Updated: Dec 12, 2019
So now that I'm close to having a movie I am using social media to try to promote it. This is what independent filmmakers are told they're supposed to do. Basically, assume you're not going to get into Sundance or another high profile film festival. And then envision a scenario where you need to sell your movie yourself. To do this, you need a platform, we're told, and that platform is social media.
This and most of the other marketing-your-movie tips makes me sort of queasy. You feel like making a good movie should be enough. If you build it they will come, right? And the idea that my audience will come from connections made on social media seems kind of sad.
Like I assume just about everyone, I have a tormented relationship with social media. I go on FB pretty much every day and the amount of time I spend there is directly proportional to how badly I feel about myself at a given time. If I feel badly about myself, I will spend more time on Facebook. And then spending time on Facebook makes me feel much worse about myself. We're all familiar with this cycle, right? Right?
And then of course there's the whole thing of Facebook consistently making shitty decisions about its platform and how it's used and misused, and that there's a chance FB contributed to the election of this nightmare of a president. Despite all this, I am a FB defender. It is, like it or not, the town square for a lot of people of a certain age. And it has kept me connected with a random group of people who I really like.
And as many of you know, I sometimes make long, rambling posts about god-knows-what. As someone who likes to think of himself as a writer, it is nice to have a platform where the publisher almost never rejects your work. Yes, they may own it, and by extension, somehow, me. But they continue to let me put words out into the ether. So I keep doing so. Because the alternative, to write content worthy of publication, and then pursuing the submission of that content to whatever real-world publishers are left out there, well, that's an exhausting prospect.
But now I'm promoting a movie and my posting is migrating from regular brand of self-serving to the more transactional brand of self-serving. I will post in order to get someone to do something. At this point it's just sharing or liking my movie, but at some point it'll probably be going out to see or streaming my movie. So my posts will veer into being ads.
My first effort at this encouraged people to like my FB film page, but also encouraged them to actually share my movie page with others. I promised the people who would do this a SPECIAL PRIZE, even though I had no idea what that might be. (I know now). I was really heartened that at least 15 people actually did it. And I don't think they were mostly doing it for the SPECIAL PRIZE. A couple people specified that they don't want/need the SPECIAL PRIZE. But they will receive it anyway. I just hope they're patient.
But for now, I am recognizing these people on my "SUPPORT" page of my website. This previously only had names of our sponsors. Companies that gave us money and/or food, location space, etc. Now I'm aware that I'm opening myself up to criticism here because there are MANY people who have done MANY amazing things to support my movie who I'm not recognizing anywhere yet. I'm just going to deal with that blowback later. For now, I just want to recognize those who are promoting my movie on the Socials because I asked them to. This really did mean a lot to me and while we're all waiting for the SPECIAL PRIZE to come into existence and then be delivered (could take a while) I want to recognize these people now.
If you want to be added to this list, it's as easy as going to FB or Insta or Twitter and sharing my movie page (www.loveandcommunication.com). If you choose not to do this, I respect that. We all have to make our own decisions about what we feel comfortable doing on the socials. Increasingly though, my postings will be with the explicit, rather than implicit goal of self-promotion. If you've gotten this far in this post, well bless you and I hope I will be as supportive of your social promotion as you clearly are of mine.
Anyway, here is the list, that is also on the SUPPORT page of the website. I will be updating that list with future social media supporters, but not this one since updating a blog post is sorta worthless.
The following individuals went out of their way to support Love and Communication on social media. Below are their names and one thing that I appreciate about them (besides that fact that they are supporting the film).
Shelly Pottorf: She toured the country with a Tiny House she designed/architected. It's a cool house and I want to live in it someday. At the Princeton stop she parked at Community Park.
Shannon Bryant: As I understand it, she's the one who actually physically built the Tiny House referenced above. Has a nephew who's an actor and is unflaggingly supportive. She's the kind of person always thinking about how to help others.
Lauren Byrne: One of Jimmy's first teachers and one of our all time favorites. Incredibly patient (and I mean with us, not just Jimmy). Helped out on the filming when we had scenes with therapists working with students with autism.
Noelie Hillebrecht: My amazing sister who finagled me to use her school to shoot at for two days and then put up a chunk of my crew in her house.
Tom Devaney: My composer! You hear his music in the trailer (except the slightly more poppy song that comes on at 1:20). I feel like his music makes this movie come to life and am profoundly grateful to have connected with him on this.
Susan Stuck: Former co-worker, the only true foodie I know (sorry pretender foodies) and I believe the only person on earth who has hosted my whole family besides those in my immediate family.
