Marketing: Calling out Larry Miller

So how come all the aspiring and/or established LDS filmmakers hit up Larry Miller for financing? Seriously, first there was Richard Dutcher, then Scott Swofford, [and then Richard Dutcher again], and now Tyler Ford.

What, you haven’t heard of Tyler Ford? Well, neither has Miller, so to rectify that situation Ford, an aspiring London-based LDS filmmaker, has created

From a marketing perspective, it’s not a bad idea. After all, it got picked up by LDS Today [which is where I ran across the link — thanks, guys] — and from there by me. And although I’m not sold on their effectiveness, I am a fan of goofy marketing stunts. And, after all, big risks and gutsy moves are an integral part of the independent filmmaking mythos.

But I have to say that I was looking for more from Ford’s cleverly-titled Website than a lame top 10 list. I mean the story idea for the film is somewhat intriguing. So how about a sample dialogue, a couple of story boards or even a 4-5 minute shot and edited scene from the film?

And I don’t like that the press release reveals that he’s already tried to pitch his idea to Miller. Relevant quote: “According to a member of Larry Miller’s staff, he gets as many as 15 business proposals per day. Ford’s web site is what he calls the ‘creative approach.'” You do something like this and you have to maintain the veneer of goofiness and moxie — revealing that you’ve already been turned away shifts the focus. It makes you seem reactive rather than proactive.

In fact, the entire press release could use some work. It’s both too informative [personal] and not informative enough. I also don’t buy the England/Europe angle.

As a cheerleader for Mormon art, I hope Ford is able to make his film and I admire his enthusiasm. But as a public relations flack, I hope that he seeks out some marketing advice and refines his approach. The world of LDS film already has enough bad press releases.

BONUS: I do give Ford mad props for setting up a site where you can view short films made by LDS filmmakers for free.

2 thoughts on “Marketing: Calling out Larry Miller”

  1. Bah… blogger comments are a pain. Don’t mind my kvetching. This is the third time I have commented “anonymously” today … I simply don’t want to register again with another company/group and have yet another password.

    K, enough of the rant.

    I think it’s time for these movie folks to find someone else to support their filmmaking. There are other rich Mormon folks, though I’m sure they’re being hit up all the time as well.

  2. A postcript to this post:

    It appears that Ford secured funding for his film.

    Interesting tidbit from Ford’s site:

    “Pulling funding together for this film has proven pretty difficult. I was talking with one guy that keeps a very close pulse on the Mormon film market. He thinks as many as 80 Mormon filmmakers are out looking for funding.”

    Posted by William Morris

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