Wednesday  October 16, 2002


Lovisa's poster design

Lovisa and Lisa and I have spent the past couple of weeks thinking a lot about how to make the AFI Fest a significant event for us and EvenHand. If it's true that you only get one shot at this (and I believe it is), then you better make it a good one.

The first challenge is making people aware of your film's existence and getting them to want to see it. This is easy if you have a studio film -- you simply send Denzel Washington or Tom Hanks or Julia Roberts out on a press junket to say how much fun they had making the film and hand all the TV journalists copies of the slick EPK making-of video. Julia then flirts a bit with Dave Letterman, shows a clip and bingo, it's another gazillion dollar smash hit. It's a little bit different for an indie film with no stars and a promotional budget of a few hundred dollars. This is also a film festival, not a 3,000 theater release.

So, who is your audience and how do you get them in the seats? While it's essential, I think, to have an audience of viewers without an agenda, it's also a huge priority to have a good representation of studio and industry personnel at the premiere. The former assure that you will get an honest reaction to your film; the latter are the ones with the power to ensure that more of the former get a chance to have that reaction.

Lovisa on the production line

The postcard, a communication device dating from the turn of the last century, is still a great way to get the word out. We tried to come up with a design that will accurately reflect the tone of the film, and also pique the interest of the potential buyers and get them to want to show up. I'm really happy with the results; time will tell if they have the intended effect. If you're reasonably sure you're not on our mailing list and you want to see the snappy postcards that Lovisa and I designed, please click on the Mail Guy to e-mail Lovisa and we will mail one to you.

Rubber stamps are the future

In addition to the postcards we have also designed posters, one-sheets, T-shirts and stickers. All have a consistent graphic style that is perfect for creating and promoting a unique identity for our film. As a friend who works for a distribution company said, "You want the buyers to be inspired to think about how they're going to promote your film, not if they might buy it."

The basis for Lovisa's graphics was the patch that she designed for the film (above). We decided to use the same color palate (courtesy of the San Antonio Police Department) and graphic style for everything. The result is a bunch of easily identifiable promotional items that will dazzle all who see them and encourage a stampede to the doors of theatre #10 at the ArcLight on November 14th at 9:15 PM. We hope.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

In other news, I thought I'd share the viewpoint of a colleague who is one of the few to have seen the ENTIRE film so far:

From: "BXC" <bruno1(at)>
To: "joseph pierson" <joseph
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 9:07 PM
Subject: EvenHand

Dear Joe:

One of the many good things about EvenHand is that it doesn't feel remotely like a film calculated to capitalize on any disproportionately large star factor (Christian Slater) or "approved" indy genre (romantic comedy) -- EvenHand is totally its own thing, funny in parts, but serious inside, and engaging and believable throughout.

The good editing made a difference and the reshoots filled the gaps but looking at it now, the truth is that you got very, very good performances from everyone right from the beginning and it was those performances which mapped out the path for the editing and the reshoots. I have always felt that to get the good performances, you need to settle the actors in a studio or at least in a central location which they can return to for several days in a row.  EvenHand disproves this; you got the performances in all the different locations; there was no studio; my guess is that a less experienced director would have ended up with unusably variable performances. So the more I think about it, the more impressed I am.

A still from Stuff that Bear!, Bruno's latest film

Now, for EvenHand, you have to decide what name to give it in foreign territories.  Here I list some classic foreign version titles (forgive the repetition, I just think they are excellent, excellent titles for films):

So, You Are A Lawyer
(Hong Kong title for "Interview With A Vampire")

Oh No!  My Girl Friend Has A Penis!
(Taiwanese Title for "The Crying Game")

EvenHand could be called:

(in Britain, to capitalize on the Austin Powers phenomenon), or

Zut alors! Tu es un policier! Ma foi!

My Partner Got Shot By A Young Girl
Who Thinks She Is A Boy

(perfect for Hong Kong), or

The Scent Of Autumn Patrol Cars
(that would be good for Vietnam), or

Blue Doughnuts
(enigmatic Japanese title)

Seriously now, good luck in LA.  I am off to Bucharest to pick up my rushes (which have been custom encoded by none other than Walter Murch onto DVDs for use in my Incredibly Inexpensive Non-Linear Editing Station Which Will Put Avid Out Of Business Forever).  Now, if I can just find the sound guys... what? they FORGOT TO PUSH RECORD??????   menny muches, Bruno

The final sign guy

Please stay tuned for the big splashy redesign of the EvenHand website (another cheap way to shamelessly draw attention to ourselves), and don't hesitate to follow the link below and reserve your tickets for the premiere.

- Joseph Pierson

EvenHand will premiere on November 14th at the

Tickets on sale now!

Visit our FILM FESTIVAL PAGE for details

To buy our original September 11th memorial T-shirt, CLICK HERE.
All profits go to charity.

next:  FAT COP

Copyright 2002 Cypress Films, Inc. All rights reserved.