Ask Not What Your Audience Can Do For You – But What You Can Do For Your Audience

Part 2 of How to Make Money in the Age of Abundance When I wrote the first post in this series, I thought this would only be a two-parter, but I decided to expand this to a 4-part series because of a little voice in my head that said I needed to talk about audience engagement more. Yes, I said in Part 1 that I wasn’t going to address it in this series because I had addressed it before – sue me. The truth is, audience engagement is so central to this whole process that I needed to add my evolving thoughts on it. I think you’ll appreciate my change of heart. Audience engagement is a term that I have recently come to use interchangeably with “distribution and marketing.” What else is distribution and marketing... More

The Importance of Events in Your Career Toolkit

This week’s TOTBO video concerns the importance of redefining the nature of theatrical. In this clip I speak about how creating a “live event” for your film can be an essential aspect of your film’s release. As I’ve said before I feel that theatrical must be redefined as live event/theatrical. Eventually I feel the term theatrical will be dropped and people will only refer to events. I emphasize live and event because I feel that those are truly the essential nature of screening your film in public – that it is a unique communal experience unavailable anywhere else. That is what is going to motivate people to see the film live – not just the fact that it is in a theater playing Fri-Thur. Events... More

Excerpt: Insiders Guide To Independent Film Distribution

Excerpt from “Insiders Guide To Independent Film Distribution” (2nd Edition, Focal Press) by Stacey Parks. Available in paperback and kindle versions at www.FilmSpecific.com/Book. Interview With Filmmaker Jon Reiss On Target Audience Q: Tell us about Target Audience and what will happen if a filmmaker doesn’t identify this early on in the process? A: To me a target audience is one of the niches that exist in the world that would be interested in your film (or anything that you do).   A niche is a group of people focused on a particular interest.  They are accessible.  You can afford to market to them. For instance in the case of my film “Bomb It”, one of the niche audiences is graffiti writers and street artists.  Another niche... More

Keys to a Successful Film Launch Pt 1

Keys to a Successful Film Launch Pt  1 By Jon Reiss and Sheri Candler For the past six months, my company, Hybrid Cinema, has been working on the release of Bob Hercules’s new documentary film Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance,about the history of the Joffrey ballet. This is a capsule post to explain the highlights of launching a documentary into the marketplace when working with a modest budget. Future posts will go more in depth on certain aspects of this release. With at least 35,000 feature films on the film festival circuit every year, by some estimates, very few films are going to premiere at one of the top 5 film festivals.   When that happens, filmmakers need to decide what is the best launch for their film.   We concluded that... More

An Innovative Launch for Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance

An Innovative Launch for Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance By Jon Reiss For the past four months, my company Hybrid Cinema has been working on the release of the new film Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance directed by Bob Hercules about the history of the Joffrey ballet. I will be writing a number of posts outlining the unique path that I and my partner on this release, Sheri Candler have taken to release this documentary about the history of the groundbreaking dance company The Joffrey Ballet. In my book Think Outside the Box Office and in subsequent posts, I have written about the advantages and challenges of launching a film after its world– premiere festival. Many filmmakers have complained that they can never recapture the... More