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‘Marketing shapes film success’
When the short film No Soca No Life premiered during the 2012 T&T Film Festival, it not only sold out, it left people calling for more.
“I was vex it was so short,” wrote one person on the film’s event page on Facebook.
“Could have been longer,” said another.
“Short though,” said a third.
It was the only gripe among otherwise positive feedback on the film, which follows the trials and tribulations of a poor young woman who dreams of being a soca star.
The film was originally written to be 90 minutes long. But 30 minutes was all director Kevin Adams got funding for.
Audiences can finally look forward to the feature-length version, to be called Queen of Soca, before the end of the year.
Terri Lyons, daughter of Austin, sister of Fay Ann, and a popular soca singer in her own right, plays the lead Olivia. She won best actress in a local film at the film festival for her performance, which was her first experience acting.
Adams said he’s arranging to get more soca acts in the cast. He gave a few names who are interested, but nothing has been finalised.
In addition, he said, he’s going to put together a soca soundtrack to market the film.
Adams is raising money in a variety of ways. He’s collecting from corporate sponsors. He is running a raffle. He plans to have a curry-cue/barbecue. And he’s going to start a Kickstarter campaign.
The fund-raising is going to help do the job of marketing, which is where locals films tend to fail, he said.
“It’s not that we don’t want to see local,” he said, knocking down an opinion held by some about T&T cinema audiences. “It’s that local is not marketed.”
Additional marketing strategies for Queen of Soca include putting promotional images and information about the film on the barbecue box so people can make a direct link between what they hold in their hand and the film.
A team is going out with Queen of Soca T-shirts to busy areas of the country like the Brian Lara Promenade and City Gate.
“We take pictures and vibes with the people,” Adams explained.
“It’s more about letting the people know we have this film coming up. So then when the movie comes out, a lot of people are aware of it and they’re ready to see it. As opposed to how most [local] movies start: they do everything quietly, then when the movie is done they now start their publicity and marketing campaign,” he said.
“We wanted to turn it around a little bit and do things a little earlier to get people involved.”
Adams, 39, migrated to the US as a teen and studied filmmaking there before working in various technical production positions: cameraman, production assistant and grip among them.
He came back to T&T to make No Soca No Life, which was financed by the T&T Film Co. It was his first film. He’s since got involved in other projects and has been “jumping back and forth” between the US and T&T but now spends “80 per cent” of his time here, he said.
Casting for the film will be held from April 9-18.
Visit queenofsocathemovie.com and listen to Slam 100.5FM, the film’s official partner.
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