Never a sexy subject, but nevertheless an important one. One goal for this project is to develop a plan surrounding distribution logistics. In the past the 72 project has always had the primary step of distribution covered because we were bolted into a festival and had a natural platform. In Derry this is not necessarily the case. The emphasis has always been on the production logistics; related to organizational concepts, layout planning, production planning, and control. Now we must consider delivery of the finished products to the customer, something we have been previously weak at. In our defence, we are not alone. Plenty of micro-budget filmmakers have mastered cheap production, but they have struggled with successful distribution without the press and advertising budgets necessary to fuel contagion. That’s right, contagion.
Looking at the successes of Avatar and most recently Skyfall, it is well known that ‘tentpole’ movies require lot of promotional push, which is expensive. The success of a film is driven by people talking and recommending it to others, thereby fuelling the hype. Within the framework of a festival it is quite easy to fuel conversation about your film, because there is a ready-made audience and a page in the programme. It is less easy without that in place. Developing the audience becomes even more critical than before, and is one of the major challenges of the 72 project this time around. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about. But I love it.
One way of getting this contagion started is a road-show of promoting the principles well before it begins. This kicks of for me at the end of November, where I’ll visit a college in North London, and then again in December, when I visit a university in Luton. January with hopefully be in Derry, February in Berlin, March in Stoke. There will also be dates added as I go along. Seeing this trajectory opening up ahead of me makes this all feel real again. We are going to make a film in 72 hours. Again.