Thursday, February 5, 2009

Is 'Sundance Winner' a Marketing Challenge?

Gabourey Sidibe in “Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire.” Anne Marie Fox/Lionsgate

I wasn't going to post a blog today as I am doing my best to catch up on a variety of work that includes my search for a new Web Designer. Our original Web guy has dropped out and we need to find someone to revamp our Night Before the Wedding website. I mean I haven't even blogged on the fact that a video I worked on just appeared on Fox television a few days ago. It is the first time something I have directly worked on has aired on Network Television. (I'll come back and post about this soon)

That same night I had the opportunity to view a buddy's Pilot Presentation. He had about 100 people in the audience and we were all getting our first look at the finished product. I performed Second Unit duties. Basically I directed and shot segments for the pilot's montage sequence. I would love to share it with you guys but it is strictly for selling purposes only.

That's the quick update. Now, I just couldn't keep from posting a few thoughts on an article I read today pertaining to the largest amount paid to date for any 2009 Sundance Film. Of course with Night Before the Wedding approaching completion, I am following everything I can regarding independent film distribution. The article was written by Brooks Barnes and published in the New York Times. Here is the direct link to the article, about Lee Daniels, Push, and his film's $5.5 million deal with Lionsgate.

At the heart of this article is this, that 'Push' is going to be a tough sell in the marketplace. I'll tell you this, I would love to have some of the 'problems' that this film has. Not only is it an Official Selection to Sundance 2009, it won not 1 award but 3 awards there, the Audience Award, the Grand Jury Prize, and a Special Jury Prize for Acting.

The film is based on a novel by Sapphire. To me this is another great plus. Those familiar with the book may have interest in seeing the film version. The story centers on an illiterate and obese African-American teenager in 1980s Harlem who is pregnant with her father’s child — for the second time — and is also abused by her mother.

As if the 3 awards weren't enough, the film is openly endorsed by the duo of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry as stated in the article. Seriously, what else is there to be worried about? This fact alone is worth millions in ticket sales. Once again, this is another 'problem' I would absolutely love to have. If anyone can tell me how to get my film into Tyler Perry's hands or Oprah's hands, please let me know. I would love to have their ringing endorsements.

Bottom line, I don't want to hear that 'Push' is a tough sell. I don't buy it. This film will make it's money. It has a niche audience and then some. It has already won 3 awards from one of the most prestigious film festivals in all the land. It then has ringing endorsements from Oprah and Tyler Perry. On top of that it features Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz. This combination of ingredients makes it a much easier sell than what is being portrayed in the aforementioned NY Times article.

I welcome your commentary. Also if anyone has a link to the trailer to this version of Push, I would like to see it.

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