Check out the full gallery for Mondo’s GAME OF THRONES SXSW art show!
Our friends from Mondo are teaming up with HBO for an art show at SXSW based on the hit series GAME OF THRONES!
Marc Ferman of KeepItClassic.com
I had first heard rumblings about Tugg last year, not much more than just its basic concept. When I attended SXSW this past March I was hearing more about the new company and decided to check out Tugg.com and learn more. Being a HUGE film geek, the idea of bringing indie films that might not get a wide theatrical release, or classic films that I grew up with to the big screen here in Miami, Florida got me all types of excited.
Right after SXSW, I contacted Tugg and built a good working relationship with Alex Dobrenko, who I have now done two screenings with and am currently promoting my third. My first two Tugg films were THE FP which sold 54 tickets and COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN’S HOPE which sold 59.
Keep in mind that even though those do not seem like large numbers, it was my first time promoting Tugg screenings, which had never been done in Miami before and I did not give myself enough time to promote, which was one of the first things I learned: always give yourself enough time to promote a screening. A 30 day window would be ideal.
Even though I was not able to fill up my first two screenings, I still made sure those who attended had a good time. I even gave out prizes from companies I got to donate. For example, for COMIC-CON, I got a local comic book store to donate comic books for me to give out.
A Happy Comic-Con Crowd Shows Off Their Door-Prizes
For my upcoming ROBOCOP 25th Anniversary screening in Miami, Florida, I contacted NECA toys and they donated 6 collectable ROBOCOP figures which I can give out as a special prize during the screening. Adding those little extras to your Tugg screening helps make it a unique experience.
Going the extra mile, Marc created a personalized poster for his upcoming screening.
After Speaking with the theater manager, Marc’s poster was placed front and center at the guest services desk. Not every theater can do this, but it’s another great example of how a little initiative can go a long way.
Here are a few other things I have learned…
1) Location is key. Just like any business, you want to pick the theater that is easiest for your audience to get to, not what’s easiest for you. Just because you have a theater down the street from your house, does not mean the people in your social networks can get to that theater just as easily. Find out where the people you are promoting your screening to are located.
2) Posting on facebook and twitter is important, but that may not be enough. Make it personal. The first tickets you are most likely to sell are to people you know. Contact them, tell them what you are doing and try to convince them to support the event. More people will be willing to buy tickets once they see that they are actually starting to sell, so contact your friends first.
3) If tickets aren’t selling as quickly as you had hoped, don’t give up. It ain’t over till it’s over.
4) Get to the theater an hour beforehand to make sure everything is set. I learned this the hard way on my first event when I discovered the theater hadn’t cleaned the auditorium between shows.
5) Introduce the movie, thank the people for attending, and make sure they know how much you appreciate that they supported your screening.
Tugg is offering something great for movie-lovers, and I am very happy not only to be the first person to bring Tugg to Miami, but to be able to do more screenings in the future.
If you live in South Florida, make sure to grab tickets to my ROCOBOP 25TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING on June 21st here.
As independent filmmakers know, the work of getting your film seen can be as consuming a project as getting the film made in the first place—touring on the festival circuit, working with booking agents, locking down digital distribution, and in the case of documentary filmmakers, applying for grants that allow for the film to get in front of its intended audiences. We caught up recently with Austin-based filmmaker Heather Courtney during one such busy round of grant writing to talk about her upcoming screening of her acclaimed documentary, Where Soldiers Come From.
“It’s all kind of a blur,” says Courtney when asked about the various screenings the film has enjoyed recently. “I’ve had some for veterans’ groups, and of course we’ve worked with a booking agent to get it played. The specifics of how each one has come about kind of runs together. And I’m working on some community outreach grants to help get it seen even more places.”
Where Soldiers Come From, which has garnered awards at festivals around the country, including a Jury Award for Editing at the SXSW Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature at the Philadelphia Film Festival, and the Founders Award for Best U.S. Documentary at the Traverse City Film Festival, follows the lives of a group of young men in a National Guard unit from Courtney’s hometown in rural Michigan. Getting to know them in their small-town home, the film then follows their deployment to Afghanistan and their subsequent readjustment to civilian life back home.
Given the subject matter, Courtney is quick to point out that the film is much more focused on the emotional and human stories of the individuals portrayed than it is in making any overt political statement. She hopes that audiences, including those vast numbers of us with no personal connection to the war, will still be able to connect with and relate to the human and complex lives on screen.
The film of course has an obvious and deep appeal to one group in particular; veterans of war. When the film became available on Tugg, there was immediate interest from veterans’ organizations to create screenings and share the film with their communities.
“I think Tugg is a really great way for films to be accessed by community groups,” says Courtney. “In the past, interested groups might have had to go to a church or a cafe or somewhere like that and hook up a DVD. Not that there’s anything bad about that, but a screening like this allows these groups to see the film and have it look good. It’s very audience-generated.”
The film had its first Tugg screening in San Francisco, put together by SF Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War, and will be screened through Tugg again on April 23rd in Austin, TX. The upcoming screening, which will feature a Q&A with Courtney herself, is being presented as fundraiser by Under the Hood Café, a multi-use community space in Killeen, Texas near Fort Hood. The cafe serves as meeting space where soldiers, their families, and community members can socialize, participate in peer-led art workshops, and receive information and referrals on service members’ rights and psychological services.
The screening provides Under the Hood Café a new forum to raise awareness, ignite action, and share with their community the often untold and overlooked real-life stories of our men and women in uniform.
Under the Hood Café presents Where Soldiers Come From
Monday, April 23rd, 6pm
Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Tickets and more information can be found here