Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Think Outside the Frame # 3

Build that list!

While you, the filmmaker, are busy working on all the things that must be done to develop and produce a film, don’t neglect building your email list. We prefer using Mail Chimp – it’s easy to use and allows you to create different lists rather than mush your contacts all together. Mail Chimp also allows you to the place a widget on your website so visitors can add themselves to a list and has a free APP so you can enter contacts on the fly from any mobile device. Mail Chimp also allows the recipient to easily unsubscribe.

Create separate lists for different uses. We’ve divided our lists into a “general contacts”  (my audience base), investors (for special reports) and press contacts.

Search the web for bloggers that have something in common with your film.  For example, MEGABALL$ has a lottery theme to it so we busy ourselves scouring blogs and websites about the lotto/lottery. When you found a good page find a contact email if available, and add them to our list. Perhaps send them an email introducing your film and offering to exchange links on your website.

Every time you see a report or review about a film on TV, in a magazine or newspaper (print or online), the author usually posts their email address. Copy it. Use Twitter? Many Twitter users post their email or web site. Add it to your list.

Check out the many film distribution companies online or on IMDB Pro, and add their email to a list.

Use your lists wisely – posting too often or sending vague emails will turn off the recipient and they’ll unsubscribe. Don’t forget to have in your email your film’s web site, Twitter address, Facebook page, Pinterest…etc.

When your film starts to move you’ll be prepared to promote it.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Think Outisde the Frame #2

So what do you do next? You have your killer script and log line. You've done research and created a business plan / project overview, and you've worked with an entertainment lawyer to set up your investor offering (probably a Private Placement Memorandum) and the production entity (probably an LLC). You have your budget, shooting schedule, revenue projections. Perhaps you have a teaser and a web site. You've practiced your pitch, the short one and the long one. Maybe you have artwork, such as a poster or one sheet....and you have an investor one sheet, and a PowerPoint presentation  You're ready to meet with investors, but how do you prep for the actual meeting?
Here's what we do.

We have everyone of our documents converted into PDF's with embedded links and, when needed, we print paper copies. We invested in a Velo binding machine to make the packages professional.

We have embraced the world of Google - it's free, why not? We have a Google Drive that contains all the documents  - both the original and the PDF version. Some prefer DropBox, which is also fine. Or, if you're a real techy, you can have all the docs loaded into your web site with hidden links. This allows all of my team access to the documents from anywhere, and it allows me to access them on the fly, on my cell phone or tablet. I can email them from anywhere when a request comes in, rather than need to wait to I get back home - a big bonus if/when you travel. There's a new APP called Google Slide which reads/edits/saves PowerPoint files and lets you display the slide show right from your portable device. And, if needed, we can access the files and them printed/bound locally when we're out of town. And all of this is very "Green."

We're ready! No matter where we are, or when an opportunity arise, we can share the details with whomever.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Think Outside the Frame

Filmmakers should embrace the use of Pinterest while developing their film, adding yet another level to the film’s internet footprint.
You can create boards for ideals of locations, casting, themes, specialized props, etc. This creates a visual guide to how you see your film. We recently needed to replace our production designer. Our designer had left the business for a while to go back to college and study entertainment law. We had met several designers but one, Roger Ambrose, interested us because he had a long list of credits ranging from commercials, TV, film and theater….plus he had several Emmy awards. He read and liked our script, but he said what really sold him were the photos we had of ideal locations.
Another thing filmmakers need to do in advance of filming is to find online groups, blogs and associations that share a common interest featured in your film. In the case of MEGABALL$, the lotto/lottery is a big them…so every so often we search for blogs, Facebook pages, even news releases regarding the lottery, then post are reach out to the site owner introducing our film. The research led us to seven-time lottery winner Richard Lustig. Richard not only has a web site with frequent visitors, he also conducts seminars all over the country about how to improve your chances of winning.
Richard began emailing us and eventually we saw an opportunity, and we decided to have Richard appear as himself in a cameo in the film. Richard has been promoting our film through his appearances and has had his PR firm do some releases about the film. When the film is completed, part of our distribution plan is to coordinate screenings with Richard’s lectures.
Think outside the frame! Follow us on Pinterest.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's important to use every opportunity to build your film's audience.

Many of you know I have an 'odd' little job, where I give tours about the HBO show, "The Sopranos." People from all over the world fill a bus every week to visit 50 locations used in filming, including the Bada Bing.

They are not allowed to take photos inside, and I saw an opportunity. I have photos taken sometime ago of the inside with the permission of the owner. At the end of each tour I welcome the clients to give me their email so I may send them the photos. The email with the photos thanks them for taking the tour and asks them to check out the web site for our film, MegaBall$. Then I add those names into a Mail Chimp list to use later on to continue promoting the film. The trick is to remind them they took the tour, and not over-send emails that may cause them to opt out.

