Handy Resources for Indie Filmmakers

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Following the success of our blog post featuring PR and digital marketing resources for indie filmmakers, we’re back with even more general resources! These are things that are too good not to share. After all, it’s all about working smarter, not harder. Here’s some resources we stumbled across recently that we think you’ll like:

Distribution expert Peter Broderick recently taught a masterclass about the New World of Film Distribution at NZ’s Big Screen Symposium 2017, and it was hugely informative. Thankfully, you don’t have to have attended the session to make the most of his information- check out his post on the New World of Film Distribution HERE.

Want to know what types of low budget films break out? film industry Stephen Follows and Founder of The Numbers, Bruce Nash, bring you a comprehensive report that is well worth reading.

For people in the NZ film industry, ScreenSpace is a free website which acts as a classified ads service for people in the industry. Hire/sell equipment and services, post jobs (crew jobs, acting, etc), and more.

Jonathan and Kieran, the creators of ScreenSpace say: “After always struggling to find either a location, cast member, crew member or piece of gear on every shoot we’ve had, we decided to start ScreenSpace to make it easier for New Zealand filmmakers to connect and collaborate – sharing both their resources and expertise. A service by filmmakers for filmmakers to find what they want, when they need it, and for a reasonable price.”

Another excellent resource for NZ filmmakers is Showtools, a cloud-based production system which makes the production process easier. Better yet, Showtools has easy pay-as-you go pricing…and short films are FREE. Keep track of work hours, crew and rentals, and share product information with everyone easily. It’s a smart, affordable resource to make your film production less stressful and more streamlined.

Whether you’re keen to enter your film into a festival, or need to know how the screening dates of prominent festivals could affect your release and/or the publication schedules for film media, check out this handy guide to key festivals and markets.

And finally- some shaaaaaaaaaameless self-promotion: at Film Sprites PR we’re currently taking on films (short and feature-length) for publicity and digital marketing in 2018. The best time to chat with us about PR and social media marketing for your film next year is right now in order to secure our services. From copywriting for your website and IMDb profile, right through to sourcing media placements (features/reviews/interviews) and social media marketing, we do it all. For the past 3.5 years we’ve provided 25+ filmmakers and their films publicity and digital marketing, and because we focus on independent film we know the media landscape and market for indie films. For more info, download our services pamphlet HERE.

Happy filmmaking, folks!

 

Beyond Screenings: The Other Advantages of Short Films

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At Film Sprites PR over the years we have had the great pleasure of working with a lot of filmmakers who wanted publicity and digital marketing for their short films. As a result, it’s safe to say we’ve developed a huge affinity for short films. There’s something very special about the short film format, and the filmmakers who are able to weave their vision into a shorter time space than a regular film. While it’s tempting to file away a juicy script and wait for the opportunity to turn it into a feature, there are some definite advantages to short films when it comes to cementing your place as a filmmaker. And if you’ve made (or are thinking about making) a short film, it has advantages beyond screenings. Here’s some of the advantages of making short films:

Some very well-known directors gained attention through short films: there’s a great list of well-known directors who gained attention thanks to the short film format, some of whom went on to turn their shorts into feature length films. Whether catching the eye of a well-known producer, or winning awards at a festival like Cannes, it’s not out of the realms of possibility that your short can really make its mark.

Short films can be great proof of concept for a feature film: so you decide that you don’t want to wait to turn that fantastic script into a feature, and so you pour everything into a short version. As mentioned above, some well-known directors ended up turning their shorts into features. A short film can serve as an excellent proof of concept when looking for investors for a feature length version. Whether you’re looking for private investment or via crowdfunding, your short film can show people exactly what your vision is, and what you and your team can do. Your short film can tantalize the audience enough that they are eager for a feature.

It can serve as a great crowdfunding perk: speaking of crowdfunding, your short film can be a great perk for donating to your campaign. You may decide to have it available as a VOD download via streaming to save on posting and packaging, but if you want to provide it as a physical perk via Blu-ray/DVD, be sure to include P+P in the perk range to cover the cost of shipping. It’s also worthwhile signing the physical copies, or having one or all of your actors signing it (especially if you have a well-known actor). Better yet, grab some photographs of the cast signing so you can use these on social media during your crowdfunding campaign.

There are excellent film festival opportunities for short films: the good thing about the digital age is that it has opened up opportunities for indie filmmakers to more easily submit their films to international festivals. And now there are more film festivals than ever, both web-based and location-based. There are also film festivals which cater to different genres and interests, from extreme sports film festivals through to horror and sci-fi festivals. It’s a good chance to connect with the target audience for your film, and have your work (and your name!) etched in their memory. Chances are, if they love it enough they will seek you out on social media to connect with your work and keep up to date with future films.

And most importantly- short films are enjoyable! Alfred Hitchcock once said that: “The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.” I shudder to think what he would think of modern features that veer towards the 3 hour mark! Short filmmakers are consummate masters at being able to weave a great story into a shorter timeframe. Do you leave the story unresolved at the end? Do you resolve it? The choice is yours. And sometimes the unresolved stories are the most delicious. Does that mean features can’t (and don’t) do the same? Not at all. But somehow, short filmmakers seem to craft their stories satisfyingly with less duration.
So don’t sell yourself short (pun intended) when it comes to your filmmaking. If you haven’t considered doing a short film, it’s definitely worth it. Short films can be incredibly satisfying for both your audience and yourself as a filmmaker.

