Ouija Movie ‘I Am ZoZo’ to be released by Image Entertainment in the U.S.

Cannes Film Festival News – Our Ouija movie ‘I Am ZoZo’ has been acquired by Image Entertainment for U.S. release! A few months ago we were approached by a reputable sales agent, Paul Hudson of Outsider Pictures, who said he loved the film and had a buyer in mind. He came through in a big way and we couldn’t be happier.
Ouija Board Movie

Bill Bromiley, Chief Acquisitions Officer at Image/RLJ said, “Di Lalla’s background as a documentary filmmaker brings realism to I Am ZoZo whose subject matter is terrifying in itself. We are excited to share with viewers Di Lalla’s uniquely artistic vision of this supernatural horror genre.”

The deal was negotiated by Mark Ward on behalf of Image Entertainment, Paul Hudson of Outsider Pictures, and our very own Zack Coffman of One World Studios Ltd.

Our newest Acquisition – Bosozoku 暴走族 Biker Gang Docu from Japan! (TRAILER)

COMING ON DVD IN MARCH 2013 From Choppertown.com – “SAYONARA SPEED TRIBES” offers a fascinating narrative and documents the decline of one of Japan’s most colorful and controversial sub-cultures. The film blends verité footage and interviews, manga-style animation, still photography and riveting footage from bike runs. An intimate portrait of Japanese outsiders living on the edge with fascinating documentation of a fading subculture some view as tradition, others as a nuisance. “Sayonara Speed Tribes”!

Buy it on DVD here.

About Content Monetization – OWS Producer Zack Coffman’s Guest Post on Indiewire

Original post here.

“I had a chance to attend the “Future of Film Summit” in Beverly Hills produced by Variety and DigitalMediaWire. The ambitious one-day event focused on “the current state of the industry, and how film and transmedia deals will be struck in the coming years.” That’s a pretty grand scale, but I’d have to say it delivered a good mix of traditional film perspective mixed with a suprisingly high-level group of online experts. The keynotes were given by Tom Bernard, Co-founder and Co-president, Sony Pictures Classics and by writer-director Kevin Smith (comments on the keynotes follow my conference takeaways below.)”

I’d say the highlights of the day were The Onion, Elias Plishner, SVP Sony Digital Marketing, Mike Vorhaus of Magid Advisors, and Mark Mason of BitTorrent. Check out the original post and see what Mark had to say about BitTorrent being GOOD for film makers…

Stay independent.


Indie Film Marketing (web marketing strategy) interview with One World Studios producer Zack Coffman

Originally published at Marketing Pilgrim

When we talk about SEO we are oftentimes talking about SEO for business products. We want to have our content come up during the discovery process that customers and prospective customers go through as often as possible. That can be intensely competitive when you are trying to market and sell things like life insurance or women’s shoes or (insert product here). But what about independent films?

Huh? How did we get here? Well, an email from the Co-founder and President of independent film company One World Studios Ltd., Zack Coffman, started the process. You see Zack gets it and simply notified us here at Marketing Pilgrim that had mentioned us as a top resource in an SEO post he did on the Sundance Institute’s site.

Now, I am not a big indie film guy but I know about Sundance so we started to talk a bit. As a result of his great article and smooth way of getting PR mileage, we ended up with this email interview that helps us see just how important this practice is in the world of independent film making.

MP: Describe life in the world of independent film marketing. Are you always working on shoestring budgets? What are some of the techniques you use to identify your market?

Zack: The indie world is all about shoestrings! We’re firm believers that in order for an indie to survive you have to work within very focused niches. Every impression, every click has to be maximized and grab hold of the viewer’s attention. I find that a well focused film/TV/transmedia property should already have the market identified for you. When we begin developing a property we ask ourselves, “Who is this for?” “Who will enjoy it and rally around it?” It’s much harder with a small budget if you are handed an unfocused property and asked to create a market for it.

MP: How long have you been at the SEO and Internet marketing game? Could you point to a success or two that you might want to show off with?

Zack: I came to the web marketing game by necessity. We had produced a motorcycle movie called “Choppertown” in 2004 with a stack of credit cards and we started our marketing with a simple website and trailer on MySpace. I reverse-engineered Jesse James’ website and learned html code by plopping different pieces into DreamWeaver. Then as it became apparent that we were going to self-release the film, I started researching a thing called “PayPal” and how to take payments for DVDs directly on the site. A buddy told me about “SEO” and it was obvious we needed to integrate our strategy. We ended up selling 20,000 DVDs out of an apartment in West LA and launching an entire brand and distribution company around that film. Now all of our properties both in the motorcycle world and the paranormal world (we just made a Ouija movie) routinely get ranked higher than big-budget studio properties.

