Tag: transmedia

Back to Writing – 3 More Books

Posted on by Jon Reiss

I have embarked on writing again and have two new books in the works and one more on the horizon.   First off, I am writing a book on the Producer of Marketing and Distribution or PMD.  In the tradition of Think Outside the Box Office, the book will define the role and responsibilities specific to the PMD, lay out best practices for those wanting to be PMDs,  lay out the tasks for a PMD over the lifecycle of a film, provide guidance on how to fulfill those tasks.  This includes developing a marketing and distribution plan and budget, the PMD in prep, production and post, audience engagement, timing of rights, as well as different marketing and distribution options available to films.  The book will cover education of PMDs and will propose a curriculum of study for PMDs.    I will be tweeting my progress on this book starting next week.

Secondly, I am working with The Film Collaborative and Sheri Candler on an electronic book of film case studies.    Each of us are drilling down to the specifics of a number of films distribution and marketing paths and providing hard numbers on their successes (and failures) to help filmmakers make informed decisions about the releases of their films.  This project was generated by The Film Collaborative who brought Sheri and I on board and is part of their educational initiative.  (as you know from my book and previous writings I am a big fan of what TFC does – and you know I’m a big fan of Sheri’s as well!).   We are currently locking down the title – and would love your input:  Please participate in our on-line survey.

On the horizon – I am writing a book about how all the art forms: music, film, art, photography, book authorship, journalism, dance,  comedy, gamers and expanded storytellers (etc) are all utilizing similar techniques to get their work made, marketed and distributed.   I came upon this idea while researching examples for my TOTBO workshops and discovered that many of the other art forms (music especially of course) were much further ahead than film in using these techniques.  But I also discovered that while some people used some of the techniques available, many would leave numerous opportunities unexplored – didn’t even know those opportunities existed.  As a result I saw a purpose for writing a book in which I would adapt and expand the system that I outlined in Think Outside the Box Office for all the arts.  This project will allow artists to learn from others and create opportunities for themselves that they may not have thought of by the nature of the traditional paths of their respective fields.   It will also provide a guide in how to use these techniques.   Over the next months, year, I will be interviewing a wide range of artists on this topic and I will be sharing excerpts on this blog.  I look forward to your input and feedback!!  (Look out for a revamped website and FB page in the future as well).

Guest Post Simon Pulman: Transmedia for Low Budget Filmmakers Part II

Very excited for part 2 of Simon Pullman’s excellent post on transmedia for low budget filmmakers. Last week was the why. This week is a quick intro to the how.

Transmedia for Low Budget Filmmakers
Part II: Executing a Transmedia Project

by Simon Pulman

Having decided to consider a Transmedia project as an alternative to a conventional feature film, you now need to think about how to execute the project. It is important to note that – just like a feature film – there are good and bad ways to spend your budget. I highly recommend looking to “trade favors” – working on your peers’ projects with the understanding that they will help you out in return. Furthermore, you should certainly consider granting equity in your project to trusted collaborators; very few people have the skill set to pull off a multi-platform story single-handedly.

Here are a few suggestions:


You need to have a really strong idea of how your various narrative strands are going to interweave. True Transmedia requires integration of complementary story elements and themes in a cohesive and compelling way – it is not merely the addition of new media gimmicks or social networking aspects to an existing story. This greatly increases the upfront work required of you, which is why Lance Weiler’s company Seize the Media refer to themselves as “story architects.”
Continue reading →

Guest Post Simon Pulman: Transmedia for Low Budget Filmmakers

Today’s guest post is from Simon Pulman who writes an incredibly interesting and informative blog on transmedia: Transmythology.

To me transmedia is the future for independent film – and perhaps all film. It is already happening all around us – whether we realize it or not. I essentially backed into transmedia on Bomb It. We knew we were generating way more content than would fit in one feature. In 2005 – our thought was that we would ultimately make 6 features from the material! But we ended up producing a webseries for Babelgum which was became a transmedia extension of Bomb It – realized after the fact. This in turn led to Bomb It 2 which was conceived of as a webseries for Babelgum – but still ties into the Bomb It “brand”. There is no way that I would have done another graffiti feature this past year – but a web series was a much more manageable way to keep exploring the concept of Bomb It. Simon addresses these issues in his post that follows. (BTW – this is a two part post. Part 2 will run next Thursday).

Transmedia for Low Budget Filmmakers

Part I: Why Consider Transmedia?

I’m going to assume for the purposes at this article that you have read Think Outside The Box Office, and are familiar with the principles presented within.  I don’t think an artist of any kind should proceed with a project without at least reading and considering Jon’s ideas.  We’re moving towards an age where personal branding and fan engagement will become increasingly important strategies in differentiating yourself from the crowd.

Due to the difficulties inherent in financing a feature film today, an increasing number of filmmakers are going DIY – foregoing years of fundraising and investor courtship to produce something relatively cheaply using inexpensive cameras and small non-union crews.  This concept should be familiar to anybody who has read Robert Rodriguez’s Rebel Without a Crew.

