Search This Blog

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Theatrical?! How'd that happen?

Three and a half years after premiering at the Austin Film Festival, Stomp! Shout! Scream! is in THEATERS now, April 10-17 2009. These theaters:

Nova Cinemas
Commerce, Georgia
Sun: 12:40, 3:00, 5:25, 7:40, 9:40
Mon-Thu: 5:25, 7:40, 9:40

Georgetown 14 Cinemas
Indianapolis, Indiana
1:10, 3:15, 5:20, 7:25, 9:30

Studio 10 Cinemas
Shelbyville, Indiana
1:10, 3:50, 7:00

Nova 10
Des Moines, Iowa
Sun-Mon: 1:15, 3:15, 5:15, 7:40
Tue-Thu: 5:15, 7:40

Nova 6 Theatres
Moline, Illinois
Sun: 12:45, 2:50, 5:00, 7:30, 9:30
Mon-Thu: 5:00, 7:30, 9:30

Theatres of Georgetown
Georgetown, Kentucky
Sun: 1:15, 3:15, 5:15, 7:15, 9:15
Mon-Thu: 5:15, 7:15, 9:15

Portsmouth Cinemas
Portsmouth, Ohio
1:35, 4:00, 7:20, 9:45

Branson Meadows Theatres
Branson, Missouri
Sun-Thu: 1:55, 4:30, 7:25

The Amp
Oxford, Mississippi
Sun: 1:35, 4:20, 7:25, 10:00
Mon-Thu: 4:20, 7:25, 10:00

So how did THAT happen? I am a glutton (or a fool or just OCD) for submitting my film to film festivals (112 submission, 37 screenings). One of them was the B-Movie Celebration in Franklin, IN. SSS showed there in August, 2007 where I met the organizer, Bill Dever. Bill has set up a distribution company, Monogram Releasing, and a franchise, B Movie Nation, to put movies in theaters. In January, 2009, he invited SSS to be part of the series. Other films are indie horror and 80's style gore flicks. most notibly Troma's Poltrygeist, directed by Lloyd Kaufman. SSS adds another flavor to the series-- shot on 35 mm, a throwback to the '60s rather than the '80s, and rather innocent comparatively. The deal Monogram offered was a good one (no money upfront, but a good % of gross ticket sales) and the cost of delivering SSS for theatrical was minimal. Minimal because this would be a digital theatrical run. I delivered SSS as a hi-def quicktime on a hard drive. The film would be distributed on blu-ray DVD and projected digitally. The initial theatrial run would be in two small theater chains, Nova Cinemas and Republic Theares. More theater chains would be added as success dictates.

With a this scale distribution (read: the tiniest of tiny) there would be no money for advertising or press agents. Generating a ticket-buying audience would have to be done on the internet and via word of mouth. With appologies to my facebook friends, I've been beating the drum of "SSS in theaters! April 10, 2009!!" for the last 3 weeks. Other tasks: updaing; starting to twitter; creating a youtube channel; cut n pasting 5 years worth of my on-line 'journal' to this blog; sending out press-kits to every media outlet in the small towns in this theatrical run... There's more, but it's a blur. I was hoping to generate some PR interest and roll that into making a personal appearance in one of the markets (Louisville, KY was supposed to have 3 screens in the general area). Surely "Adult Swim Producer here to promote indie monster-beach-party flick" is a headline somewhere.

But... I got no bites, so I rounded up cast/crew/family/firends to gather at the 9:40 screening in Commerce, GA, about an hour north of Atlanta where I and most of the cast/crew/family/friends live.

I drove out to the Nova Cinemas for the 5:45 screening on Friday, where 2 patrons sat in the back of the small 85-seat theater. The projection was at the wrong aspect ratio (4:3 instead of 16:9, so everyone was streched tall and skinny). The folks at Nova were very kind and we figured out the propper settings on the projector in just a few minutes. I peaked my head into the 7:40 screening... dead empty. State-wide tornado warnings were serious enough that the few cast/crew/family/friends that were still up for coming had to abort the road trip. By the time 9:40 rolled around..I bought the only 4 tickets sold for me, Travis Young (Hector, the mechanic love-interest in the film) and our dates. We enjoyed the screening nonetheless, adding our own live commentary throughout.

On Saturday, I found out that a couple of the theaters originally scheduled to screen SSS were NOT screening it due to technical difficulties with their digital projection or conflicts with Monogram, including 2 of the 3 theaters around Louisville. I'm certainly glad I didn't make the trip up there. Bill also said that those theaters may still have a SSS run later and that other theater chains and indie theaters are interested in the film.

Making a 60's beach party monster movie does have an evergreen effect. It will never get dated. It's timeless. Like Citizen Kane. Or Night of the Lepus.