It just hit me this morning that we have completed this film. I cried because I was happy, we had done it. I cried because it was finished. I was sad the journey was over – but is it?
Yesterday, I hand delivered the first DVD to someone in the “business” who could really help me as I face the next step – getting the film “out there”. That’s the hard part – coming up with a plan to give this film legs. What would have been the point of my daughter and I traveling all around the world, creating a film about people making a difference that could motivate others to action – if people don’t see it?
I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, sending DVD’s to film festivals, outreach directors and potential distributors. I will be networking with everyone I know as far as making the rights connections with people who can help us get our film out there so that we can achieve what we set out to do- turn this film into a ground swell of action.
Here are some thoughts of what we’d like to do with this film. Start thinking about people you know who could help us realize these goals.
• Submit to film festivals to create awareness and publicity for the film. Festivals are very competitive but I believe our film is a strong contender. If the film is selected for a festival, then we will want to find a sponsor and make an event out of it and/or have a “premiere screening” in that city to coincide with the festival. It’s a cost effective way to do a premiere and the audience is already there.
• Have community screenings that would be “move to action” events. This could take place in a variety of venues, from schools to churches, with the filmmakers present or not. It could be a community fundraiser, centered on the screening of the film. Generally, filmmakers hire outreach directors or bookers to find these venues and matches. This can be a win/win where the filmmakers have a chance to recoup their costs and the community raises money for their cause. In our case, we can also structure it so that our subjects’ causes receive a percentage.
• Have screenings at universities. This is something that I would love to do – show the film with a Q&A to students. The film could really make an impact with young people who are just starting out in life. If anyone knows people who book college activities – let me know.
• Theatrical screenings. This takes money. But it can lead to rewards – including the academy awards. My executive Angel Burns is confident we can do this. Essentially, there needs to be theatrical bookings in LA and NYC, well publicized with mandated advertising in the NY and LA newspapers. We may need to do another fundraiser ourselves or find a sponsor to make this happen.
• Broadcast. Maybe the best way to get eyeballs on it. Anyone with contacts at OWN (Oprah’s network), Oxygen or Lifetime – viable candidates for this documentary or even a TV docu reality series? Imagine how refreshing that would be to see on TV – a series about people making a positive difference in the world – instead of watching yet again another show about the worst in human nature.
This film has had an amazing effect on our lives. We’ve traveled the world, seen our name in lights on a theater marquee and met extraordinary people along the way. In fact it seems like we are like magnets, attracting just the right people into our lives at just the right time. First of all we “found” all our amazing subjects who brought tremendous value to our lives – we learned so much from them. We found our executive producer, Angel Burns – or shall I say, she found me when I spoke in LA at a “photocine” event about creating a documentary with no money. I found the perfect editor, Erik Freeland who brought his wonderful vision to this film and made us look good, and Maria Grillo, a graphic designer in Chicago who designed our logo and overall look. I have another friend, Ally Raye who put together a great “deck” and “sizzle” for a TV pitch for me. I can’t even imagine what life was like before these people came into my life. This film just seems to have some inexplicable power of connecting people.
If you know anyone who is good with marketing and PR, or works in broadcast or knows a sponsor who would be a perfect match and could infuse some financial support to this project, please let us know.
Like one of our subjects, Marian Kramer said, “We’ve got to shine each other up”.