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Adventures in Self-Releasing: If I Wanted to Go on Tour, I Would Have Been a Rock Star

Adventures in Self-Releasing: If I Wanted to Go on Tour, I Would Have Been a Rock Star

Blog - Adventures in Self-Releasing

Good news: This weekend, Ben Lovett took home the award for Best Original Score at the 2009 Brooklyn International Film Festival for his work on The Last Lullaby. In a few weeks, his score will be available for purchase from Neoflix.

Good news #2 and #3: San Jose has decided to give us a second week of screenings. We will go across the street from the Camera 3 to the Camera 12 Cinemas. Also, this Friday and Sunday, The Last Lullaby will be screening in Sacramento as part of the series “Movies on a Big Screen.”

Okay, onto the blog…

Almost wrapped up week six of our release. In many ways, that, in and of itself, is a victory. In this climate, many movies are in and out of theaters in two to three weeks. To say that we’ve been showing for the last 42 days and that there will be at least one more week makes me pretty damn proud.

But, man am I worn out. I think I’ve done 55 Q&As in the last six weeks. You know, I almost named this blog, “If I wanted to go on tour, I would have been a rock star.” And, in many ways, a self-release is just that, a tour of sorts.

So what have I learned so far:

1. Expect 20-30 people a screening (if you’re lucky)
I’ve ended up “in the black” after every week except for one, but the kind of numbers I expected to do in certain places is not realistic. I thought we’d get an
average of 500 people a week in the cities we were visiting. Some weeks we’ve been lucky to have 200 people see the movie.

2. Bring a book and/or endless things to keep you inspired
I don’t watch the movie anymore. I introduce it and then have to fill the next 90 minutes with something. I’m still trying to master this part of the process. Some places have wireless, and I can hop on my computer. Sometimes, I’ll grab a meal. Or sometimes, I’ll decide to catch another movie playing in the theater. But make sure to bring things to fill the time. Otherwise, you’ll just see the days passing and yourself getting older.

3. Improvise
Like so much of this process, self-releasing is NOT a science. Always be willing to say that one plan isn’t working and that it’s time to go in another direction. I’m about to do this myself. I have now fully explored all of the cities that fit into my original plan: a) Go somewhere because someone from the movie is from there or b) because we’ve been to the city for a festival, had a successful festival and are returning. Now, if we want to keep the tour going, we need to take a different stab at things. From here, I will either try to get the movie into a theater in San Francisco or into a theater in a city we have yet to visit (Minneapolis, Omaha or Kansas City).

The tour continues, The Last Lullaby is still alive, and more than anything, that’s what keeps me going.

After living in Los Angeles for seven years, Jeffrey Goodman returned to his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana to direct The Last Lullaby. Co-written by the creator of Road to Perdition, and starring Tom Sizemore and Sasha Alexander, The Last Lullaby was filmed entirely in and around Shreveport and financed by 48 local investors.

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