Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A New Way To Connect With and Build Your Audience

Building an Audience/Connecting with an Audience has been a hot topic for not just me but the entire movie industry. Guess what, I have something fun to share with you.

As you may be aware, Night Before the Wedding just screened in Columbus, Ohio. It was a screening that I knew I would not be able to attend. When brainstorming on the phone with our Social Media Manager, Angie Palmer of Skye Public Relations months before our screening, one idea I had was to do a 'Live' Q&A through my computer. We weren't sure if we could pull it off, get the proper permissions, etc. but it was something I really wanted to do.

Thank goodness that Angie is so resourceful and amazing at what she does. And thanks to some gracious folks at the Arena Grand Movie Theater in Columbus, the Mid-Ohio Filmmakers Association and again to Angie's dedication, we were able to test and eventually execute a 'Live' Skype Q&A from Los Angeles to Columbus following the screening.

I am not sure how often this has been done. I imagine plenty of times. For whatever reason I just haven't seen it implemented after a movie screening. Thanks to Actor Kevin Deen flying out to Columbus and documenting his whole experience, I now have the power to share with you what it was like for us to Connect with our Columbus Audience.

Immediately following our screening, I was projected onto the theater screen along with Filmmakers Gregor Collins, A.J. Rickert-Epstein, and Actor Michael Shaun Sandy. Although we were staring at a black computer screen, it was just a fun and fantastic experience to know that we were being seen and heard inside a movie theater a thousand miles away. Okay, I admit it was a little odd from our side of the equation. We had no idea how many stayed for the Q&A, or whether it was having any impact.

It wasn't until I was able to watch the footage that Kevin Deen shot that I realized just how powerful our Q&A had been. For you filmmakers wondering how you can connect, build, and grow your audience. The evidence can be seen clearly in this video. I believe this will be a big part of the present and future for ALL independent filmmakers. It is a no-brainer. It's something that smaller films which are screening in one theater at a time can accommodate with enough planning and effort. It gives smaller films a huge advantage over our blockbuster counterparts. Karen and I just went to see A Serious Man, but the reality of the Coen Brothers popping up on the screen right after the credits role and having a chance to ask them questions about their film just isn't going to happen.

I found out later that our Columbus crowd absolutely loved the interaction we had with them. None of them had ever experienced this before. It endeared them to us and to our film. We are now hoping to duplicate this with our next screening December 3rd in Washington D.C and beyond.

Please share your thoughts, ideas and reactions.


Anonymous said...


Angie Palmer said...

David, it's really fun and I was glad to have the opportunity to organize this for you and Night Before the Wedding!