Stop what you're doing, right now, and watch this video

These guys are talking about what the best of internet marketers realised a few years ago – the community and the conversation is what drives sales.
Ryan Koo, in this video, also says it, but not so clearly:
Building an email list is everything

You have to capture the people who visit your site/page/blog/whatever. Otherwise there is no reason to have them come. You will need them later on.

Over the past 5 years I have been studying and using these techniques for non film related projects and coming back to the film world I am shocked that people are just starting to figure this out.

Anyway, please watch it, learn it and do it.

I looked at the numbers being tossed around in this piece and all I could say was…

I looked at the numbers being tossed around in this piece and all I could say was 'Jesus Christ that's a great ROI!'.

God’s Not Dead, budget: $2m, gross: $60m
Son of God, gross: $59m
Heaven Is For Real, budget: $12m, gross: $91m

Who said that niche entertainment can't be a good investment? If you keep your budget in check with the built in audience, I think niche is the way to go!

Bible Flicks Move Beyond the B-List
When it comes to Hollywood and films about faith, God and mammon are both finding devotees.

If you want to see a powerful, moving, trailer go over to MidwayFilm

It really is well done and I think emotionally moving and compelling.
And then note that the trailer is from 2012. And this is their second website, the first is from 2010 and talking about filming.
They talk about going into post production in 2012…and again mention it somewhere in 2013.

This was a partially crowdfunded (in a fashion) documentary, that, from what I can see would be worth watching. But it has disappeared.

Their FaceBook page has a post from a few months back about deciding to re-cut with an eye to a fall 2014 release. 


Both elegy and warning, Midway explores the interconnectedness of species, with the albatross on Midway as mirror of our humanity.

Oh, you have to love indie producers

They will pretty much do anything to promote their film… good for them! That includes tying it to the star of a film you think is the spawn of your own personal devil.

Case in point this film, 'Old Fashioned'. Funded by a Christian finance firm, they are attempting to spin themselves into a David vs Goliath story – with '50 Shades of Grey' as the Goliath. 
God knows (ha ha!) how but they got themselves into Variety. The Variety story has a great quote:
“I wanted to tell a love story that takes the idea of Godly romance seriously”. Seriously?
The Variety piece  even features a shot of….Dakota Johnson from 50 Shades!
At the end of it, I am not sure if it is more press for 50 Shades, or whether this strategy works for the indie film. Because, next February, will anyone remember the indie is coming out? Sustained PR is the only way that is going to happen. Personally I think that 6 months lead time is waaaaay too much for an indie film. 6 weeks or less, surely, is going to be more effective.

As with all indie's I wish them well… if the film is good. Bad indie films (which sadly is a high percentage) do little more than scare normal people away from ever watching another indie.

Now…what was the name of the indie film again?

’50 Shades of Grey’ Gets a Religious Twist: Godly Romance Movie Hopes to Challenge Erotic Film at Box Office
“Old Fashioned,” a religious romance movie will be released same day as “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Really interesting article from indie filmmaker Zak Forsman about his experience…

Really interesting article from indie filmmaker Zak Forsman about his experience with piracy of his movie Down and Dangerous.
I'm going to investigate some of the techniques he describes here (watermarking, frame insertion, etc) and try to write a 'how to' article on it.

I strongly recommend every indie filmmaker read this one!

I Made a Movie Worth Stealing: My Experience with Piracy
One director shares his experience with movie piracy, how he tried to prevent it, how it happened, and what he learned from it.

Interesting, if flawed, article about using 'big data' for indie film development…

Interesting, if flawed, article about using 'big data' for indie film development and promotion.

I'd point to an article I posted earlier in the week about IBM's SSI experiments in Bollywood as a possible signpost to the future.

Large data sets are no longer unwieldy, or unobtainable. The clever part is knowing a) what metrics to apply and b) how to appropriately act on the findings.

To elaborate:
Building the tools are easy. There's even a course on Coursera about Machine Learning. What is really tough is figuring out what metrics to apply. Machine Learning is about take values x and y and being able to predict z. Give me the x and y and I'll build to tools.

And, once you've discovered the 'z'… what do you do then? In the age of privacy, knowing patterns is usually only helpful when you can identify types of people, not individuals.

There is already a great tool available that gives you a peak into the biggest user data collection on the planet – and lets you market to it. It's called Facebook Ads. With Facebook Ads you can say 'show this ad to people who are, or might be, interested in xyz'. It's an incredible powerful advertising platform, greatly under-utilised (like almost everything!) by indie filmmakers, mostly due to them not knowing its there.

One day I will write a book 'Internet Marketing Principles for the Indie Filmmaker'.

Anyway…read the article. He's a Raindance Masters mentor.

Does Big Data Matter to Indie Filmmakers?
In the age of the internet, a rapidly growing ocean of data is being generated, collected, and in some cases used by marketers to target customers. And it isn’t just active online user behavior that is being mined by market…

Second local news story about indie filmmakers comes from Texas, USA. 

The film is “A Shade of Dawn", written and directed by Adam Vermillion.

I know I'm a cynic, but, there's always something kind of tragic in these local news pieces. You want to wish them well, but you know the odds. It's like The Hunger Games.

The film was shot mostly in Adam's home…and such hot locations as 'Cartridge World'. Being a geek, I initially thought printer cartridge, but this being Texas maybe it's shotgun cartridge!

The film is on Amazon on DVD and has been shown in a local church.

How many films a year are churned out like this that we don't hear about? (That is actually one of the reasons I write these pieces. These guys deserve some support!)

Film made in Longview out on DVD
Longview writer and director Adam Vermillion waited a long time to make his first movie, but that dream was realized in “A Shade of Dawn,” a full-length film available on DVD on Amazon.

A couple of great local articles about local filmmakers have crossed my email this…

A couple of great local articles about local filmmakers have crossed my email this morning.

The first is from New Zealand called "The Z-Nail Gang" written and directed by Anton Steel.
Two things of note:
1) It is a 'no budget' feature that, it intimates at the end of the article, will go into distribution in NZ ("It will then be widely available throughout the country by August 28."), which is awesome! That is a significant accomplishment for any filmmaker.
2) There is a town in NZ called Te Puke.

The movie sounds interesting, about a community resisting big business.

Te Puke Times: Movie premiere ready to roll – Bay of Plenty Times – Bay of Plenty Times News
It is not a low-budget film, it’s a no-budget one. The excitement of today’s premiere belongs to the locals who all enabled the film to be made. KYLIE DELLABARCA, The Z-Nail Gang – Bay of Plenty Times