I’m a little torn. I really want to start describing the feelings and all that come with the announcement of self-releasing. However, I guess if you’re going to follow along for the next few months, I better first tell you how I plan on doing this whole thing. And how I came up with the particular model I’m using.
My plan is to do a three- to 10-city theatrical run with the film. I’m not sure if this run will be financially successful or not. But it is my goal for it to be self-sustaining, at the very least.
I only want to go into cities where I feel like The Last Lullaby has an edge over most other movies. This edge will come from one of two places: Either we’ll go into a city because someone involved in the film is from there, or we’ll return to a city where we already had a successful festival. What I want to avoid is having to spend loads of money in any particular city to build awareness for the film. I want to go into places that are already media-friendly to us; where the media will simply offer to run stories to support us.
I’ve also decided to start the run in my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. We financed and shot the entire film in and around Shreveport. And I believe our best shot at a strong launch is to start in Shreveport. In fact, my goal for our opening weekend is to be the independent film with the highest per-screen average in the country. I think if we can make that happen, it will drive some real attention to the film and help as we begin to move outside of our home base.
So that’s the game plan in a nutshell. Nothing really complicated about it. Very grassroots. Very contained. Start small. With hopes of sustaining and a long shot play of a bigger, wider expansion.
Now how did I come up with all of this?
As I mentioned in the last blog, I’ve been thinking about possibly going this route for almost a year now. Not because I wanted to, but because I honestly couldn’t find a more convincing option.
A few things got me thinking about this particular model, but probably the most important was speaking several months back to a producer friend of mine. I told him I was considering going the self-release route. He said, “Look, Jeffrey, as long as you’re not following the model of the majors or mini-majors, I think it’s a good model.” And that really got me thinking. At first I was like, ‘Well, what the hell does that mean?’ But then the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I needed to come up with a model that was appropriate for my film. Although I’d love to start in Los Angeles and New York, at this point, that doesn’t really make sense for us. We’ve yet to screen in either city and have nothing that gives us an edge in either market.
So, if nothing else, I came up with this model just really out of sheer logic. It made the most sense and seemed to be the one where we maybe, possibly, could succeed.
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 The 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.