Real-Time Distribution Case Study, Week 4: The Trailer, Poster, & Summer Camp

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It is snowing.

And I’m struggling to write today.

It’s been that kind of a week.

Both beauty and mud.


I’m caught in the quicksand of a marketing mill, a thousand granular ideas. Trying to gather, hold, sort into a mosaic that makes sense. Letting irrelevant bits sift through while others find firm ground.

This week has been all about marketing, creating the trailer & the poster, the elements that present the film to the world.

It is exciting and weighty, with the responsibility to get it right.

Part of me wants the poster to be cool, iconic, award-winning.

Yet I also know that being effective, reaching our audience, evoking an emotion, and sparking a desire to see the movie, is enough.


We’ve asked for feedback from a wide group of smart, insightful, honest friends and strangers.

As notes comes in, I am reminded how perfectly different and complex we each are. While a moment in the trailer is adored by one person, it is discarded by another.

It has been my job to compile and distill this feedback, judging each comment against how we are defining our audience, looking for overlaps and setting aside anomalies.

The process has been both panic-inducing and thrilling. I am encouraged that the trailer seems to be landing with a specific group and that the tone of the film is clear to most.


We continue to work on tour routing and have tentatively booked 10 dates in May and June to start the tour. The trailer will play in a few of these theaters starting next week.

In a promising development, we’ve partnered with a friend, who books band tours, to pitch screening events to Performing Arts Centers (PACs). He has great relationships with these venues, but we don’t know how the idea will be received. I’ll report on the results of this experiment in the next couple weeks.


The trailer/poster feedback cycle has me thinking about teams and collaboration.

Filmmaking brings together a group of unique individuals, and demands that, over the course of a few weeks or months, we put aside real life and magically output cinematic art. It can be grueling, exhausting, fun, and rewarding.

When all goes well, it feels like the best summer camp. An intense coming together to laugh, cry, play games and make crafts.

Then we part, go on with our lives, and dream of next year.

Kidder Creek Camp: My childhood 300-acre summer playground.


The release process feels similar.

Our team now consists of six people working on graphics, video content, press materials, booking, and tour logistics.

As soon as we share the film with the world, we immediately add hundreds (hopefully thousands) of new people to our team.

Our audience.

A diverse group with unique desires, needs, hopes, and dreams.

Therefore, our job as marketers, is not to create a slick package, but to create a shared, emotive experience, and a supportive, empowering and inspiring environment for a team of imperfect individuals to journey, hope, and grow together.

♡ Annie


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