MP: As the president of an indie studio do you have staff for these kind of endeavors or is everyone involved in an ‘all hands’ kind of way?

Zack: All hands on deck! Everyone wears a lot of hats, but we have recently been building alliances with other indie studios that excel in closely-aligned areas such as social marketing and theatrical distribution.

MP: What has not worked in the Internet space that surprised you? What has worked that surprised you?

Zack: The idea of online “world building” faded faster than I would have guessed. Things just move so fast these days. I was really into it when Blair Witch created the first sort of quasi-reality ‘net experience and then big studios followed suit with ambitious trans-web strategies like “A.I.” and the like. Even musical artists like Peter Gabriel were experimenting with world-building and it was fascinating. Nowadays everyone is on their phones and multi-tasking so it’s not really possible to get them involved in a brand-new online world unless it’s really got some money behind it and various social and gaming integrations. But the fantastical element seems to have gone away which is a shame because I love that kind of thing!

I’m always amazed how various properties go viral. We like to design many of our trailers and teasers in a viral way and have been quite successful at it, but when the Honey Badger goes crazy online you just sit back and smile. That’s the organic beauty of the ‘net that I love. After a few beers I’m sure to begin waxing poetic about the continued joining of analog and digital, but that’s for another time.

MP: How does social marketing (or social media marketing) fit into your marketing efforts? How do you track conversions? What do you consider to be a conversion in most cases?

Zack: Social marketing is important and various degrees of it play into everything we do. Conversions are the trickiest part of the whole equation and it’s something big companies are always trying to quantify so they can justify continuing spending huge amounts of money on the marketing plans, which I totally understand. The problem is that apart from a direct click-through to purchase scenario, it’s almost impossible to gauge what kind of an impression you’ve made on a viewer until much later. Our motto around here is “Market to the heart, not the head.” If you approach your viewers with intelligence and passion and engage them in something they love, then you can really make a lasting partnership. They can be speeding down the highway, inundated with all manner of huge slick ads appealing to their head, but if they get just a hint of a tiny thing that appeals to their heart and passions personally they will slam on their brakes and support you for many years. Of course you have to deliver or they will feel cheated! That’s the “art” part, right?

MP: Are there things you can do that more traditional marketers may not be able to due to restrictions from corporate etc? Do you see risk taking in marketing as essential to your success?

Zack: That’s the whole reason to stay independent! It’s the freedom of experimentation that keeps it interesting for us. Taking chances is the only way to grow. Sometimes you get in trouble, but as long as you try things with your eyes open it’s always a learning experience that you can apply going forward. We love being small and fast enough to react immediately to any situation. For instance, we have a long-standing policy of sending our motorcycle movies to any service member serving overseas who requests them. When a Marine Staff-Sergeant wrote us asking for a couple films for his guys on the front line we sent them a whole box. Later we got a package in the mail with a hand-written note of thanks and a folded American flag. There was a signed plaque stating that the flag had flown over the base for 24 hours and had been dedicated to us by the entire company. I had to sit down after getting it and still get chills telling the story. If we had been some big company, we may never have had a chance to interact with those guys directly and thank them in our small way for their sacrifices.

MP: How much do online and offline mix and play together in your world?

Zack: There’s no separation any more as far as I’m concerned, especially with the younger crowd. Kids leave class and immediately check their phones for whatever their friends are saying and sharing. People at work check their Facebook and other social networks constantly, even when watching TV. The more you can provide engaging content across all these platforms simultaneously, the more you can engage your fans for life.

MP: What projects do you have coming up and what are you working on to promote them?

Zack: Right now we have our Ouija movie “I Am ZoZo” that is coming out this Halloween. It’s based on a real story involving a demon called ZoZo that has been widely reported on for years as using the Ouija board exclusively as its mode d’emploi. My business partner Scott Di Lalla, who wrote and directed the film, did months of research into the paranormal and shot the film in a unique style that is seriously scary as hell. We’ve been quietly putting out bits of info on the film and it’s slowly building into a demandable property. We’re setting up a ZoZo artwork contest with DeviantArt that should be really exciting.

Also we’re working on setting up a platform and brand integration for our hit online live ghost hunting show that got several million views in just 72 hours when we launched the pilot a couple months ago. Even though we have a long-standing relationship with Dickies that has been wonderful, soliciting brands is not traditionally what I do. So I’m meeting with a lot of interesting new people in the more traditional ad space and examining the potential of having a brand seamlessly integrated into the show and having all those engaged viewers. We partnered with the number one ghost hunting app and can now send updates to several million mobile devices before every show.

Thank you to Zack for giving us a view of SEO and digital marketing as a whole from the indie film perspective. How you do SEO and social is highly dependent on what your market is like. The cookie-cutter approach to SEO and social media is not the way to go and Zack’s approach as it relates to the niche market of indie films shows that. Keep an eye on Zack and his efforts moving forward since he is certainly paying attention to what the SEO community is doing.

