As unit publicist for the Crazy8s Film Event, developing the PR campaign for the film event as well as managing the publicity for all 6 winning teams during production, on set and during post production meant that I had educate the media that this was a film event, not a film festival. Being a film event meant that the top 6 winning teams won THE RIGHT to have their films produced and edited in 8 days with in-kind sponsorship donations in the form of cash and equipment, rather than submitting finished films to win awards.
The teams were:
Cypher–A coming of age hip hop story about a Korean American teenager who finds a platform to confront the pain of his past in LA’s underground hip hop scene following the 1992 riots.
Anh Hung-a story of how sibling bonds are forever changed when a young girl discovers the truth of her family’s (and her older brother’s) activities outside the law.
The Prince-a young dancer and her uncle, an actor, struggle with their identity as Middle Eastern Canadians following a violent confrontation on public transit.
No Reservations-a satirical take on pipelines where the roles of the homeowners and the oil/gas company executives are reversed.
Undertaker’s Son– A young man in an 1880s Western town is forced to confront some long buried feelings about family when he joins his father for his first day of work as a undertaker for the family business.
WoodMan-A man made of wood befriends a woman online and comes to realize how some of the lies he’s been telling himself has kept him trapped for years.
Additionally, I was also responsible for working with the teams to develop the official press kits that properly reflected their experiences and positioned the proper ‘story hooks’ for each of the 6 films to mainstream and online local and international media. With this year’s group of films focused on subjects outside popular genres such as horror, LGBT, romance and straight up comedy, developing the PR campaign was less about pitching to genre-specific media and more about doing research into each media outlet and what the types of films the journalists/bloggers/podcasters usually reviewed and scheduled interviews for.
After conducting extensive research into key media outlets and influencers and the topics they covered, I focused on pitching all 6 teams based on 3 parameters:
- The hooks/subject matter/genre of each film
- The background/experience of the director/producer teams (ie. whether they’d won awards, notable projects they’d worked on)
- The ages of the director/producer teams (as some media outlets skewed more towards audiences between the ages of 20-35)
Following these parameters, I pitched all 6 teams to select podcasts and blogs in Vancouver, New York, Toronto and Seattle along with local radio stations and newspapers. Over the course of the six weeks, I followed up with key media outlets through both email and conversations via social media and continue to pitch each film based on topics of interest. I also worked with the Vancouver Sun to set up an official production blog for all teams to blog about their experiences with Crazy8s and share their journeys from writing the scripts to location scouting and casting.
Through story pitching and social media campaign management, I secured national and international press coverage for all 6 film teams and the film event including but not limited to: radio stations such as Roundhouse Radio and Co-op Radio in Vancouver, broadcast media outlets such as CBC Vancouver, Novus TV and Vancouver TV, podcast media such as Endeavours Radio and print media outlets such as The Georgia Straight.