Your Audience Does Not Look Like This

Jon Reiss is filmmaker (Bomb It, Better Living Through Circuitry), author (Think Outside the Box Office) and media strategist who works with filmmakers, companies and organizations to help them utilize the most recent techniques of direct film distribution and audience engagement. It was Jon who coined the acronym PMD: Producer of Marketing and Distribution - a term widely used for this new key film industry job.

I have met Jon Reis, author, filmmaker, entrepreneur several times and admire his work. He has carved himself a niche as the go-to person for advice on 'self distribution' - a term he and I agree is derogatory. Better to call it distribution. But distribution handled by the filmmakers themselves.

Jon's current crowdfunding film campaign has just ended successfully. He has written a series of wonderful articles about how filmmakers make money in movies in an age of abundance.

In Theatrical is Dead - Long Live Theatrical, he describes how to create unique live experiences. This is dis-similar to the event based Secret Cinema, but is far more engaging and specific than Secret Cinema (which is basically a marketing ply used by big brands).

Building an audience is something I have been trying to do for over twenty years at Raindance. I was delighted to read Jon's article and see that many of the techniques he describes (and this article has 9 of them) were ideas we were trying out at Raindance in the mid 1990's - in an age before the internet was really able to help.

To sum up Jon's excellent article in a nutshell would be to say: It's about offering a communal experience, and making it scarce. Scarcity is an age old marketing ploy and one my dad used to use on the farm to get  better price at the market each Saturday.

Jon's article appeared on another of my favourite blogs: Ted Hope's

Read the entire article here. It's well worth it: How to Create Unique Live Experiences Unavailable Anywhere Else (AKA scarcity for Live Event/Theatrical:

Elliot Grove
Elliot Grove founded Raindance a quarter century ago as a thought experiment: Can you make a film with no money, no training and no experience, he asked? When people like his first intern Edgar Wright started making movies he founded the Raindance Film Festival to celebrate their work in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998.

He founded the Independent Filmmakers' Ball in 2014

Elliot has produced over 700 short films, and 5 feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, TABLE 5 (1997) was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of £278.38. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe, Japan and America. In 2006 he produced the multiple-award winning The Living and the Dead.
In 2013 he relaunched the production arm: Raw Talent with the cult film director Ate de Jong. Their first venture was the psychological thriller Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey. finished late 2013.

He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008), Raindance Producers' Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking (Focal Press 2013) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009). He was awarded a PhD in 2009 for services to film education. His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication next year.

Elliot teaches several courses at Raindance including Lo To No Budget Filmmaking and Writer's Foundation Certificate.

Read articles by Elliot Grove.