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Adventures in Self-Releasing: Preparing for Launch

Adventures in Self-Releasing: Preparing for Launch

Blog - Adventures in Self-Releasing

Things are heating up. The adventure is getting… well adventurous. May 1 (our theatrical launch) is creeping up oh so quickly. I keep saying to myself, “There’s 45 days in March, right? So we’re still eight weeks out?”

Time to catch everyone up. How’s it going out there? What are we doing to prepare for that all-important weekend of May 1, May 2 and May 3?

The answer is a lot.

First off, I continue to do a good number of speaking engagements: Universities, rotary clubs, breakfast groups, high schools, etc. But like anything else, getting the engagement is not enough. It’s what you do with the opportunity that’s key. For these talks, I give about a five-minute introduction, followed by a seven-minute
behind-the-scenes clip from the movie. Then I spend the remainder of the time taking questions. The key thing though that I’m doing as I go from engagement to engagement is getting people to sign up for the “Lullaby family,” our monthly e-mail update list. I also am giving them take-away cards that they can put on their refrigerators, detailing all of the upcoming Lullaby events. Lastly (and this is usually a big hit), I bring copies of our current poster to give away and sign. I have found that this is the ultimate gesture of goodwill. Aside from the speaking engagements, we are doing social events every couple of weeks for people to gather and just eat, drink and talk Lullaby.

I’m trying to introduce a new element at each one of these events. For instance, soon we’ll have a trailer (finally!), T-shirts for sale, etc. And, I’m hoping that each event will be the first time for introducing these new elements. In addition to the social events and speaking engagements, we’re also doing a big local media push—print, TV and radio. I once heard that it takes people hearing about something from three different sources before they’ll take any action. So, we’re trying to give people the Lullaby nudge from as many different angles as we can.

Okay, so that is all that’s happening in preparation for the May 1 launch in the Shreveport-Bossier City area, but that’s not all. Lullaby also continues to travel. We recently returned from a great couple of screenings in San Jose as part of the Cinequest Film Festival. And in April we have five more festivals. So why continue going to festivals, you ask?

As I mentioned early on, for our self-release, I only want to go to places for one of two reasons:

1. Because someone from the movie is from there.

2. Because we have already been to that city and had a successful festival. So I’m still trying to figure out where to take Lullaby after our Shreveport-Bossier launch and a week run in Iowa. Will it be Atlanta, Memphis, St. Louis, Dallas, San Jose, Little Rock, Madison or somewhere else altogether? Someone asked me yesterday at the South Shreveport Rotary Club, “So, Jeffrey, let’s say you sell your goal of 3,000 tickets opening weekend in Shreveport-Bossier, and you end up with the highest per-screen-average of any independent movie in the country, then what?”

Honestly, I know the first couple of moves, but I’m not sure what will happen after Lullaby’s successful launch and its week in Iowa. What I do know is I want to continue to be financially self-sustaining. And it’d be really great if I got a phone call in six weeks from a theater in someplace we’ve never been, saying, “We’d really love for to bring Lullaby here.”

If that were to happen, I would smile, ask a few questions and feel like we’re doing okay.

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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