Real-Time Distribution Case Study, Week 20: First Week on Tour

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A bit of a different approach today: a beat-by-beat run down of the launch of the Phoenix, Oregon movie tour during the craziest week to date.

You might find it fun… Or not.

This week found us wrapping up a 13th birthday party, picking up RVs, packing at the last minute, and hosting our first four screenings.

Now that we are on the road, days take on a less fevered routine. But last week…



it drives smoothly

decide to buy…
even though it’s been driven hard,
smells like pine-sol cleaner,
and has pervasive cosmetic damage

i stop at the bank for a cashier’s check

mechanic-friend gives the thumbs up
stay until 7pm finishing paperwork
finalize the purchase

say goodbye to the horses at the barn where Flannery works


RV walk through
video the tutorial for future reference
since we’ve never driven an RV,
filled (or emptied) tanks,
or used an on-board generator

marvel at the massive solar batteries
which take up half the storage space
but which will power our entire computer setup

drop RV off to The Sign Dude
to be measured and wrapped


finish weekly blog


final pre-tour meeting with the alien squad:
molly, ben, kim, gary, annie & luis

i squeal with delight when i see the RV


it’s all i imagined and more

the pipers drive home to k-falls to pack


tightness in my chest
i want to throw up
it’s the most stress i’ve had in months
i feel the full weight & responsibility of the tour

what have i gotten us into?

i’m exceedingly worried about the first week
that we’ve been so busy, we haven’t done press

i’ll let everyone down
venues, family, the team, audiences

we sell some t-shirts
start to feel some relief
and a lot of gratitude

a theater calls
their DCP isn’t working

we wave goodbye and leave for Grants Pass

check-in at the bowling alley
feel despair when the front desk staff
knows nothing about the movie

wander around town in the sweltering heat
looking for wifi

curse the squadship’s ineffective AC

the audience LOVED the film
we sell some shirts

i feel so much better


drop the RV off at the mechanic for final repairs
and to check the AC
(there’s nothing wrong with it,
we’d just let the RV get too hot)

drop off Pogo for a temperament test

finish laundry & packing
try not to take too much or forget anything

try not to snap at anyone

sell our first sponsorship logo for the back of the RV!

pick up the RV
park it in the Ashland Safeway overnight

drop off a load to the RV


take Pogo to vet for required boarding shots

drop off Pogo to boarder

meet & greet at the bowling center hosted by
Oregon Adventure Coast visitor & convention bureau
and North Bend Lanes

grateful to both of these organizations
for bringing a crowd to the theater
and bearing with our exhausted team

the screening was small, only 20
but the audience enjoyed the film

we felt a little off our game
and determined to dial in our marketing and promotions

with the help of Mark at North Bend Lanes,
we announce a campaign to
Bowl 300 / Win $300
we will test this through Oregon & California


leave for Florence

i’m too afraid there will be none
as we’ve done very limited promotion in this area

there are 35 pre-sales with double that expected

i believe he is teasing me
he isn’t

Michael, the owner, is loved by his community
and valued for his curation
the audience expressed extreme gratitude for our visit

the theater fed and watered us,
let us use their wifi,
and sent us off with good wishes
and a hope to book us at their sister venue in Bellingham in August

leave Florence for Newport

stop at the absolutely gorgeous
Heceta Lighthouse

take a sunset walk on the bluffs overlooking
a quintessential Oregon beach
with jagged rock outcroppings,
ferns, rolling fog and the thunder of waves hitting the cliffs below

for the first time in a week,
i take a deep breathe
slow my steps
extend my legs
and stop worrying


organize the RV
finish unpacking all our bags & boxes

drive RVs to theater
work in the parking lot
at least 2 theater patrons buy tickets
after seeing the RVs

take kids to the Oregon Coast Aquarium

dinner downtown Newport
there are only two sea lions sunbathing on the platforms
we worry they are lonely for their friends
who left to eat in California

we ask each person how they heard about the screening:
 — facebook boosted post (ads)
 — facebook event
 — saw the trailer in the theater
 — saw the movie listed in the theater weekly ad
 — saw the RV in the parking lot
 — heard about it from a friend

get kicked out of the spot in which we mistakenly thought we could park


my extra-loud alarm wakes up the whole neighborhood

drive from Newport to PDX


That about brings us up to date.

I’m feeling wonderful about our team and our strategy. We get better each day.

I took a big breath yesterday and realized that the tour is in motion and has now taken on a life of its own.

I can step back and focus on the bigger picture and next steps: partnerships, new strategies for outreach, distribution, expansion, etc.

Next stops Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene. Can’t wait to see many of you along the way!

♡ Annie


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