Just to shake things up a bit, I thought I would shift today from my standard prose to an interview-style entry. The interviewer has asked that his name remain anonymous. But I can tell you that he’s about 5’7” with dark hair, a buck forty-five on a good day and sports an overgrown goatee.
Anonymous Interviewer (AI): Good morning, Jeffrey. It’s good to have you here.
Jeffrey Goodman (JG): Thank you.
AI: So how’s everything going? It’s been almost two months now since you first announced that you were hitting the road of self-release.
JG: It’s going well. I’m tired and fluctuate between some sort of inexplicable confidence and an ever-present sense of anxiety. But things are definitely moving along in a solid and encouraging way.
AI: So far, what’s the biggest surprise for you?
JG: Probably how much it all costs. It’s really a gamble. And I’m still not totally sure how to prepare for more than one market and feel like I’m doing justice to each of the different cities.
AI: Do you still think you’re doing the right thing?
JG: I do. I mean, in many ways the alternative was quite grim.
AI: So are there any new developments you would like to share?
JG: There are, in fact. We have finally set a launch date. We will be starting our release on May 1 at the Regal Boardwalk in Bossier City, LA (Bossier is just across the river from Shreveport.) We will open there from May 1-3. But I’m still not sure yet where we’re headed from there.
AI: So tell me a little more about what you’re doing to prepare for the launch at the Regal?
JG: That’s a good question. Several different things. We kinda have a three- or four-tier approach to the market. One part of this is a series of speaking engagements. I’ll be speaking at rotary clubs, universities in the area and pretty much any other organization that will have me. Another integral part of this preparation is a series of social gatherings. We’ll have about six in total before May 1. In general, these are just meet-and-greet type deals where people can hang out and talk about the movie. The first four of these are being held at some restaurants and bars that were actually locations we used in the movie.
And the other two major components of our push are physical marketing (things like T-shirts and real estate signs) and social marketing (Facebook, Website, monthly update list, Twitter, YouTube, Blogspot, etc.)
AI: You’ve spoken a great deal about how difficult the marketplace is right now. Are there any movies that you think have offered up good models in the last couple of years?
JG: The ones that jump out at me are In Search of a Midnight Kiss, which did over $400,000 in U.K. theaters. It’s an American indie that actually decided to release in the U.K. before releasing in the States. That was an interesting approach, I think. What Bottle Shock did was interesting, just in terms of self-releasing themselves into over 400 theaters.
And I also am fascinated with Sweet Land and the fact that they were able to self-release to a tune of over $1.7 million in U.S. box office.
But truthfully none of these models are totally applicable to us and our movie. But all serve as inspirations for what’s possible. Unfortunately, I still believe the following: The old model for releasing independent movies is broken, and so far, no one has been able to come up with a viable replacement.
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.