Thursday, 26 May 2011
ICO Cultural Exhibition Course, Day 4
Today was all about marketing and PR and we kicked off with a talk by Julia Short, former MD for Verve Pictures. She presented a case study of how they handled the release of THE ARBOR. She was terrifically candid, with many of the best things she said preceded by “I really shouldn’t tell you this”, which is exactly the kind of thing the trainees are looking for. Some of the best anecdotes came from her time at Polygram, when too much money was paid for mediocre films (MULHOLLAND FALLS, anyone?).
After that Clare Wilford, a freelance publicist who has worked on our own CINECITY Film Festival, outlined her ‘rules of the game’ when it came to generating press coverage and interest in your event/venue/festival. Her approach is very straight-forward and rooted in real-life experience. I attended a course with Clare some years ago and although it was familiar territory, it reminded me of some fundamentals.
The post-lunch slot was a workshop on solving fictional press problems, with a Ken Russell retrospective being my group’s homework. Somehow we ended up proposing that staff dress as nuns. Don’t ask.
Finally, the groups formed yesterday to workshop the course’s project reunited and we started working on our fictional programming exercise, which is a lot of fun because it’s basically just a group of smart, film-literate people brainstorming fun programming, marketing and event ideas. Something I usually do in my own head.
After class I popped into the BFI Filmstore and picked up an Eisenstein box set (yesterday I bought Ballad of a Soldier and Destiny of Man, two other Soviet classics) – thank goodness the course is over tomorrow or I would spend too much money.
Tomorrow: Ed Flechter from Soda Pictures discusses the future of cultural cinema, and we present our homework!