So, what I'm doing is building a worldwide following with an interest in the Mob-genre who have met me in a memorable situation and are likely to follow our progess, and see the film when complete.

Always think of your film and how to promote it.

Geeks, the lotto & the Mob
Tag line: You never know when you're number's up.
Now seeking private equity.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Newsday gets MEGABALL$

Well, it came out early – so here’s some big news.

Newsday, a major NY newspaper and ranked 11th in the country, has done a profile on Oroloro partner, Joe Cirillo…with lots of talk about MEGABALL$. The print article will be out on Saturday but the feature has been released online at

The story writer and paper editor are really intrigued about the film and asked if they can visit the set when we film. Dah, yes!

This should raise our internet presence many-fold, and show investors that this film has real potential. Newsday has a circulation of over 400,000 not counting online viewership. Tell your friends! www.MegaBallsMovie.com Follow our progress on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Building that audience

The pay-off of posting our film progress on Facebook....Twitter....Pinterest....LinkedIn...Slated...Max it....and other web sites, plus having the right title, is paying off. Tonight at a network event on film finance with about 50 people, 5 knew of MegaBall$. That's 10%....pretty good start.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Some Progress ...

After 6 weeks of vetting MEGABALL$ was approved for listing in a web site exposing it to pre-vetted investors world wide. The company has a grading system and won't post anything with less than a score of 90 out of 100; we got 100! Our project was announced at a conference in Trier, a town in Germany at the Luxembourg border, and was well received. Let's see if this moves our financing forward.

You can view the listing at:


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Another Attachment

We're happy to add Jack Mulcahy to our MEGABALL$ cast, playing the role of FBI Agent Harris. Jack's not only a nice guy, he's had a great acting career that spans film, TV and stage. Best known for his work in the comedy film PORKY'S and PORKY'S II, and in Edward Burns' film THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN.
We speak geek ... and we know Jack.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Wheels keep a turning ...

We're pleased to announce that MEGABALL$ has now listed on Slated.com, an industry-based web site where pre-vetted contacts can view projects. They include executive producers, producers, distributors, sales reps and...investors!  Slated has been building a lot of buzz as it established itself as the go-to site for independent films budgeted over $500k and below $15mil, and their success rate is growing.

On Monday we met with Ted Hartley, President and CEO of RKO Pictures, that grand historic film company. Ted's a very friendly guy and into many things, including producing some theater musicals. He made it clear he'd like to talk about distribution when the time is right.

Later this month we'll be attending the GI Film Festival in Washington DC, and after that there may be some trips to LA.
Slamdance Screenplay Competition, one of the most respected in the industry, has responded on MEGABALL$ stating, "The premise is a lot of fun and keeps the reader engaged, making for a very marketable story. ...Straight-forward and well-executed plot line in place....similar tone to AMERICAN HUSTLE."

We feel the film is more like Tony Soprano meets the BIG BANG THEORY ... or GOODFELLAS meets THE OFFICE.
Stay tuned for more! If you haven't visited our web site, or followed us on Twitter @Oroloro, please do! And check out our video teaser which has more than 21,000 views!

Maybe even consider buying some logo merchandise available through our web site. Those sales help to underwrite some of the development costs.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Social Harvesting

Research has shown that people who follow the development of a film project are most likely people who will see the film, ergo an indie film mantra, "build your audience." Using accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, Vimeo, Vine, et. al. are great free ways to build that audience.

Case in point.

A few days ago I went to see THE GRAND BUDPEST HOTEL at my local theater. I don't often pay to see films because I belong to a film society where we see soooooooo many .... but, occasionally, there's a film that gets my interest that is not made available to our film society. I sat in this 'civilian' theater and the pre-movie barrage began, but there was no image - only sound. After ten minutes I alerted staff. Another ten minutes passed and still no image. I pulled out my smartphone, launched Twitter and searched for the theater company name, found them and tweeted the alert. Ten more minutes and the image came on (fortunately before the main feature). Later in the day I received a follow-up tweet from the theater company apologizing and thanking me for the alert. The (and here's the point) they began following me on Twitter. I tweeted about our film. Whoever handles their Twitter account visited our web site, watched our teaser, then Tweeted back that they liked it. So now we have a real follower!
And that's an important point. Don't buy followers as some do, earn them, communicate with them, and really build your audience.
Another case in point.
We decided to add a Vine campaign to our pre-marketing strategy. The items we want to make would require having a way to stabilize a cellphone while shooting. On eBay I purchased  a tripod mount. I received it quickly but it has a design flaw whereas the mount partially blocks the phone's camera. The seller was willing to accept a return, but I did a little work and fixed the problem by using rubber bands instead of the provided clamps, allowing me to shift the camera above the obstruction. I then reached out to the manufacturer alerting them of the issue. Thirty minutes later I got an email from the company offering to exchange the mount for a different one (even though I did not purchase the unit from them). Apparently the one I bought on eBay was for a different use. I explained our plan was, then the company owner visited our web site, watched our teaser video, and followed us on Twitter. Again, it's a real connection. 
By the way, if you're looking for a mount for cell phones, tablets, GPS units or small cameras, check out Arkon. Their catalog is impressive, the products are well priced, and the commitment to customer service is well proven.
And a third case in point.
Richard Lustig is a multi-time lottery winner. At one point we reached out to his blog simply to introduce MegaBall$, our comedy about geeks, the lotto and the Mob. Richard was intrigued and even inquired about perhaps making a cameo on the film. We connected on Twitter and Richard also signed up to our MailChimp account for email progress reports. Yesterday Richard emailed stating he hadn't heard from us in a while, so we sent him an update.
Each one of these followers is not only likely to become a paying audience, but also likely to help spread the word to their friends and followers.
While you're doing all your creative stuff, and legal stuff, and financial stuff, don't forget to build your audience.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tarry On ...

