Part 18, Playing the film festival game

buzz_mclaughlin_producerWhen you’re just starting out with your first feature film, playing the festival game can be a bit daunting.

The dilemma, of course, is to know—especially at the front end of a film’s festival run—which invites to accept. Everyone told us to be careful and strategize how we wanted to play this. The premiere only happens once and until that card is played, it has great potential value. Once it’s played, the top festivals are pretty much off the table, as “premiere-itis” among the major festivals is very much alive and kicking as it has been for many years.

So from the beginning the question was: given our Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 17, Hanging out at the San Sebastian Film Fest

buzz_mclaughlin_producerOnce our opening night was over all of us breathed a sigh of relief and set about having a good time at the festival in one of most beautiful cities in Europe. The festival itself helped out in numerous ways by supplying us with great hotel rooms with ocean views, passes to everything, and numerous dinners and parties in various tucked-away places in the oldest section of town. We enjoyed seeing films from around the world and caught glimpses of film actors and directors there such as Jeanne Moreau, Max von Sydow, Matt Dillon, Tom DiCillo and Steve Buscemi.  One night we wandered back from a screening of “The Children of Men,” amazed at Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 16, How we almost missed our world premiere

buzz_mclaughlin_producerAaron and his wife Keri and me and my wife Kris flew from Boston to Paris, then took a connecting flight to Berlitz in the far southwest corner of France. Picking up a rental car, we drove into Spain from there, arriving in San Sebastian about an hour later.

Ian Somerhalder and fellow “Lost” star Maggie Grace arrived separately, as did Ron Wyman our documentarian and Mark Constance, one of our producers. Ron suffered quite a trauma getting there as his cameras were lost in transit (and never recovered except for insurance replacement months later) and Mark’s plane connections delivered him to the hotel in the middle of the night, long after Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 15, Sneaking into a major festival

buzz_mclaughlin_producerAs September approached and the San Sebastian International Film Festival was rapidly coming into view, a whirlwind of activity commenced for us.

People in the film industry were excited for us and everyone was giving us tips on how to best “play” the festival. Being the innocent greenhorns we were, we listened gratefully and tried to implement as many suggestions as we could.

One of the interesting episodes we encountered in these final weeks before the festival was a meeting we had with one of the top movie PR firms in Los Angeles. Having heard of our selection Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 14, Hitting the film festival circuit

buzz_mclaughlin_producerOur film festival run with The Sensation of Sight started out with a bang. Within a couple of weeks of having finished post on the film and with DVD screeners in hand, we submitted to several top festivals including Telluride, Toronto, and San Sebastian in Spain–the next big festivals coming up in the early fall.

Within three weeks of submitting, we received an invitation to the 54th San Sebastian International FilmFestival–one of the oldest festivals in the world and generally considered one of the top ten international fests. We were a bit stunned by this and surprised by the speed Read the rest of this entry »

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