Monday 28 May 2012

42 Press Kit

Daino_16 /
It´s one of those niggedly-piggedly things you want to forget. Don´t. When you send a DVD to a film festival, or for consideration by a commissioning editor, or to potential investors, you should include a press kit.

The basics:
  1. A pocket folder (good if the cover is the opening of the doc).
  2. A brief cover letter (three short paragraphs) on your company letterhead. This should include information about you,and your qualifications, your company and the program. Include website information and awards.
  3. A short synopsis of the the program (like the blurb on the DVD).
  4. Bios of the principles in the doc and the crew.
  5. Any interesting information that you think might sell the program.
  6. Press clippings.
If you sign up with WITHOUTABOX they have an electronic press kit. It´s an easy way to enter multiple film festivals.

Lesson 42: God is in th dinky details

Next week: 43: The Dead Zone

Monday 21 May 2012

41 Slings & Arrows

Image by asifthebes /
What do you do when get a bad review? Try to remember the fashion world maxim: bad publicity is better than no publicity. Then sit down and cry. Little margie productions has been lucky: the critiques have been mostly positive. But I did have one shock. A half-page with color photograph of one of our docs: "Lucia." I was thrilled, but my Finnish wasn´t fluent enough to get the gist. I happened to be with the media buyer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He translated it for me, but not before he burst out laughing. "Lucia" is essentially a Swedish-speaking celebration. In the doc I said it was spilling over into the Finnish-speaking population, especially with children. The writer took exception, in a lot of words. Some unkind.

But that was a blip compared to what The Daily Telegraph wrote about composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. It was the day after the London debut of his piano concerto at Royal Albert Hall. We were there filming him for the doc, "Chasing Esa-Pekka." The next day we had an appointment to interview him. At breakfast I read the review to Eki and Antti. It was, in one word, devastating. I asked the guys if they thought he´d show up. They said, "Sure." And he did. One of the questions I had to ask was, what did he think of the critique. He was cool and appeared not the least bothered. He said, "That´s just part of the game." And we went on to other things. But I´m sure it hurt.

Lesson 41: Do what Esa-Pekka did, keep truckin.

Next week: 42 Press Kits