The official Purgation movie trailers are up!
The first trailer is more artsy and my personal favorite since it’s darker.
However, most people have told me they prefer the second trailer because you can actually understand what the movie is about. It also follows the commercially-approved trailer formula. [The Big Tease = setup setup setup…reveal.] Call it conformist, but it’s a formula that works.
After we cut the first trailer, I got notes from my producers. I also reached out to a friend who works at a professional trailer house for notes. Her advice made me realize that I NEEDED to create a second trailer which does a better job of spelling out the plot and introducing the characters. Really glad I did that instead of sticking to my artsy-farty ideas. It’s show business not show art, right?
The entire trailer process took about four months. We went through ten drafts for EACH trailer. And got lots of notes. Lots and lots of notes from friends who were willing to give honest critiques. Eventually we settled on a cut that seemed to appeal to the majority, which is what a trailer should do, appeal to the masses. Next stop, distribution station!
So far The Purgation has made it into two film festivals, and we won best feature for one of them!
I went to college in the Bay Area so I’ll always have a soft spot for the 510 area code. We screened one night at the Bal Theater. And got some local press coverage.
After the screening there was a Q&A.
Unfortunately the Oakland festival didn’t promote a lot, so I had to rely on my Bay Area friend base to fill the audience. This is true for most small festivals. While it’s great to see your film on a big screen, if you want an audience, you’ll have to hustle.
This was my first time submitting to festivals, and to prepare I read Chris Gore’s Ultimate Film Festival Guide. I made a spreadsheet of all the festivals I submitted to (about 20) and organized them into categories (CA, out-ofstate, horror, women directors, Asian American). In retrospect I would’ve saved money by not submitting to the big ones – Sundance, South by Southwest etc. as it really is a long shot that a first-time indie filmmaker will get into one of the top ten film festivals. Especially if your budget is under 100K and you don’t have any name actors in your cast. Lesson learned. But yeah, make sure you budget for festival entry fees which can range from Free to $100. Plus you’ll have to carve out time to write a catchy cover letter and make a press kit that includes a trailer and synopsis. Many of the festivals also required essays and short answer responses … it’s kind of like applying to college, only with a lower acceptance rate. You have a better chance of getting into Harvard than Sundance apparently.
Real talk aside, enjoy every festival you DO get into. Celebrate the small victories and enjoy the applause. We won best feature at the LA Independent Artist Festival. It’s a small affair, but everyone was super-friendly. And laurels looks good on your CV.
Lately I’ve had a lot of newcomers ask me for advice on how to get work in Hollywood, how to make it onto a set, how to navigate your fist PA job, etc. This article pretty much sums up my stance on how a film set should operate and the kind of work ethic that should help you move up the ladder. We don’t live in an ideal world, because money and connections will probably give you a bigger boost, but here are some excellent tips for the rest of us who are hustling: The Seven Arts of Working in Film via Filmmaker Magazine.
I can’t believe it took us almost a year to settle on a tagline. Now that we have to put this poster to print, it was time to really sit down and make a decision. A big thank you to my brilliant producer Jeremy Cordy for coming up with our final tag.
To pass through hell, they must enter… THE PURGATION
Welcome to Black Falls, Population – 0
Between hell and heaven lies… the Purgation
ENTER, if you dare
Welcome… to the end
You can’t escape – The Purgation
She’ll cure you of your sins.
Dying never felt better
COME HOME TO HELL
Hell is where the heart is
Some demons never die