Thursday, November 16, 2006

Enjoy the Journey

After two late flights which meant two missed connections and a detour through Paris, I've arrived! My bag is somewhere still hanging around Paris though... It was supposed to be arrive last night, then this morning but is still missing in action.

Good news: I got to meet Paulo Simones, the general manager of Sony Pictures releases department here in Italy. Bad news: I've been wearing the same clothes for three days with no comb, deoderant or change of underwear. ickkk...

Paulo had some great things to say. Did you know US domestic market is about 45% of total international sales is movies? I guess it's a no brainer but it's down from 55% just a few years ago. It just goes to show how little the world is becoming. The internet is cracking open the global community. A kid in Yugoslavia can download trailers for a movie before it's released and start finding his Divx pirate copy before it hits theaters opening week. One of the things he said reminded me I'm right on track with this Scrapped thing. he gave two marketing strategies for two different movies Sony released here in Italia that represent two very different techniques in promotion. Spider man and Million Dollar Baby. Both good movies but Spiderman was a huge marketing effort with product promotions, mass media, partnerships with other companies, and TV, print and magazine advertising. Million Dollar baby was strategically sent to pockets of people and promoted through word of mouth. It's appeal wasn't easily presented in movie posters, trailers or sound bites. You have to watch it to get it ( or someone you know has to watch it and you see their passion. )

This reminded me of the emails I get from people asking if / when Scrapped is going to hit their local theater. It sounds almost sub standard to say it's probably not because we're used to the whiz bang events and promotion but that stuff costs huge amounts of money, anywhere from 1/3 to ( sometimes on small budget pieces ) even half the total budget. Paulo's talk reminded me that we're working a legitimate marketing strategy to get the word out about Scrapped and basically we've been able to move about ten thousand copies in the last few months just by word of mouth and a few companies getting behind it and it's message. I'm starting to actually feel proud of the work I, and many, many other people put into it. Here among my peers I'm seeing what an amazing accomplishment it is. I'm meeting people I've seen and gotten to know at other festivals when I did the circuit with my last project a couple years ago. They're actually amazed we were able to pull off pulling together concept, scouting, research, scheduling, funding, shooting, editing, promoting, etc. in one year. Yes, I just checked my email and the anniversary of me sending out the first email saying "hey, I'm thinking about doing a project about scrapbooking... does anyone know anybody that does it?" was last week.

I've got to tell you. It's really weird sitting in screenings with all these different artistic and dramatic movies knowing that in a couple days all these stylish Italians, european jet setters, directors, producers and creative citizens from all over the world are going to sit through a feature length project about scrapbooking. I've talked to a couple people asking if I've got anything in this year and what the storyline is. I say scrapbooking and they have a blank stare. :0)

You have to remember that Italy was creating high art hundreds of years before anyone in North America was doing more than hunting bison and finger painting. This place oozes passionate expression. In the 4 block walk from my hotel to the theater where the festival's at there's the " Saint Maria del Carmine" church built many, many years ago in a traditional style with a modern statue erected out in front in the plaza. It's a great example of how continuos the progression of art is here and it blows my mind. I guess it's time to drop the scrapbook bomb.

Enough people read this blog that there's got to be at least one person interested in bikes... I saw some crazy bikes in New Zealand / Australia but never posted... too lazy. Not this time. The silver bike is a Kawasaki but not like one I've ever sen in the states and who would guess you'd see a Huskie trials bike sitting outside a bar as someones daily driver?! Crazy.

PS. I can safely say I was the only person in the Amsterdam, Paris and Milan airport wearing a flannel shirt with pearlescent snap buttons and cowboy boots. I think people are allergic to flannel in Europe and walking the streets of Italy I stand out like a sore thumb. I have seen cowboys boots in some swanky shops here in the clothing district though but only for women. I think there's more Ferrari's than horses here.


At 8:06 AM, Blogger mindakms said...

Your life/experience this past year seems almost surreal to an outside observer. Keep telling your story man, it's better than fiction!

At 3:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Wes - go get em! Well done and looking forward to reading more of your travels. I hope the movie is well received, let us know what they think. Hope your bag arrives soon!

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I can't believe all these experiences you get to have. It's amazing. It really is. Don't you just sometimes stop and go, "Wow!" How the heck did I get here? :)

P.s. I love Italy. Absolutely. I can't wait to vacation there someday.

p.p.s. I love Million Dollar Baby. Love it. Completely. Sad ending but I still love it. Clint Eastwood is hilarious. Hilary Swank is awesome. I love her character. Just someone you'd want to be friends and respect completely.


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