The Movie Business in Cannes (interviews with film industry warriors)

After an absence of twelve years, I returned to Cannes this year and had a chance to sit down with various film professionals and ask their unique perspectives on Cannes and the film industry.  I was a bit trepidatious having been out of the international scene for a bit, but Sydney Levine and her partner Peter Belsito basically chided me into going.  It was more than worth it and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone engaging in any aspect of international film business or media.

Producer Zack Coffman

A couple of days into the festival it occurred to me that we had such an amazing mix of film industry leaders and innovators all in one place it might be interesting both for newer filmmakers and veterans alike to hear some thoughts from the people who really make the modern film business function.  I came up with the following list and Sydney offered to feature the interviews on her film industry blog over at Indiewire.  It’s not meant to be exhaustive, but seemed like many of the major cogs in the wheel would be represented.  (Click the links to visit the original interviews over at Indiewire!)

The Producer

The International Sales Agent

The Distributor

Public Relations

The Actor

The Film Commission

The Exhibitor

The Festival

Some of the people I spoke with you may have heard of and some not, but they have all done their time in the trenches and I hope their thoughts and opinions might help to open up more dialogue and debate on how to operate in the independent film industry.

News from One World Studios Ltd.

ONE WORLD NEWS UPDATES: INDIEWIRE – With 5 million views in 3 days, LiveSciFi is a runaway hit!

Testimonial from one of our sponsors:
“We recently provided digital material (Poptent video), product and funding for One World’s first live show (at the Sallie House in Kansas over Friday the 13th weekend) and will work on a couple of their upcoming episodes (they’ll be airing monthly). Their first episode saw over 5 million viewers over a 3-day timespan and was particularly well-received among teens (male and female) and a slightly older, female audience. You can read a bit more about it here. The One World team are great guys, and always eager to leverage partnerships as thoroughly and authentically as possible.”

Misty Otto
Public Relations Director
Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co.

~Thanks Misty! ~ ed.

Sneak Preview of Ouija Horror Film Shot Entirely on Super 8mm Draws Star Support From Ewan McGregor and Freaks ‘em Out in Santa Monica

We’ve finished our first narrative film, I AM ZOZO, a Ouija movie about a real Ouija board spirit called ZoZo.

From Seattle Office of Film + Music Newsletter: Award-winning filmmakers Scott Di Lalla and Zack Coffman are wrapping psychological horror feature I AM ZoZo this month. I Am ZoZo is based on events surrounding true Ouija board experiences gone wrong and the consistent involvement of an entity known widely on the Internet as ZoZo. Shot entirely on San Juan Island and in Seattle with local talent and crew, I Am ZoZo is the first feature film to be shot exclusively with Kodak’s new Vision 3 200T Super8mm film stock. Using two vintage Canon 1014 xls Super 8mm cameras crystal-synced for sound, Di Lalla and Coffman hope to prove that their innovative production model will allow other indie filmmakers a chance to enjoy the challenge and excitement of shooting on film. Production notes, videos, and stills at www.iamzozomovie.com.

Past press releases from OWS:

• Indie Filmmakers Keep Motoring Along With Wild New Film About Biker Movie Tour Through Europe

• Facebook for Bikers? ChoppertownNation.com Launches with a Roar

• Dickies Sponsors American Biker Movie Series of Events Across Europe

• Sneak Preview Screening of New Motorcycle Documentary Brittown Causes Near Riot in Santa Monica

• New Book of Quotes Sets Straight the Founding Fathers’ Positions on Religion, War & Peace, Liberty, Taxes & Debt, Honesty & Responsibility

• New Teaser Video for Brittown: a British Motorcycle Documentary Film Jumps to the Top of YouTube

• Choppertown: From The Vault Revs Up for November DVD Release

• Choppertown: the Sinners Original Motion Picture Soundtrack hits iTunes

What is transmedia?

A fancy word for storytelling.

It’s such an exciting time to be an independent content creator.  In the new multi-platform environment storytellers finally have a chance to communicate directly with their audiences.  Streaming movie sites like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Yahoo! and others are basically becoming cable and satellite channels unto themselves as they serve content on a myriad of platforms such as iPads, iPhones, Androids, XBox, & other devices.

From the time an independent film company could put a PayPal button on their website, burn their own DVDs, and optimize their websites for search engine optimization (SEO), the tide began to turn in favor of the creators of quality content.  The ability to shoot and edit filmed entertainment digitally has caused nothing short of a revolution.  With a glut of re-purposed content in the form of endless sequels and copycat shows, truly original creators are again in demand and able to have a voice.

Transmedia is a fancy word for storytelling.  Tell your story.

Stay independent.