Wednesday, May 03, 2006

People, places and learning

That's what I want to be doing fairly soon. Sleeping. It's been a long couple of days, hence the later-than-usual posting time.

Yesterday I caught up with an old workmate, John Butterworth, who is headed to England to fulfil his dreams. They have something to do with film, TV, and English football. All the best John!

It was a great opportunity to catch up with all sorts of other old workmates and find that one of them has set up a production company. Interesting...

Then I got home, caught up on a few phone calls and ended up working till 2am finishing a couple of stories.

This morning I got up at 7 to get ready, do a phone interview (I got the guy's voicemail - grr) and go to the NZFC's free seminar on distribution.

Very, very interesting. Mostly common sense marketing, but it's always an eye-opener to see just how un-lucrative filmmaking is in New Zealand. (Unless, of course, you're Peter Jackson!) This is not Hollywood, movies are (theoretically) still art, the government plays a big part financially in just about every NZ film that gets made, and piracy actually does hurt NZ productions big time.

There was a fantastic case study on Sione's Wedding from John Barnett and Paul Davis from South Pacific Pictures, the people who brought us the movie. A really professional marketing job, and a fantastically successful result.

I was kind of surprised how much information was volunteered in all the sessions, but that's the neat thing about the NZ film industry. There aren't really competitors, just collaborators we haven't met yet. Okay, yes, pass the bucket, that's gag-inducing. But close to the truth.

Good comment from John Barnett on language - sometimes in NZ scripts we think we need to add in lots of colourful language to make the story more gritty and realistic, but they actually toned down the language between script or screen. "You'll find that adding one more expletive doesn't add one more viewer," he says. Too bloody right, mate.

An unexpected surprise from today was meeting two guys I'd met ages ago, who I didn't know knew each other. Tom, Wayne and all the rest of the crew, all the best for the aliens you're building in the basement!

Now I'm back home and it's time to check through the emails, do some stuff, eat some dinner, and eventually... sleep...
Of note:

  • I can't stand MySpace, but it's working for the makers of Stick It, a film targeted at teenage girls. That's the way to market - find your core audience and speak to them first and most importantly.
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