CRAZY 8s FILM EVENT
As unit publicist for the Crazy8s Film Event, developing the PR campaign for the film event as well as managing the publicity for all 6 winning teams during production, on set and during post production meant that I had educate the media that this was a film event, not a film festival. Being a film event meant that the top 6 winning teams won THE RIGHT to have their films produced and edited in 8 days with in-kind sponsorship donations in the form of cash and equipment, rather than submitting finished films to win awards.
The teams were:
Cypher–A coming of age hip hop story about a Korean American teenager who finds a platform to confront the pain of his past in LA’s underground hip hop scene following the 1992 riots.
Anh Hung-a story of how sibling bonds are forever changed when a young girl discovers the truth of her family’s (and her older brother’s) activities outside the law.
The Prince-a young dancer and her uncle, an actor, struggle with their identity as Middle Eastern Canadians following a violent confrontation on public transit.
No Reservations-a satirical take on pipelines where the roles of the homeowners and the oil/gas company executives are reversed.
Undertaker’s Son– A young man in an 1880s Western town is forced to confront some long buried feelings about family when he joins his father for his first day of work as a undertaker for the family business.
WoodMan-A man made of wood befriends a woman online and comes to realize how some of the lies he’s been telling himself has kept him trapped for years.
Additionally, I was also responsible for working with the teams to develop the official press kits that properly reflected their experiences and positioned the proper ‘story hooks’ for each of the 6 films to mainstream and online local and international media. With this year’s group of films focused on subjects outside popular genres such as horror, LGBT, romance and straight up comedy, developing the PR campaign was less about pitching to genre-specific media and more about doing research into each media outlet and what the types of films the journalists/bloggers/podcasters usually reviewed and scheduled interviews for.
After conducting extensive research into key media outlets and influencers and the topics they covered, I focused on pitching all 6 teams based on 3 parameters:
- The hooks/subject matter/genre of each film
- The background/experience of the director/producer teams (ie. whether they’d won awards, notable projects they’d worked on)
- The ages of the director/producer teams (as some media outlets skewed more towards audiences between the ages of 20-35)
Following these parameters, I pitched all 6 teams to select podcasts and blogs in Vancouver, New York, Toronto and Seattle along with local radio stations and newspapers. Over the course of the six weeks, I followed up with key media outlets through both email and conversations via social media and continue to pitch each film based on topics of interest. I also worked with the Vancouver Sun to set up an official production blog for all teams to blog about their experiences with Crazy8s and share their journeys from writing the scripts to location scouting and casting.
Through story pitching and social media campaign management, I secured national and international press coverage for all 6 film teams and the film event including but not limited to: radio stations such as Roundhouse Radio and Co-op Radio in Vancouver, broadcast media outlets such as CBC Vancouver, Novus TV and Vancouver TV, podcast media such as Endeavours Radio and print media outlets such as The Georgia Straight.
PRESS COVERAGE in CANADA & INTERNATIONALLY
Under the Noise Podcast (NYC)
About to Review (Seattle)
Endeavours Radio (Vancouver)
Novus TV (Vancouver)
BLACK LAND CASE STUDY
Black Land is a Canadian horror film on how a simple environmental assessment became a horrifying fight for survival, directed by Vancouver-based director Shaine Jones. It was an entrant of the annual Cinecoup Film Accelerator, a disruptive studio model assisting indie filmmakers to develop, market and produce feature films.
At the beginning of the 2015 Cinecoup Film Accelerator, Black Land was competing against 99 other films for the grand prize of $1 million and the chance to be developed as a feature film by completing mission milestones each week and garnering votes from the general public.
Once Black Land made it to the list of Top 30 films, they needed more than organic social media promotion to convince Cinecoup’s team of experts to move them to the next round. To ensure that Black Land had the best chance of making it into the Top 5 and beyond, I was tasked with generating press coverage and building upon their social media audience.
In the discovery process, I interviewed Shaine Jones and learned more about the inspiration behind Black Land and what Shaine and his team hoped to achieve with the horror film, set inside one of Vancouver’s majestic forests. I developed a press campaign that illustrated how Black Land, inspired Shaine’s personal experience being lost in the forest tied into all of our inner fears of being hunted by something unknown. To generate press, we reached beyond local mainstream outlets and positioned Black Land as the next big horror film that deserved to hit theatres and become the 2015 winner of the Cinecoup Film Accelerator.
I identified a list of influential indie and horror media outlets and reached out to them for press coverage and interviews to help boost Black Land’s visibility among horror fans and general film audiences. The resulting international press coverage from indie and horror film media in the UK, New Mexico, Florida, Alabama, California, Tennessee, Texas and locally in Vancouver saw Black Land make it to the Top 5 of the 2015 Cinecoup Film Accelerator and have their film optioned for development by Cinecoup’s panel of film experts.
PRESS COVERAGE FROM HORROR/MAINSTREAM MEDIA
The Slaughtered Bird (Liverpool, UK)
Director’s Cut Radio Podcast (New Mexico, USA)
Ginger Nuts of Horror (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Legless Corpse (Alabama, USA)
North By Northwest CBC Radio (Vancouver, Canada)
PETER DACUNHA CASE STUDY
With notable feature film and television series that include for Disney, The Hallmark Channel, ABC Family, Lifetime, The Syfy Network, CBC, CBS/CTV and the CW Network, rising Canadian star Peter Dacunha has a resume that would impress most Hollywood heavyweights. But the 13 year old thespian’s career moved up another level as he worked with critically acclaimed award-winning Hollywood talent on two films, the drama Remember and horror film Hellions, premiering at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
With two feature films of very different subject matter premiering at the two-week long 2015 TIFF, the PR campaign needed to be tailored to Peter’s schedule as well as their respective audiences.
A limited window for press coverage and a desire to appeal to both mainstream and niche horror media meant that Peter needed more than a standard pitch to local media. He needed a press campaign that would reach the international media in the city for the festival and that would maximize the opportunity for coverage on the red carpet. I was tasked with developing a press campaign that both illustrated Peter’s depth of experience and provided unique promotion for both films he had premiering at TIFF.
In the discovery process, I interviewed Peter learned more about his previous respective film and television roles as well as current projects and the significance of the roles he played in both Remember and Hellions. I developed two separate press campaigns, one for more mainstream local and international media and one specifically for horror media, positioning Peter as the rising star in film and television that everyone needs to know, capitalizing on his previous experience in dramatic and horror roles.
I identified a list of influential mainstream and horror media outlets and reached out to them for press coverage and interviews to help boost Peter’s visibility on the international stage and in Hollywood. The resulting national and international press coverage from outlets such as Tribute.ca, The Gate Magazine, CP24, Ginger Nuts of Horror, The Slaughtered Bird and The Avod increased Peter’s marketability as an actor on the national Canadian stage and in the horror genre. Red carpet interviews with eOne Films, ET Canada, Canada AM and CTV Toronto further solidified Peter’s viability as an actor who is able to more than hold his own against Hollywood royalty and assisted in his casting of a more permanent recurring role on The Syfy Network’s 12 Monkeys.