Monday, May 31, 2010


We’re officially a week away from our World Premiere, and things are kicking into high gear. Our publicist started sending out press releases last week, and we’ve already gotten write-ups in Pretty/Scary, Fatally Yours, Horror Movies & Stuff, 28 Days Later Analysis, and a cool article in L’Ecran Fantistique sandwiched between “The Hobbit” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Pretty amazing that a little movie we made in Barbara’s backyard could end up in the same news feed as those two.

It’s a good start, but none of this happened by itself. It’s a DIY world in today’s film industry. Even our friends who have gotten their films distributed can’t count on having someone else doing a marketing campaign. In short, it’s up to us. If you’ve done creative work, YOU are going to be in charge of getting it out there.

The good news is, it’s easier and cheaper than ever to spread the word about your movie. Here are several FREE options we’ve done to make people aware of “Fugue”:

- Started this blog, which we (mostly) update regularly.
- Started a Twitter account
- Created a Facebook fan page
- Wrote a press release and sent it to the above websites

Then there’s the marketing for which we’ve shelled out a little dough:

- Hired a designer to create an awesome poster
- Used that design to fashion a website
- Printed posters
- Printed 1000 postcards

All of the above cost less than $1000, which is pretty amazing in today’s marketplace. But we wouldn’t have gotten that price if we hadn’t been willing to do a lot of it ourselves. Juliane, our production designer/co-producer, offered to learn HTML so we wouldn’t have to pay someone to make a website. Barbara and I took turns sending the press release to various websites. And we all banded together to shoot photos of Abby that ended up creating the poster.

You have to be willing to put 100% into it, for no pay. If you don’t love it that much, how can you convince anyone else to give you 90 minutes of their time? Look at everything we have to compete with: TV, studio movies, sleep. To make people notice your little movie, you have to be willing to go the extra mile.

Or the extra six miles. That’s how much I walked on Friday, hand-delivering our postcards to various spots around Los Angeles. I hit the Third Street Promenade, trod the breadth and length of the entire UCLA campus, and papered the Sunset Laemmle with our postcards. We also recruited friends and family members to leave postcards in Sherman Oaks, USC, Cal State LA, and the Hollywood area.

It’s really not clear how much this will translate into actual butts in the seats on Sunday, but the real goal is to expand awareness of “Fugue.” If we pass out 1000 postcards, get 100 people to visit the website/watch the trailer, and get 10 people to see the movie, then that’s pretty good. More importantly, getting people talking about it will drive up our web traffic, and will expand our profile.

It seems to be working: our website traffic spiked 235% last week, and our IMDB pages nearly doubled in visits. Hopefully we’ll keep getting good reactions once people watch the movie. Because when it comes to independent film, you have to be awesome just to stand out from the pack.

1 comment:

  1. just a tip for getting those numbers up on Facebook. Try posting links and news about things related to the interest of your audience and not just about your film. People do get tired of only seeing news about you, you, you.

    Who is your audience? (not just horror lovers, not just men-women etc that is too broad) Think of what else you can offer them to enhance their lives that also adds value to your film's presence. The film is psychological/paranormal in nature so what other incidents have happened similar to what goes on in the movie? How is one scarred by trauma that could cause them to see strange disturbances? Things like that.

    Ultimately, you engagement presence should contain very little about you (or your project) and mostly about them, your audience if you want them to pay attention. Otherwise it is only one long advertisement, no one stays interested in that very long.

    You've accomplished a lot of recognition in a little time. kudos. Also monitor who is talking about you and comment back to them when they do, to acknowledge their mention and show appreciation for it. Google Alerts for the film will do this.

    It is a long haul to support a movie (as you know) so power on and best of luck on the screening!