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Creating a Buzz for Your Movie Before it is Even Screened

Creating a Buzz for Your Movie Before it is Even Screened

How do you build a buzz for your movie before people even see it? It’s simple actually.

Until about 25 years ago, I worked with Apple Computers in Japan. I didn’t work for them, I worked with them. I was close friends with Paul Kitabayashi who was in charge of Buzz Marketing for Apple in Asia. You might not know this, but at least in Japan, Apple products dominate the market.

Paul had told me that, “Only Apple HQ in Cuperton, California, can approve of spending money on advertising.” But he was in charge of Buzz Marketing. What did that mean? That meant he was in charge of making Apple products cool even before they were cool and on the market. How did he do that? He searched out and found music and video Creators and gave them Apple products to use. That was it. He gave away all sort of Apple products for people he thought were “Movers and Shakers.”

He gave me my iMac, my iPhone, gave them to my wife and kid too. I had always wondered why he had such a high opinion of me that he would give me new Apple products before they even went on sale. I never bought any sort of computer or smart phone for about 15 years. He gave me everything!

What does this have to do with your movie? Well, lots. If a huge company like Apple computers does something like this, and you know they spent millions on marketing strategies, they must know something that most of us don’t. I learned my lesson well.

When people make a movie, they, of course post it on Film Freeway and Vimeo, and then that’s it no more promotion.

But why stop there? You need to start Buzz Marketing the day after your film is completed. I did.

On June 2, 2023, my latest film, “Yoko Grapefruit” will screen at the San Diego Beatles Festival.
Then on August 27, 2023 it will screen at the Liverpool International Beatles Festival.

Then in December at the Mexico City International Beatles Festival!

I have already written about how you should promote your film to festivals that are not on Film Freeway! There are lots of them and they won’t cost you a cent to submit or screen! None of the above festivals are registered with Film Freeway. So how did I find them? I already wrote about that in: Festivals? Thinking Outside of the Box!

The good thing about thinking out of the box and approaching these festivals is they want your film because they are 100% into giving something special for their visitors! Film Festivals don’t have to ask for submissions, they get tons of them as it is. And if you screen at one of the festivals like my movie will, it is just status for your movie. These are the Top 3 most famous Beatles Festivals in the world!

Next, you need to promote. Of course, I promote on Social Media, but I’m sure you’ve noticed, but Social Media seems to only target your same handful of friends every time. You need to promote outside of your group of friends to really promote! I wrote about how any filmmaker can GREATLY expand their reach without Social Media. I wrote about a good way to do that here: Write your own Movie review!   

Even though I wrote those articles a few weeks ago, I am still pushing forward. I am still writing directly to artists and creators and asking them to watch my movie and write me a critical review if they would. The response has been overwhelming!

No, I didn’t get a review from Hemingway, yet! (Just give me some time!) But I got lots of good quotes from future superstars from all over the world!

Just look at these great reviews!

“The film captures Ono’s zen like approach to finding enlightenment in one’s life and environment. Hopefully it will lead people to Yoko’s book. We can’t always change the world but we can change the way we see it. Hopefully this beautiful film can change the way people think of Yoko Ono.” – JP Valentine (Artist, painter, music creator)

“This film displays the peeling backwards to the first experiments in film, layering in a Kaleidoscope, dreams that money can buy through a more existential view point, entering the Grapefruit with sensual fingers, rip and coax, tear in half the flesh of the holy mountain, and draw backwards eating from the mouth, sweeping recollections in the absurd rhythm of this moral chain. Poignant bridges from Zen Wisdom to Hallmark kitsch collides into mummified wraps of the electronic revolution, parted times listened to from tape. A deep mindfulness, as rain falls, sit on river boulder; acquiesce to a different time scale.” Shaun Robert (Institute For Alien Research/factor X/mutantbeatniks/etc.)

“Watching the film really gripped me and interlocked with things I am going through right now in my life and with my art. That is the watermark of high quality work. We exist in a time where the avant guard perspective is scarce, in the flood of the spelling-things-out media that hits us every day. It is rare to be touched or challenged on an existential plane, provoking unexpected thoughts and impulses. To deal with the complexity (and simplicity) of being a human alive today, art is a life saver. And to really dare to think and do ART takes guts.” – Karin (Lovi Did This)

Mike Rogers’ film, Grapefruit, captures the spirit and elegance of Yokos early poetry and performance art in a surreal, dream-like piece that harks back to the expressionist cinema of the 1920s. Stylish and wonderfully evocative.” – Darryl W. Bullock (Author of David Bowie Made Me Gay and The Velvet Mafia. 2022 Winner of the Penderyn Music Book Award. Nominated for 2023 Shout-Out Awards & 2023 Penderyn Music Book Awards.) 

So, check out those articles and read them and integrate the ideas into your own promotion. And one more GREAT thing? They don’t cost anything… They only require you to motivate yourself to do it. These are the best ways to get selected at a great film Festival like Raindance.

Oh, and once you are selected, make sure your movie sells out. I have the record for selling out screenings at Raindance three times. Even Tarantino couldn’t do that with Pulp Fiction. I wrote about that here: Best Way to Sell Out Your Screening. 

Here is my poster specifically for the Beatles Festivals promotion:

Thanks so much to my friend Paul Kitabayashi. RIP my friend!

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