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October 14, 2018

‘First Man’ Struggles to Place Third; ‘Venom’ Still No. 1, but ‘A Star Is Born’ Stays Strong

Last weekend’s top two titles — “Venom” (Sony) and “A Star Is Born” (Warner Bros.) — remained ahead of the pack this weekend, but the margin between them was closer than a week ago when they both debuted. “Venom” was nearly double “Star” in its initial figures then, but only about 25 percent better now.

The strong (but not likely to be record setting) October continued with another weekend considerably better than the same one last year – around 35% higher. Grosses for the month have reached $400 million with a chance that when October is over this could be the strongest one since the record holder in 2004, which saw close to $1.1 billion (adjusted) total.

Ryan Gosling’s upcoming film First Man about Neil Armstrong

First Man

Universal Pictures

That’s the positive news, with the cumulative numbers in 2018 now 10 percent ahead of last year (about seven percent in ticket sales) and about to see an even bigger boost with what’s anticipated to be the strong opening of the new “Halloween” next week. That will be the third $40 million+ opener for the month, a record number even adjusting to current ticket prices.

But it doesn’t mean that this time of the year means automatic success, even with the elevated number of older viewers attracted to what is effectively the season for movies appealing to them. Case in point is the underwhelming initial reaction to Damien Chazelle’s “First Man,” the director’s first film since “La La Land,” with Ryan Gosling in the lead once again.

Its $16.5 million opening is not remotely a disaster. But with a production and domestic marketing cost that likely approaches $100 million (or more, with awards promotions ahead), this is far short of what seemed necessary to propel this into profit, or at least maintain its assumed position as an awards frontrunner.

This is an example of why studios often shy away from making investments in critically acclaimed titles with top talent unless they have additional hooks. A prototype for this kind of hoped-for success was “Captain Phillips” five years ago. Also a real-life story, it opened to (an adjusted) $28 million, then saw a four-time multiple and foreign results tracking about the same as domestic. All at about the same expense as “First Man.”

But “Captain Phillips” had Tom Hanks, in something of a comeback role for him, no less. And it had action and a visceral appeal in its tale of a high-seas hijacking. Then Hanks opened “Sully” two years ago to even stronger business – it had a captivating hook and, more importantly, curiosity about its story, even though its details were already well known.

“First Man” is more of a biopic, and one about someone who shunned the spotlight. Neil Armstrong exemplifies a generation of smart, successful, science-minded heroes who achieved greatness. But is that the kind of story that resonates today? Clearly not automatically with the kind of wide audience that includes anyone under 50, and not alive at the time of the moon landing in 1969.

That leaves an older, serious-minded audience. For a film with an initial audience profile that’s quite unusual for a wide-release – more than half of its viewers were over 35, two-thirds were white, and a majority male – that’s actually a decent result. The problem is it needed a wider draw along with greater appeal to older audiences. But if it does become a major nominee it will still reach far more people than most specialized releases.

“A Star Is Born”

Warner Bros.

Awards follow more cues than just box office, and “First Man” could still find traction and have a chance to locate its audience. Its B+ Cinemascore could be a sign of some resistance, though. That’s only a mildly favorable reaction from the audience – viewers lack passion for this one.

But that’s what “A Star Is Born” seems to have so far in abundance. Its 35 percent drop is actually better than either “Captain Phillips” or “Sully” despite opening better than either. The hold shows that the film has appeal beyond its initial event status or its curiosity draw and is gaining from positive word of mouth that could still propel it to a number approaching $200 million. And that would be an additional arrow in its awards quiver.

