Marketing Science, Sex and the Ladies - Press Kits, DVDs, and Festivals, Oh My!

May I just take a moment and give you all out there a little bit of an overview about what is going on here in SSL land. I figure this blog is partially about the experiences and so forth of making this independent movie, so maybe I should catch you up on the background work from time to time.

This is AnC...posed for the camera (on a timer). This was for our 2012 AnC Holiday Card

I would put our current state of affairs squarely in the 'press kit hell' zone...well kinda. I actually like the press kit part. I mean it is time consuming as hell and tedious and it feels like I am never going to get things finished and out in the time frame I was hoping for. That's all true for sure, but I could say that for every single part of the movie making process - it always takes forever, consumes my life, and involves an annoyingly large amount of attention to detail...and I feel like I'm on the brink of failing at every step. It's all terrible, but you know, not really that bad. The whole movie making process is also one where I feel creative and excited, where there's constant fun bullshitting with people I like. I laugh a lot and make new friends and feel like I'm doing something that I want to do. It's very satisfying actually, and the press kit part of the process is really no different. I would say, though, that it has a slight advantage in that at this stage, I know that we've succeeded in making a movie that we are proud of (otherwise we wouldn't be promoting it). So, maybe I should say we're in press kit heaven...or maybe purgatory is a better description...yeah, cause it does feel like I'll be pushing this damn movie for the next quadrillion years. It's gonna be slow process. I'm in for the long game. The way I see it, endurance is the key when promoting a movie by nobodies from nowhere with no one famous in it and about a subject that is not for discussion in polite company.

So, point being we're doing press kits. We had to get some out to Louisville and Minneapolis for the festivals pretty quickly since the turnaround time between finding out you're in and the festival dates are often closer than you think. We didn't get elaborate for this one. We just went with a basic package containing a DVD and a simple color printing on paper - mostly leading people to our more detailed online press kit. We always do snail mailers though for press kits, but have clear direction to easy online content also. We assume people pay more attention to a package, but want their info easily accessible online.

For our Indy premiere in November (details soon btw), however, and for future press kits, we are creating something more elaborate. It's how we do. We like them to be unique, handmade-ish things that almost feel like a weird little piece of art (with clear and pertinent information, of course). These that we're conjuring up now will involve lots of strangely designed business cards, a lovely box (not that kind...although it may be pink...), ribbon, and lots of other surprises. The brainstorming and research that went into this is kinda stupid, although the three of us at AnC are pretty damn good at this kind of shit. In an odd way, we are like a well oiled machine for these things. We price shop, shoot down each other's ideas, make new ones, go through scenarios, and it's long and involved and kinda hard, but we always have a blast doing these. I'll put up some pics when we're done with them.

So, just for some nuts and bolts of our lives here. Here's the stuff that's been on our to-do list the past few weeks.

Pre-work for press kits

  • update online press kit (add festival laurels, ad events, add press quotes and links to reviews)
  • update SSL movie site
  • burn lots of DVDs (we use blank DVDs pre-printed with the SSL logo)
  • create DCP and Blue Ray exhibition copies of SSL
  • investigate possible places to send press kits
  • assemble contact names, email, and mailing addresses

Paper press kits for Minneapolis and Louisville
  • design work for quick paper press kit
  • write copy 
  • investigate possible places to send press kits
  • go to post office and mail them
  • follow up through email with individualized letter a week later

Indianapolis premiere 
  • investigate possible venues / visit venues
  • negotiate details of event with venue
  • create online ticket purchasing site to sell tickets through
  • Send ticket and movie info to venue for their site

Indianapolis Press Kits

  • Investigate pricing for boxes, cards, etc and create budget
  • order all pieces
  • write copy for all pieces of press kit
  • design work for all cards, stickers, etc
  • create individual cover letters for each press kit
  • assembly line for press kits
  • go to post office and mail them
  • follow up through email with individualized letter a week later

  • enter 3 festivals (these bitches can get expensive, so we just try to enter a few at a time, but consistently do so)
  • investigate blogs, etc that may have an interest in reviewing SSL and query them (this takes a lot of searching and a lot of writing personalized emails to people you don't know)
  • communication with people hosting small group showings (sending DVDs, following-up, etc)
  • dealing with needs for more data space (cause we made this huge, space eating movie)
  • discuss next script (ya gotta keep moving forward, right?)

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