I’m going to talk about publicity. I haven’t had to do much in the way of publicity for my movies – mainly written interviews online/in print where I’d have the time to think about ‘clever answers’. A couple of radio interviews – which I found highly stressful/embarrassing and one video interview with a plastic rat with a plastic penis – which unfortunately i don’t have the footage of to show you.
In my day job (we all have one) I work with professional sports personalities, I interview them a lot – I’ve even carried out media training… the ABC method (google it) all sorts of techniques to look good on camera and get your point across. But none of that ever works for me – I just end up looking (and feeling) like a bell end.
The worst example of this was when the ‘Daily Echo’ decided to run a piece on the release of ‘The Witches Hammer’. I think the casting of Stephanie Beacham had peaked their interest. They went with the whole ‘Local film maker on his way to Hollywood’ story – a headline that has probably been used across the country for thousands of film makers in a similar position. See Fig 1.
(Fig 1. Above – a few articles from the CatnCage Pictures days – DON’T ask me why I wore that t-shirt)
I was in a good position as I had the centre spread of the sunday tv guide/supplementary and was guaranteed a few good stills from the film, they even sent a photographer…. and heres where I start to cringe.
The photographer asked to meet me at a church for the photos – I thought nothing of it… when I arrived, the photographer proceeded to take standard head shots of me smiling, then he asked nonchalantly ‘ I wonder how it would look if we put you over there by the church doors?’ ‘OK’ I said – being polite, and not used to being photographed … next he said – ‘How about over there by that tree?’, ‘Sure thing’ I replied, click click click – more pictures. Then he suggested – ‘Heres an idea, why don’t you climb up in the tree?’ at this point you’d think alarm bells would be ringing, but I just replied ‘Yeah, no problem’, after all he must know what he’s doing right?
I clumsily climbed up into the tree… ‘Put your hands out there and legs here and here’ he said, positioning me like an overweight out of costume spidey. Then he said ‘Why don’t we take a few over by those gravestones’… ok, I’m a horror director, that makes sense – so I went over and stood by one… and again he says – ‘Try squatting and put your hands like this and look over there’ thats it – I’m smiling, a friendly I’m a nice guy smile… click click click – hang on I think he might have taken one when I wasn’t smiling – oh well I’m sure they’ll pick the best one….Herein lies the lesson….
If they take a thousand photos they’ll choose the one that fits the story, not the one you like or the image of yourself you’d like to present to the world – thats for your own website/social media…. Thankfully the fat-spidey pics never saw the light of day, so heres me posing like Hitchcock looking like a pretentious cock.
(Fig 2. I can often be found hiding behind gravestones.)