TIFF 2011: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Wow. What a week! We went, we saw, we hobnobbed, we felt incredibly awkward at times and felt incredibly great at times. What a ride, what a trip, what a sleepless week! Matthew Willson, star of the film and my boyfriend (score!) went to the Producer's Ball - it looked A-MAZING! Unfortunately for me, there were no "plus-one's" - whateves, I got the swag bag with MAC makeup, awesome treats and a waterbottle that I love, love, love! Parties aside, we worked our cans off pimping out Skinning the Cat all week long. Meetings, meetings and more meetings - a lot of the times, with people we've never met before and had to find in a room that was full of people all doing the same thing - looking to make a deal. We did pretty good! Nothing concrete yet, but we got a lot of leads and fresh ideas for international distribution. I've got more to say, but it's late here and I'm tired, so it'll have to wait until my next post. Thanks for being here ... I know you're out there, and love that we're in this together. Follow me on Facebook! Check out the link below and until then ... happy film watching!
One Small Step ...
This isn't just our first blog post. This is a virtual victory lap. A "we did it!" moment. A stop at the store and pick up a bottle of sauvignon blanc to sip on as I sit here writing this post kind of thing.
First and foremost, to quote some of the best, "What a long, strange trip it's been." And we're not even half way there!
Independent film distribution is hard. HARD. But for all you indie film warriors, lovers, fighters and workers, heed these words: It can be done.
The world of film is, particularly to me, a foreign place where I don't speak the language. Who am I? I'm the girlfriend of one of the lead actors in a film called Skinning the Cat. What's my role? To lead the marketing/sales/distribution/acquisition charge. What do I know about this? Not a hell of a lot.
By day, I work in the communications field, so the marketing and communications background, I thought, would make this an easy task. I laugh at my naive ignorance now. I'll give you a moment to compose yourself. There. Better?
Carrying on. I started with a classic issue: I didn't know where to start. So, after talking with those involved in the making of Skinning the Cat, anyone I could find who'd ever been involved in the film industry in some capacity, good old google.com and my peeps in the communications world, I decided that a natural starting point was to research all the film, distribution, acquisition, sales, satellite, cable, etc. companies that I could find in local, national and international markets and grab contact information for each and every one of them.
Not exactly a walk in the park ... I'd liken it more to a military crawl through quicksand ... in the rain ... but I digress.
"Now I've got this in the bag," I thought after assembling a beautifully laid out spreadsheet made up of the companies, their websites, email addresses, phone numbers and contact names. "The hard part is done."
After creating a clever, enticing email message, taking the time to craft an equally compelling press release, and giving myself a hearty pat on the back for being so darn great, I was ready. Simply cut and paste my message into individual emails, attach the press release and a link to the movie's trailer, and voila! Send and done. Send and done ... except ... it took for-ev-ver to get these sent. And it was boring. Dreadfully, mind-numbingly boring.
But I kept sending. Okay, I have to be honest with you. After doing this for a few hours a night for a couple of weeks, I hired someone to take over the reins and free me up to do other things. Best. Decision. Ever!
For every 25 we sent out, one or two would be interested and ask us to send along a screener. Some would be pretty disheartened by that, but the way I saw it, even just one interested person was a victory. So, I'd get the screener ready with the press release, package them up and send them out, every time thinking. "maybe this will be the one."
I'm still waiting for "the one" and this is going to sound pretty far-fetched, but I am more motivated than I was three months ago. I am excited. I believe the right fit is out there, and we're going to find it. It may be through our grassroots marketing campaign, it may be via self-distribution and promotion of our new presence here on filmbinder.com, or it may be through a festival showing. I don't know what it will be that ends up giving Skinning the Cat its legs, but I damn well believe it will happen.
And you know what? I'll take what I can get.
So, welcome. Thanks for being here with me, and sharing in the second phase of our independent film journey. I hope you check back and connect with us often. I appreciate the company.
Want to chat? Great! Connect with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Skinning-The-Cat/104254219626747
Next posting: Week of August 29, 2011