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
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:
To: "joseph pierson" <joseph(at)cypressfilms.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 9:07 PM
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
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
Tu es un policier! Ma foi!
Partner Got Shot By A Young Girl
Who Thinks She Is A Boy
(perfect for Hong Kong), or
Scent Of Autumn Patrol Cars
(that would be good for
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
final sign guy
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.
will premiere on November 14th at the
on sale now!
our FILM FESTIVAL PAGE for details
To buy our original September 11th memorial
All profits go to charity.
© 2002 Cypress
Films, Inc. All rights reserved.