Marc and Lisa Huguenin: Their son was Jimmy's classmate when they were both tiny. They have always been our model autism parents: profoundly selfless, deep love of their child but also supporters to the community. Unfortunately Marc is a Giants fan. Typically I'm supposed to say "but I don't hold that against him." But that would be lying because of course I do.
Joe Gironda: Jimmy's gym and after school teacher who spends a LOT of his free time supporting our fundraising efforts. We're so grateful for Joe and the support Jimmy gets at Douglass.
David Lee White: Fellow NJ Playwright. We used to commiserate about being underproduced playwrights together but he's on a major run and might betray me by making a fortune in musical theatre. (I'll be happy. Grudgingly).
Nick Anselmo: Directed the lovely musical Alien8 by David Lee White at Drexel. Knows everyone in Philly, incredibly smart/friendly.
Abigail Rose: One of our favorite Princeton Little League friends. And I say that proudly and unironically. Politically conscious, culturally engaged, doctor.
Matthew Mills: Was the student of our next door neighbor, and helped that neighbor a great deal towards the end of his life.
Jennifer Gordon: Old friend from Philly who is now in our backyard running the upper school at Stuart (highly regarded school in Princeton). Came to my trailer party so this is a support double down!
Hendrick Davis: Neighbor we don't know well but always has a smile for Jimmy when we walk by. Often plays guitar on his stoop in nice weather which I love so much.
Rich Walters: Co-chairs a golf tournament with me to raise money for kids with autism, EVEN THOUGH HE DOESN'T HAVE A KID WITH AUTISM.
Terri Jordan Lantz: Distant family, but family! Terri, I'm hoping you can explain how we're related someday...
Michael Christy: My first cousin from California. Such an incredibly nice guy that it's hard to imagine he was a Golden Gloves boxer back in the day.
Chris and Julia Smith: Hosted me in their lovely home in Sacramento this summer when I was there for a play opening. Truly the hosts with the most, their Friendship Force organization promotes hosting/visiting to promote community building around the world.
Annette Fine: Family friend who hosts amazing parties and ran with all the cool rock stars back in the day.
Kevin Granahan: My cousin and co-producer. Has been supporting this concept since the outset. So grateful for his 7 days on the set.
Vanessa Shealy: We were in a writing group together briefly ages ago but I now mainly know how cool she is through social media. One of these people who does everything: playwright, filmmaker, comic book writer. Also speaks autism.
Justine Plouzennec: Did sound on the film. At an after-party she did a spectacular rap in French. No idea what she was saying but we were all mesmerized.
Sarah Hamilton: High school friend who lives in Germany and is still a huge and vocal Philadelphia Eagles fan. Also consistently posts legitimately inspirational posts with cool photography.
Jeff Gittleman: Hooked me up with a Hollywood friend who became an Executive Producer on the film. Loves aardvarks.
Claudia Fitzgerald: Knew her just well enough in high school to know she was unflaggingly warm/positive, always smiling. Frequently posts about very good causes but not in a judgmental way.
Marylou Difilippo: Was DYNAMITE and memorable several plays my father directed at Villanova University many moons ago. Fiercely (and rightfully) proud to make her living as a working actor in NYC.
Kristina Corvin: Neighbor in Princeton who is always trying to change the world (locally), and has the most amazing wildflowers in her front sidewalk every summer.
Mary Lynch Barbera: Autism advocate and BCBA, was referred to her by an aunt when Jimmy was first diagnosed. We never met but she gave us great advice at that time. She's invited me to be on her (very well regarded) autism podcast.
Jennifer Vandenburgh: Profoundly cool high school classmate I haven't seen in forever but remember well (we had 50 kids per class so everyone knew everyone). Posts cool stuff, including ambitious-looking food items. If I ever decide to can something, I think I'm hitting her up for advice.
Yichao: Playwright, sketch comedian and video game creator. I think he's like, a pretty big deal with the video game thing. Incredibly nice person despite being demonstrably successful. Met at a playwrights conference in Omaha, NE, weirdly a highlight of my playwrighting career.
Kiefer Sison: A director from the Phillipines who found and directed my play Egyptian Song. The pictures were amazing and I very much hope to meet him someday. Ideally when he's directing one of my plays. Sarah Torian: Another neighbor and one of those do-gooders who is so cool that you can't even resent them for how fundamentally decent they are. Our families walked together to the local library to watch the 2016 election results together. I'm not superstitious but I don't think we'll repeat that next year.
Jen Roos: I don't know this person! Highly regarded friend of Mary's from Princeton, designer, went to South Africa. Somehow knows Jeff Pucillo, an actor who I know from NYC and gave me film production advice about this movie. SMALL WORLD.