Columbia Pictures' VEMON


Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Meanwhile, the latest venture based on a Marvel property is propelling to an eventual domestic total well above $200 million. It dropped 55 percent, in a normal range for midlevel (i.e. not opening to over $125 million) Marvel titles, to reach $146 million already. Add to that another $235 million for its foreign take thus far, and a lower than usual cost for the studio (a little over $100 million estimated) and Sony will easily have its biggest hit (above “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”) since its last Marvel release, “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

“Venom” is gaining because of interest in Tom Hardy’s portrayal of an unusually nasty comic book character and a tougher (though still PG-13) iteration of the Marvel universe. It has a more visceral feel than some of Marvel Studios’ own films of late (with their social themes and sometimes comic elements), and it seems to be working. And significantly, coming out in October (rare for comic book blockbusters) has been the biggest factor in its success – and in boosting the month’s numbers overall.

“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween”

Sony Pictures

Another studio opener this weekend, also from Sony, is “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.” This live-action family comedy with Jack Black nearly beat out “First Man” for third place. The sequel did about two thirds of the 2015 original’s initial take. But its $35 million and likely equivalent foreign returns should make this the studio’s second profitable film released this month.

DF-06712_KF_R – Chris Hemsworth stars in Twentieth Century Fox’s BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYAL. Photo Credit: Kimberley French.

“Bad Times at the El Royale”

Kimberley French

Also opening this weekend was “Bad Times at the El Royale,” a genre-bender aiming for cult interest though wide release. Directed by Drew Goddard, a writer for “The Martian” and someone with whom 20th Century Fox hopes to nurture a relationship, it needed more than its opening numbers to have much chance to flourish, particularly with “Halloween” to deal with right away. Its one saving grace is a modest budget of around $30 million.

The second weekend for “The Hate U Give” (20th Century Fox) played in only 248 theaters as it expanded, yet managed to land in ninth place with a healthy $7,000/theater average. This bodes well for its further expansion ahead, a case study in a studio handling a smaller, niche film with finesse.

The third weekends for “Smallfoot” (Warner Bros.) and “Night School” (Universal) both stabilized with drops of only around 35 percent.

The Top Ten

1. Venom (Sony) Week 2; Last weekend No. 1

$35,700,000 (-55%) in 4,250 theaters (no change); PTA (per theater average): $8,400; Cumulative: $142,802,000

2. A Star Is Born (Warner Bros.) Week 2; Last weekend No. 2

$28,000,000 (-35%) in 3,708 theaters (+22); PTA: $7,551; Cumulative: $94,160,000

3. First Man (Universal) NEW – Cinemascore: B+; Metacritic: 85; Est. budget: $60 million

$16,500,000 in 3,640 theaters; PTA: $4,533; Cumulative: $16,500,000

4. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (Sony) NEW – Cinemascore: B; Metacritic: 54; Est. budget: $35 million

$16,225,000 in 3,521 theaters; PTA: $4,608; Cumulative: $16,225,000

5. Smallfoot (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend No. 3

$9,300,000 (-35%) in 3,606 theaters (-525); PTA: $2,579; Cumulative: $57,608,000

6. Night School (Universal) Week 3; Last weekend No. 4

$8,035,000 (-36%) in 2,780 theaters (-239); PTA: $2,890; Cumulative: $59,844,000

7. Bad Times at the El Royale (20th Century Fox) NEW – Cinemascore: B-; Metacritic: 60; est. budget: $30 million

$7,225,000 in 2,808 theaters; PTA: $2,573; Cumulative: $7,225,000

8. The House With a Clock in Its Walls (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend No. 5

$3,975,000 (-46%) in 2,791 theaters (-672); PTA: $1,424; Cumulative: $62,252,000

9. The Hate U Give (20th Century Fox) Week 2; Last weekend No. 13

$1,765,000 (-%) in 248 theaters (+212); PTA: $7,117; Cumulative: $2,477,000

10. A Simple Favor (Lionsgate) Week 5; Last weekend No. 6

$1,380,000 (-60%) in 1,452 theaters (-956); PTA: $950; Cumulative: $52,038,000

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Source: IndieWire film

October 14, 2018

‘Beautiful Boy’ Has Best-Ever Opening for Amazon Distribution, While Netflix Tests the Waters

Beautiful Boy” did well in its initial four theaters. A heavy drug-addiction drama based on a pair of father-son memoirs is a breakout for Amazon, which has been trying to gain traction as a film distributor. Three significant Netflix films also made limited theatrical debuts this weekend: “22 July,” “The Kindergarten Teacher,” and “Apostle.” Grosses are largely hidden, per the usual Netflix affront to transparency, but we have a small indication of their draw.