Film Sprites PR: 2016 In Review

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It’s been a whirlwind of a year here at Film Sprites PR and we’ve had the pleasure of assisting so many wonderful filmmakers with publicity and digital marketing of their films at various stages of production. That being said, we want to take a look back at what the year was like for us. Grab a cuppa, sit back and find out what we got up to in 2016.

The year started for us with Life Off Grid, a Canadian documentary which explored the lives of Canadians who had chosen to build their lives around renewable energy. The film had a very special advanced screening at Academy Cinemas in Auckland, followed by a Q&A session with producer Phillip Vannini. Prior to the film we held a press junket so media could have a chat with Phillip.  You can read a great review of the film over at Cinemaddicts NZ.

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In February we rolled up our sleeves to assist with the Kickstarter for D.R Hood’s feature film THIS FAMILY. THIS FAMILY is the second feature film for writer/director D.R Hood, whose first feature Wreckers made its UK debut at the BFI London International Film Festival 2011, where it was nominated for best British debut. It would go on to win the Perspectives award at Moscow IFF 2012. Wreckers starred Shaun Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy. THIS FAMILY is currently in post-production and we’re tremendously excited about the future of the film. You can read an interview with D.R Hood over at the Turnabout Media website.

Speaking of crowdfunding campaigns, we also assisted Fall of the House Productions with their IndieGoGo campaign for Medusa’s Kitchen, the fourth short film in their Northern Line Series. The series is based around modern re-tellings of Greek myths and legends set along London’s Northern Line stations. It’s such a tremendously fun series and it was a delight to be able to help the team raise 101% at their crowdfunding campaign! You can see the first three films in the series here.

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Very recently we also had the great privilege of assisting young filmmaker Daphne Fischer with the Kickstarter for her short film Enough. We began providing digital marketing assistance for the campaign only 5 days away from the end of the campaign and by the end of the campaign the target of $6000 had not only been reached but a further $945 was raised. Enough aims to shed a light on the issues women face in regards to eating disorders and body image, so we were pleased to be able to assist a young female filmmaker to gain the funds she needed to make this story come to life.

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We have also had the great privilege of working with filmmakers we’ve worked with previously, continuing a great ongoing relationship where we could provide them with publicity and digital marketing of their films. We assisted Mad Shelley Films with the freeview month of their award-winning short film The Halloween Girl, and we are currently working on publicity and digital marketing for their up-coming limited series, Under The Flowers, which will debut January 15, 2017.

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We’ve also continued providing ongoing digital marketing and publicity for writer/filmmaker Oliver Park. His first short film, Vicious, continues to be a fan favourite and was even featured in this Buzzfeed article, 16 Terrifying Horror Movies You Can Watch in 20 Minutes or Less. His second short, STILL, has been on the film festival circuit this year, so watch this space for its public release in 2017!

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It was also great to provide digital marketing assistance to Adam Nelson’s short film Emotional Motor Unit. The film has been doing wonderfully at film festivals and has received glowing reviews.

Sometimes when it came to liaising with the media, it was us on the receiving end of interviews! This year Head Sprite Lynnaire was interviewed by Cinemaddicts NZ, Write Out of LA and the Young Women Entrepreneur’s Club. There are two new podcast interviews in the pipeline coming very soon.

2017 is going to be our third year of operation, and our biggest year yet. You can read about how we’re working to assist even more filmmakers in 2017 here.

A massive thank you to the media we connect with, the filmmakers we have the privilege of working with and supporting, as well as friends, family and supporters. We absolutely couldn’t do this without any of you and for that we’re grateful!

Film Sprites PR will be on summer vacation from December 14 2016 until January 14 2017.

Award-Winning Horror Short “The Halloween Girl” Free To View In October

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Halloween is almost upon us, but Mad Shelley Films is bringing horror fans a treat for the whole of October: their award-winning film The Halloween Girl is free to view on Vimeo and YouTube from October 1.

The Halloween Girl won a Gold Remi at the 49th annual Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival, and an Award of Merit in the Best Shorts Competition 2015 . The film was also a semi-finalist at Shiver 2016 and an official selection at the LA Independent Film Festival Awards in January 2016.
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Synopsis: Ten years after her tragic death on Halloween night, Charlotte begins to reappear to her mother, Marie, in a series of nightmares – or are they? Only adding to her distress is the news that her young son, Luke, now has a mysterious teenage friend he calls ‘The Halloween Girl’ – and her name is Charlotte. Has Charlotte really returned – and is Marie’s dark secret now in danger of being revealed…?

For more details, follow Mad Shelley Films on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

Watch With the Lights Off: Oliver Park Brings you Horror Shorts VICIOUS and STILL

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Film Sprites PR is thrilled to be working again with the multi-talented Oliver Park, actor writer and director. We have had the great privilege of working with Oliver since 2015 and since then he has written and directed the terrifying VICIOUS (which is now free to view on YouTube) and is now in post-production with the short horror follow up STILL.

Vicious has won eight awards internationally, including Gold Award for Best International Film at Toronto After Dark and Platinum Award at the LA Horror Competition. It was nominated for a further seven awards, including Melis d’Argent at Molins in Spain.

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VICIOUS centres around Lydia, whose sister Katie died in mysterious circumstances. When she returns home late one night to find her front door unlocked, a series of strange occurrences suggest she isn’t alone…

The first teaser trailer for STILL will be available online in the coming weeks, so make sure you keep up with all the news at the STILL Facebook page and via Twitter.