10 Ways in Which I Would Release Bomb It Today

Chris Horton asked me to write this post for the new Artist Services website that Sundance has set up. However, many filmmakers don’t have access to that site, and so I am posting it here on my blog for anyone to be able to read. Here is the post:

In 2005 I started a documentary project that became Bomb It which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007, was released on DVD, iTunes and Netflix via New Video and has had an extended life on VOD (Gravitas), Web series (Babelgum), various foreign sales (PAL DVD this month on Dogwoof) etc. As many of you know, my experience releasing Bomb It inspired me to write a manual for other filmmakers to release their films in this new distribution landscape: Think Outside the Box Office. Chris Horton approached me to write a post on how I would release Bomb It in today’s distribution landscape (and knowing what I know now). I’ve actually thought about this a lot (mostly kicking my self for what I could have done better!)

One caveat to this post – we are still in very early experimental times and the tools, techniques and strategies continue to evolve. In addition – hindsight is easy. What I hope this post will do will provide helpful insight into how what I learned can help your process.

1. Better Integrate The Distribution and Marketing into the Filmmaking Process.

We actually did a pretty good job of engaging fans for Bomb It early on, considering the tools available and our resources. But we could have done more (although the technology/facility with much of what I mention didn’t really exist in 2005 when we started): More organizational and partner outreach – and earlier in the process.

• Earlier sponsorship engagement.

• Utilized more crowdsourced content for our website – encouraged fan submissions of material and been faster with turnaround on submitted material.

• Art, poster-design, and trailer-editing competitions.

• Allowed mash-ups of footage (might still do this).

• More activity on a broader range of social media (not as possible then as it is now – our new FB page grows by 500-1000 a month now – 4 years later).

• More engagement with prominent blogs and websites (didn’t have enough time to do all we wanted)

My producer Tracy Wares who handled most of the outreach during production (and did a great job – we ended up with 5000 Myspace (social network of choice for graf back then)) fans by Tribeca but was too busy producing the film and then left when we premiered at Tribeca (she had to get a job) – at the beginning of distribution. I’m sure many of you are in the same situation. Hence:

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