Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Creating a Professional Film Publicity Structure

For many of my clients, I am the first marketing professional they hire. Most likely because they know they can benefit through publicity, but they don't know where to start.

I figure publicity is like trying to cut your own hair, you can get it done yourself, but it's probably better to have someone do it who knows what they are doing!

Fundamentally, creating a professional publicity structure is simple: A promotional message is created that will inform recipients, and motivate them to take a desired action.

With a typical film, the message can vary, depending on the media outlets we are pitching to cover your story. It becomes a balance between providing them with what they expect to receive on your type of project, but at the same time giving them something that they (and consequently their audience) have not seen before.

I assist my clients in creating a promotional message according to those guidelines. Then I create a web based resource for the people I'm contacting on behalf of my clients: Press releases, trailers, photos, are all available for download at one central location, so journalists and broadcast show producers always have the most current promotional materials available for download, at their convenience, so that's what I mean when I mention a professional publicity structure.

Every film, and every producer's situation is completely different. Experience is valuable, but keeping an open mind, and being flexible is also important.

I want to hear your ideas on the subject, so please get back to me, or give me a call at 856-942-4434.

Best of luck to you with your projects!

Steve Thompson

Thompson Communications

ps: True story . . . a publisher from an entertainment media outlet -- someone who receives my press releases, and has worked with some of my clients -- asked me today for assistance in promoting them!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Actor Guile Branco, SAG - AFTRA, Heads to Cannes!

Guile Branco  SAG - AFTRA

Guile on the set of 
"This Thing About My Wife"


For Immediate Release

Press Contact:
Steve Thompson
Thompson Communications


April, 2014 -- Los Angeles, CA -- Actor Guile Branco is heading to the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival, for the screening of This Thing About My Wife, in the Short Film Corner (Court Métrage.)

More details will be announced soon, for now Guile comments: “Big thanks to our producer Joe Moreira, Director Jean-Paul Ouellette, my costars Gislene Camargos-Hart, Meg Deshaies, and the remaining talented cast and crew that helped make this dream possible.”

This Thing About My Wife was written and produced by Joe Moreira, and directed by Jean Paul Oullette, who was second unit director of The Terminator. As the lead, Guile plays a husband whose wife decides not only to control his life, but gets a girlfriend to share the household!

Guile is also currently appearing in Pizza Me, Mafia with well known Brazilian television comedic star Tom Cavalcante. In November 2013, Guile also hosted the American premiere of Pizza Me, Mafia, which was held in The Paramount Theater, the largest theater on the Paramount lot.

Pizza Me, Mafia will be screening in the 2014 St. Tropez International Film Festival, more news on this screening is coming soon.

He appeared as a stripper in the recently released The Best Night Ever, which was directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (Scary Movie -- 1, 2, and 3; Disaster Movie, Vampires Suck, The Starving Games) and was distributed by Magnet Releasing, a subsidiary of Magnolia Films.

Guile has also completed a performance in the independent film 224, shot in New York City and directed by Brazilian Heidnaldo da Silva, starring in the lead role as New, a character framed for a crime he didn’t commit -- a bank heist -- who gets trapped in an apartment with a crazy woman.

Originally from Brazil, 2013 marked ten years in the US for Guile. He has appeared in the lead in a Capital One tv spot, in the tv series 1000 Ways to Die, and NBC’s The Match-Off. He will also be seen in the soon to be released independent film The One Nighter.

Most recently Guile wrote the screenplay for Brazilian Town, in which he will also be starring. Producers are planning to shoot later this year in the Boston area.


Guile Branco will be available for interview throughout the
2014 Cannes International Film Festival,
and in advance by appointment, pending availability.

To Interview Guile Branco
Formatted Release as .pdf, or Release Text as MS .doc

Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications

"How does a struggling author get their books or stories seen by a film studio?"