As we come out of the long and cold winter, recovering from health issues and tragic fires, we turn our attention back to MEGABALL$.

It has always been part of our strategy to build our audience before we make the film. We have been building a following on our web site, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTubeLinkedIn, Google+  and Pinterest, and by posting piece about the film in a few online film sites - which has led to the project getting a listing on IMDBPro. We are active on several film industry sites such as Slated, Stage32, Funny or Die and The Black List. We have set up a MailChimp list where people may sign-up for email updates. We also sell logo merchandise on our web site and fans who have purchased T-shirts, cups, posters, etc., have posted photos of them with their items. (Proceeds from those sales help to underwrite the growing development costs.) We frequently put time in on social media to help build that following, which reaches all over the world.  We'll continue that strategy while we film by posting stills from the set and even behind-the-scene videos.

Another element that will help the marketing and audience building is our planned mobile APP, which will be functional and promotional in nature, and be released early into production. Not only will it have useful lotto elements, such as a number picker that plays lines from the script, users would be able to get production notes, buy merchandise, and even buy downloads of the completed film.
We are now examining the possibility of combining our financing effort with one or two other projects by other producers. In doing so the financiers could improve their chances of profit margins because the money would not be in one project but spread over several of different genres.

Soon we'll begin shooting some Vine videos - comic short items about the lotto.

We sued our winter down-time by working on all of our materials based on feedback from Molly Mayeaux. Molly is a veteran producer with over 30 films to her credit, and spent a week reviewing all our work, making recommendations on changes to the screenplay, the business plan, and more. Her insight and objectivity was very helpful, and her input much appreciated. Molly thought the title sounded a like a low-ball or raunchy comedy and is not fitting to our high-concept smart comedy. However, for the moment, we're sticking to our title which evolved by combining the two most popular lotto games - MegaMillions and Powerball. The reaction we get from everybody when they hear the title is that it's about the lotto and it's a comedy.

Visit our web site for more information on the project!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Oy, those gremlins

The ending of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 has been plagued with gremlins.

Just before the holidays I came down with a bad sinus infection causing migraine-like headaches. I spent the holidays resting in the dark.

Then...a few days later ....

On the first Saturday of 2014 I narrowly escaped serious injury during a road rage incident in NJ. 5 State troopers came to our rescue, and I managed to only get a few bruises and strains.

Then, a few days later ....

Oroloro partner Joe Cirllo's home had an extensive fire caused by a clothing dryer failure. Fortunately, no one was injured. The 3-month old dryer was the firestarter, and the fire/smoke/water damages are heavy. Joe will be living in a hotel, and watching over the home recovery, for 4-5 months.

Then, a few days alter...

After being on medication for the sinus infection for less than one day, I awoke with a tingling sensation in the right side of my face, which worsened through the day.. My doctor advised me seek urgent care. By the evening the right side of my face had been paralyzed. apparently, the infection hit a nerve.. CT Scans, MRI and blood tests were clear, new meds, and - at this time - I am still slowly recovering, wearing an eye patch and hoping for a full recovery over time.

Then, a few days later....

My custom built high-end computer crashed. It's a fairly large and heavy unit, but very powerful. I use it for our film efforts, designing documents, web sites and video editing. I needed to find a technician to come to the home.for the repair (which was beyond my ability). Finally, 10 days later I'm told it's been repaired, but I don't know the financial damages. We're now waiting to find a day when the computer can be brought back home. Fortunately, I have a small travel laptop and tablet allowing me to minimally keep up on some emails.

Joe and I are regrouping, licking our wounds and looking forward to focusing our energies on the financing of MEGABALL$.  We are grateful for all the support and well wishes received from family and friends. I'm also looking forward to being able to travel so I may see my grandson Carter, born Dec 6th. And, we deserve a vacation!

On a positive note, we were tickled to learn that TV veteran and funnyman, Chuck McCann, is following us on Twittwer and Facebook!