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DigitalJournal: Bringing Indie Films to the Web…

DigitalJournal: Bringing Indie Films to the Web...

David Silverberg of Digital Journal spoke with Janet Brown and myself, about Cinetic Rights Management for a feature on what we’re doing as a service for indie filmmakers. From the recent article:

So how can an indie film attract eyeballs before its release? CRM is pursuing deals with various portals, although Brown is tight-lipped about specifics. Dentler mentioned the firm will try to get word-of-mouth buzz to prominent bloggers, while also embracing online-video campaigns to release scenes, outtakes and trailers on various media. Some strategies may involve podcast interviews with directors; others may use offline screenings to help build momentum. “These aren’t new tools,” Dentler admits, “but we’ll apply them correctly to the films that best fit them.”

Brown says CRM will focus on all films where the digital rights are cleared. Back catalogue titles can be spread virally, as well, such as the 1994 classic Hoop Dreams. Dentler envisions those kinds of films garnering new audiences. “There are younger fans who have never seen Hoop Dreams so if they heard about it online, maybe they’d want to rent it somewhere,” he says.

“We bring a specialized skill set,” Brown says. “We get these films to audiences who want to see them.”

Easier said than done. CRM is trying to stay on top of social media and blogosphere trends in order to give producers a much-needed digital boost. But it has to promote films online without irritating Web surfers and give audiences something fresh and exciting. The real challenge to promote a new film comes when the public is being bombarded by billboards and trailers from the major studios, stiff-arming less expansive campaigns by smaller films.

“The easiest way to not go viral is to try going viral,” Dentler says, half-laughing. “There’s no perfect science in how to market and brand films. We’re hopeful our deals with major portals will lead to a satisfying and enjoyable experience for everyone – filmmakers, studios and movie fans.”

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