The downside of this trend for filmmakers is that the proliferation of lower budget films makes it very difficult to stand out from the crowd.  Unlike in Rodriguez’s day, merely making a film cheaply is no longer an interesting enough story to ensure that people pay attention.  The result is that even well scripted and produced low budget films are not guaranteed to find an audience.
Continue reading →

Guest Posts Start This Week

I am very happy to announce that this week I will start a guest posting program on this blog. We will hear from a variety of people that deal with audience connection and engagement of all types. More and more I am viewing film distribution and marketing as the 2nd necessary component of creating a film: The first component is the production of the film (conception, production, post). The second component is connecting that film with an audience (distribution and marketing). I used to refer to these as steps – but that implies that they would be sequential – eg first step: make the film, second step connect with audience. But you know I believe these “steps” should run as simultaneously as possible.

These posts will run a wide gamut of topics from social media to trans media and everything in between (from sources around the world!) First up on the guest post is Tyler Weaver on how busy media content creators can fit social media into their lives – in very practical steps. Upcoming Kim Garland from Scriptchat – using Twitter to create conversation around scriptwriting. Simon Pullman from Transmythology on transmedia etc. My goal is to have these run every Thursday – so stay tuned!

The Producer of Marketing and Distribution

Posted on by Emy

This is my article published on screendaily.com.

The Producer of Marketing and Distribution

In my first guest column for Screen Daily in November of last year, I introduced what I call the new 50/50. This idea is to convey to filmmakers that half of their work is making the film, half of their work is connecting the film to an audience.

As a filmmaker, I know how difficult adopting these new tasks of marketing and distribution are. I also know how they can interfere with making new films – and there have been a fair amount of complaints lately from filmmakers about being responsible for doing this additional work.

However, just like most filmmakers do not make their films on their own, they should not be distributing and marketing those films on their own. I would argue that from now on, every film needs one person devoted to the distribution and marketing of the film from inception, just as they have a line producer, assistant director, or editor. This person is part of your team from inception, not tacked on at the end of the process.

This is why last autumn, just before sending Think Outside the Box Office to print, I came up with the concept of the Producer of Marketing and Distribution or the PMD. I gave this crew position an official title of PMD because without an official position, this work will continue to not get done. I gave this position the title of producer because it is that important. (For someone learning the ropes, you can start them at coordinator then move them up to associate producer and so on).

Creating a crew position will cause people to seek jobs as a PMD, train to become a PMD, apprentice as a PMD just as people do this for any film crew position. (I’ve already received emails from people excited to become PMDs.) Without a title, it won’t happen. The creation of this crew position should spur schools and institutes to create curriculums in order to train people to fill this role and other people will write books about it (just as there are a plethora of books on how to be a line producer).

I look forward to a near future in which filmmakers/directors will be able to put out calls for PMDs just as they do for DPs and Editors – and that they will get an equal volume of applications. Directors will develop long term relationships with PMDs that “get them” just as they do with DPs, Editors, and Producers etc.

Responsibilities of the PMD include:

1. Identify and engage with the audience for a film.

2. Development of a distribution and marketing strategy and plan for a film in conjunction with the entire team.

3. Create a budget for said plan.

4. Assemble and supervise the necessary team/crew elements to carry out the plan.

5. Audience outreach through organizations, blogs, social networking, online radio etc.

6. Supervise the creation of promotional and (if necessary due to the lack of a separate transmedia coordinator) trans media elements: including the films website script and concept for transmedia, production stills, video assets – both behind the scenes and trans media, promotional copy and art.

7. Outreach to potential distribution and marketing partners such as sponsors, promotional partners, various distribution entities, publicists.

8. When appropriate, engage the distribution process as designed.

9. Supervise the creation of deliverables.

I have created a number of educational activities to help recognize the creation of this position and help filmmakers take control of the distribution and marketing of their films. The first was the book mentioned above which I feel is the first training manual for the PMD. The second is a distribution and tools website www.ultimatefilmguides.com. Finally, I am beginning a series of Think Outside the Box Office (TOTBO) Workshops throughout the world kicking off in London next week on May 8&9 followed by Amsterdam, New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, San Francisco and Boston. All of these resources should help define the position and the duties of the PMD and I encourage filmmakers to take advantage of these opportunities to learn and grow in their abilities and their craft.

How will the studios adapt to changing distribution markets?

Posted on by Mark

At ScreenDaily.com, Mike Goodridge suggests it’s decision time for studios’ distribution strategies.  How will they adapt to new digital markets?  Will they embrace transmedia?  Food for thought:

Mike Goodridge

Would you pay $250 to have Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen delivered to your living room on the same day it is released in theatres?
D-Day for US studio model

8 October, 2009 | By Mike Goodridge

That is a new technology scenario being touted to the major studios as they struggle to cope with the fast-collapsing distribution windows that have been the bedrock of their business models for decades.

Then there’s a premium VoD option that could come in just four weeks after theatrical release in the $30-$50 price bracket.

“US films still dominate, but within a very short period, studios won’t be able to monetise their expensive product the way they are used to”

Exhibitors may not be thrilled to hear of these developments but with the contraction of the DVD market and the dramatic erosion of income from pay-TV deals, the studios are desperately trying to carve out new windows and revenue streams.

Ultimately, new windows might just be a stopgap before the studios’ movies are released day and date in all media and all markets. That sounds like an option with terrifying consequences if the film doesn’t work – ie, it is immediately dead in the water with no chance of compensation from ancillary platforms – yet some would argue that we are already at that place. If a film disappoints in its opening day in the US, the global industry has decreed whether it is a flop by weekend’s end. Continue reading →