

What happens to the characters in the sequel.

By example, in part one we establish that Margaret Miller is a journalist of some note with a book by the name of “Posted: Social Secrets of the Government” that has caused some sort of political stir. In the sequel we see just what that stir is about. I also established that while Henri Miller was shot, he wasn’t killed. Dr. Eve Pullman has been recalled to Germany by Reincar Scientific. Judge Wagner has been appointed to the FISA Court and Constance Smith and John Darrow find themselves, yet again, front and center in the legal and ethical malaise of the FVMRI procedure. For me, I look at the logical extensions of the characters to see where they may go along with new characters we meet along the way. It’s safe to say that the intelligence apparatus of the United States falls squarely into the sequel.

In SOS United States, what will the President do when he learns that a nuclear bomb may be on an ocean liner heading to the United States.

In SOS United States, what will the President do when he learns that a nuclear bomb may be on an ocean liner heading to the United States.

But in the end of all of this, there is the marketing and promotion. It has been WELL over a year since Justice Is Mind had its world premiere, but  marketing continues on a daily basis.  I was more than elated when I discovered this morning that Justice Is Mind’s weekly MovieMeter on IMDB jumped our listing to 10,989 out of over 3.1 million entries!  Not only is this our highest placement on IMDB, but it also proves that the collective marketing efforts of the last couple of years are seeing positive results.

I do the same thing for First World and SOS United States. Getting “discovered” in this business doesn’t really happen anymore unless you let people know about your project. The old adage “if you build it they will come”, doesn’t work without promotion and marketing. How we wish as a creative we could just write, produce, direct or act and then wait for the accolades, the lists, the press and the audience to find us.

When I was reading in IndieWire this morning about a film that was accepted into Sundance, I was particularly surprised by one of the comments that someone just wants to write and not produce. That’s all well and good if you just a want to write and have your work optioned, but in the real world of independent filmmaking you just have to wear many hats. What’s great is that the trades like the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, The Wrap, Deadline and IndieWire provide a wealth of information for filmmakers to make their own mind up on what’s best for their project because each project is different.

Next witness.

In First World, we learn that the United Nations Security Council has long known about an alien presence on Earth.

In First World, we learn that the United Nations Security Council has long known about an alien presence on Earth.