Many people wonder about the process of having their writing considered by film producers and studios as the basis for films.  Entertainment attorney Brandon Blake answers the question better than I can in a recent newsletter, which I received on April 16:

Welcome to this week's Entertainment Lawyer Q&A, published by The Film & Television Law Quarterly and the entertainment law firm of BLAKE & WANG P.A. Each week an entertainment lawyer will respond to reader questions and publish the best discussions.

Have a question for an entertainment lawyer? Post it on our website at www.blakewang.com and get the answers you need.

Question and Answer for this week:


My Question pertains to writing. How does a struggling author get their books or stories seen by a film studio?

Answer by Brandon Blake, Entertainment Attorney:

I receive a lot of questions from authors in the same situation. Whether an author has been published by a major publisher or has self-published through the many independent presses that are available, many authors would like to move from print to theatrical motion pictures.

Moving from publishing to feature film is difficult. Most books that are adapted for major motion pictures are either best sellers or have a substantial cult following. Unpublished manuscripts are difficult because the work does not yet have an audience. Generally an unpublished manuscript will need to be adapted first to show the feasibility of producing the work as a feature film.

After 14 years of representing feature film producers, writers and authors, I have been on both sides of adaptations, representing the authors and the producers at different times. Although there is no single way to succeed as an author, here are a few tips that I have learned over the years.

- Unpublished Works: An unpublished work faces the steepest climb. I would suggest that the first step would be either to find a literary agent to represent the work or to dig in and either write the adaptation or find a young screenwriter with talent that can write it with the author. Neither choice is easy. Finding a literary agent is difficult due to the huge number of manuscripts being submitted each year. Likewise, writing a script or finding an interested writer will take time. But in either case the author is making a material step towards getting the work seen. Do not discount the many workshops and contests that can give a work a boost as well.

- Self-Published or Limited Editions: In this case an author should consider the audience of the work. Is there a large audience or a particularly supportive demographic? If so then the work might support a crowd funding campaign. Money could be raised to hire a professional screenwriter or even to develop the feature. If the screenwriter hired is well known or if the author has raised enough money to attach some known actors, then studios and production companies will start to take interest in the project.

- Well Known Works: Well known works can often be presented directly to studios who may want to develop the projects in-house. This is especially common with animated features. The process is that the studio will find out if there is tentative interest by the author in developing the work for a feature film. Then the development executives will shop the project internally to find potential interest from a producer in the project.

As with any of these approaches, the author needs to balance exposure of the work with protecting the concept and idea of the project. In my experience the risks of reputable, experienced producers out-right stealing a project are much smaller than most authors realize. However, that does not mean that the author will be treated fairly. Proper representation is important for an author at any experience level.

As with any legal matter, please do not make a decision about complex matters without consulting an experienced entertainment attorney first. I have been representing feature film projects for more than 14 years. Please feel free to contact my office about a quote.

- By Brandon Blake, Entertainment Attorney

About the Editor:

Brandon A. Blake is an entertainment lawyer and producer who works with Academy Award winning actors, directors and filmmakers. A complete biography is available online.

About the Entertainment Lawyer Q&A:

The Entertainment Lawyer Q&A does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is the information treated as confidential. Responses to selected questions will be made public and shared with our subscribers. All entertainment law information is informational in nature and is not intended to be acted on without entertainment lawyer counsel.

 * * * * * * * * * * * *

(And now back to Steve Thompson's posting!)

If you are looking for film publicity, I can make it happen.

Steve Thompson
Thompson Communications

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gathr® Films Offers $500K to Crowdfunded Movies

Gathr® is offering a $20,000 advance to as many as 25 films that crowdfunded resources, provided they grant Gathr® the exclusive rights to distribute their movie in theaters.

Read the full story on The Wrap

Gathr® Films offers an innovative new service to independent filmmakers that allows you to bring the movies you want to a venue near you. It's what they like to call Theatrical On Demand®.

Visit the Gathr® Films Website

Would you like me to keep you up to date on news like this?  Just get back to me and we'll stay in touch.

Best of Luck to You!
  Steve Thompson

Thompson Communications