It’s a little hard to believe that this weekend will mark almost two years to the day that HorrorCon began principal photography at Monster Mania 17. The Crown Plaza in Cherry Hill, NJ, will be at it again Friday night hosting their 24th convention, and most attendees will be oblivious to the fact that a film crew once showed up and started shooting in the middle of all the noise and chaos. We’ll never forget, of course. I imagine the vendors who let us set up in front of their booths for far too long won’t be forgetting it soon, either.
I find it amusingly poignant that we’re closing in on our self-imposed March 25th deadline by, among other things, digitally removing a visible hotel logo from one of the parking lot signs. It’s as if we’re truly moving on from what was a long, arduous adventure. One that, despite mounting stresses and continuing financial burdens, was deeply rewarding in all the best senses. I’m sure every film production creates a special bond between its cast and crew – it’s like a war in that way – but ours will be especially unique. Giving birth to a film in public is like street performing, flash mobbing, and robbing a bank all at once. All that’s left to do is divvy the loot, and the first part of that process begins the second we add the last name to the credit roll.
I’ve compiled a list of festivals that we’ll be considering in the next couple of weeks. So far we’re up to twenty-four, comprising of events held in the United States, Europe, Canada, and South America. We’re as close as Philadelphia and New York, and as far away as Reykjavik, Iceland, Porto Alegre, Brazil, and Locarno, Sweden. Although there’s no way we can afford to hit them all, we felt it important to identify those most suitable for the film and go from there. Of course, the more of them you try, the better your chances of being accepted. And being accepted means publicity, something all films desperately need. We have quite the story to tell both on and off the screen, and it’s our goal that we tell it to as many people as we can.
As we whittle down our festival list, we’ll begin to build one for conventions. Touring the film through genre events around the country has always been our number one dream. Sharing it with “the choir” feels right to us, and means we can build a loyal, grass roots following on as many lawns as possible. Of course, we hold out hope that some kind of film/music event can be held at Monster Mania 25 in Cherry Hill. We think it’d be great publicity for everyone involved to screen at “home”, for and amongst the very people who helped make our little movie look bigger than it had a right to be. However, due to Screen Actors Guild contractual obligations, we’re not permitted to charge anyone to see it outside of an AMC theater. This leaves us with only a few options to make back our investment: charge for merchandise and a follow-up Q&A, and/or ask for donations upon leaving the screening. Everyone who manages to secure a ticket will have the option to watch the film and leave without paying, and that’s fine with us. What’s important is that people see it, connect with it, and hopefully spread the word. If only that happens, the film will have a future, and that counts far more than a quick theatrical release without the promotional resources that might generate less-than embarrassing box office numbers.
I’ve written before about various distribution models that are available to low-budget indie films, and we’re looking at them all. As previously mentioned, giving it away and adding a donation method of “repayment” is an option. Renegotiating our contract with SAG to allow us to sell the film on DVD is another. I’m not yet sure what the SAG stipulations are in terms of Video-On-Demand (VOD) and Internet streaming, but it’s perhaps something a distributor can explain to us. We think it’s important to take HorrorCon through as many integral steps and processes as possible so that we do the right thing for this one, and learn for the next one. If we’re lucky and have done our work well, our screening activities will open those doors. At the very least, they might point us in the right direction.
Time to return to our post-production crew of two (next time you watch a film, sit through the entire list of post-production credits; you’ll likely check your phone more than once such is the time it takes to list them) and continue our march towards the 25th. The score, done entirely on a single keyboard and the ThumbJam iPhone app, is just about complete. But there are still a few more logos to remove and a certain Cinematographer’s eye-glasses that were alternately left on and off while acting in one of the scenes. I’m not naming any names, but his initials are Jim Wright.
The title of the post refers to the very first line of dialog in the film. We might say the same.
See you in a couple of weeks.