Awesome news! We’ve had over 900 requests for the Fat Kid Rules the World movie all around the USA. That is seriously incredible. I am so awed by all the promoters who are giving their time and energy to make this film available in theaters. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
As with any large endeavor, there are going to be challenges. TUGG is brand new – premiered at SXSW in March of 2012 – and to my knowledge, we’re the largest movie/event to test its services yet. And with 700 screening requests occurring in the first week alone, we are definitely testing them!
We’ve heard a lot of varying feedback, but the bottom line is, we want to help everyone make their screening A) happen and B) be as awesome as it can be. So, I decided to put together KL Going’s Top Ten Tips for TUGG Promoters based on my own experience of bringing the film to my hometown. This blog post is not affiliated with TUGG or the official Fat Kid movie team – just my own effort to give promoters as much support and advice as possible.
And yes, I will admit, the TUGG experience has been different for me because, well, I’m here and could invite all my enthusiastic friends and family (seriously, have any of you read my dad’s posts on Facebook?) but even for me, the hardest part has been getting the word out. What’s the best way? Personal e-mails? Facebook posts? Twitter?
Here’s what I’ve learned. Please let me know if you have tips I didn’t think to add!
KL’s Top Ten Tips for TUGG Promoters
1) Select a screening date at least four weeks in advance. We know, you want to see the movie right now! But publicity takes time and most event calendars/newspapers need lead time.
2) Go to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a sample press release that you can customize for your screening. Send it to local newspapers, especially those that have a GO section, and to local NPR or other radio affiliates.
3) Make it a fundraiser! Partnering with a local charity, library, or youth center is a wonderful way to A) do something great B) garner yourself a team of willing promoters and C) have access to a much larger e-mailing list of potential contacts. And did I mention you’ll be doing something great? Add in a raffle or pass the hat after the film.
4) Make a flier. Samples are available from email@example.com. Check the Fat Kid movie Facebook page for fliers others have made. Plaster that flier around town – don’t forget the library and local booksellers. Speak to them personally. Hug them. These people are invaluable links to those who may have read the book!
5) If you choose a date during the school year, contact local schools and libraries and let them know that award-winning author KL Going will Skype with them for FREE if they bring groups to the event.
6) Banned Books Week 2012 is Sept. 30th through October 6th, and yes, Fat Kid is a banned book. Ideal tie-in. Other tie-ins? National Novel Writing Month is in November. Teen Read Week is in October. Look for local film festivals or theater events. Be creative and enlist groups who are already publicizing these types of events.
7) Make sure your potential audience realizes they must buy tickets ahead, on-line. This is new. People are used to showing up and buying tickets on the night of a movie. Dispel them of this notion so your event can get confirmed.
8) Call the Fat Kid Hotline for advice, help, and free giveaways. We’re talking T-shirts, tattoos, posters… 1-213-6fa-tkid.
9) Both KL Going (that’s me!) and Matthew Lillard are willing to do call-in radio interviews. Let your local radio stations know. Ask if the radio station wants to help sponsor the film. See if any local companies would like to be sponsors. Ask them to donate 5 tickets for radio station contests. $50. Easy corporate donation. (Note: Matt is currently filming on location out of the country, so he may not be available right away, but will be back soon!)
10) Remember, you are awesome. This isn’t just a movie screening. It is your personal party. If your screening happens, take lots of pictures, and have fun!