Real-Time Distribution Case Study, Week 21: RV Life, Friends & Gratitude

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There’s a lot to learn about RV life: 50-point-turns, backing, parking, dumping, avoiding trees, turning on the propane, charging batteries, and how not to kill the generator.

We’ve gotten better at finding parking near theaters and stealth overnight camping. After running out of water twice and searching for non-existent dump stations, RV needs are now prioritized a close second to arriving at the theater on time.


Each night, we gather data and better understand our audiences. The crowds fluctuate. Momentum builds. People love the film. We are encouraged.

We have learned to appreciate each crowd no matter the size. Our smallest screening produced a marketing partner. Our second smallest screening led us to a sponsor.

In each screening, we have at least one, if not a handful, of our core audience — the person that Gary & I, during the edit, visualized sitting in a dark theater.

Two venues extended the run based on the success of the special screenings.

Crowds continue to be drawn to the theater from 3 main sources:

  • Loyal art-house cinema patrons
  • People we know in the cities we visit
  • Facebook (events and sponsored posts)

Other factors drawing audiences:

  • they see the RVs
  • articles in the paper
  • hear about it from a friend
  • hear about it from the Ashland festival or the Varsity Theater run

With the above, theaters have been half full. Tonight we had our first on-tour sell-out.

We haven’t yet activated all of the community groups such as bowling, fans of our cast, film students, foodies, etc. This is the next focus.

We’ve crossed $20K in gross box office. We split this with the theaters.

My brain is exploding with a paradigm shift and new information about filmmaker relationships with venues & audiences. More on this soon once my thoughts settle.


To “save” money, we have been shipping the DCPs ourselves. We’ve had two fail but thankfully had backups to overnight to the theaters. I’ve been behind in shipments, so we’ve incurred overnight fees more often than necessary. I’ll do a full report down the road on DIY DCP costs vs delivery through a third party. For now it’s working to do it ourselves. Although if we expand, we’ll enlist a third party company.


This week, we sent Flannery off on a plane by herself for the first time to go to horse camp. We’ll pick her up on Friday as we pass through town for one night.

We’ve been so grateful to see friends this week. We were pampered by Pat & Michele in Portland and Matt & Kir in Corvallis. They provided nourishing meals, showers, laundry, beds, rest… the ultimate gifts to road-weary travelers. I had no idea how much I take these things for granted in normal life nor how much I could miss them when not regularly and reliably available.


Next up: Bend, one night at home, Mt Shasta, Crescent City, Eureka, Redding, SF, Santa Rosa and Modesto.

♡ Annie


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