The biggest-ticket Netflix item is “22 July” from Paul Greengrass, a retelling of a recent horrific massacre by a Norwegian right-wing youth. Greengrass has had a string of well-regarded studio films including two “Bourne” episodes, “United 93,” and “Captain Phillips,” and he is one of the highest-profile directors to go the Netflix route.

It had the top playoff of the three titles; one ticket-selling site lists 29 locations, including Landmark and some other independent theaters. The reserved-ticket presale site for The Landmark in Los Angeles shows a gross of around $3,000 for its first four days.

“The Kindergarten Teacher,” a remake of an Israeli drama starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and “Apostle” from “The Raid” director Gareth Evans received more limited debuts, primarily on iPic Theater locations.


Ultimately, these releases seem more like a kick-the-tires effort in advance of “Roma,” which will be a better indicator of whether dual play works for the company. In the meantime, these dates secured reviews that will ultimately support streaming viewings and more subscriptions.


Beautiful Boy (Amazon) – Metacritic: 62; Festivals include: Toronto 2018

$221,437 in 4 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $55,359

Second to “Free Solo” among limited openers this season, Felix Van Groeningen’s film about a father dealing with his son’s meth addiction opened strongly in four core New York/Los Angeles theaters. Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet are getting acclaim for their performances, but the film’s reviews are not as strong. That shows there is an audience for the film beyond just the usual specialized top-city ticket buyers, which could translate into significant national appeal. This is the best opener for Amazon since it switched to direct distribution.

What comes next: Eleven new cities open this week, with November 2 set for its wide release.

The Happy Prince (Sony Pictures Classics) – Metacritic: 62; Festivals include: Sundance, Berlin 2018

$40,267 in 8 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $5,033; Cumulative: $45,606

Rupert Everett adds directing to his considerable credits as an actor. He plays Oscar Wilde as he lies ill in Paris and recounts his colorful life. This opened in New York and Los Angeles as well as Phoenix, with a modest initial result.

What comes next: Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington open this Friday to start the usual comprehensive SPC release.

The Oath Tiffany Haddish Ike Barinholtz

“The Oath”


The Oath (Roadside Attractions) – Metacritic: 55; Festivals include: Los Angeles 2018

$29,237 in 10 theaters; PTA: $2,937

A Thanksgiving dinner turns scary with the question of a signing a loyalty oath to the government in this ensemble comedy/drama. The cast includes rising star Tiffany Haddish along with John Cho. Reviews were not particularly supportive. It opened in New York and Los Angeles as well as six D.C. area locations, with at best modest initial results.

What comes next: This will have a quick expansion to 250 theaters this Friday.

Liyana (Abramorama) – Metacritic: 79; Festivals include: Los Angeles, London 2017

$5,030 in 1 theater; PTA (per theater average): $5,030; Cumulative: $5,710

Documentary releases these days often focus on creators and the creative process. This Africa-set story about orphans whose teacher encourages them to write a folktale takes a different route in telling its narrative, animating the tale with drawings by a Nigerian artist. Its exclusive New York opening showed some initial response to launch its national release.

What comes next: Los Angeles opens this Friday, with mostly limited calendar dates ahead.

Charm City (PBS) – Festivals include: Tribeca 2018

$10,854 in 1 theater; PTA: $10,854

Charm City is a nickname attached to Baltimore by civic leaders in the 1970s, ironically used here for this documentary about attempts by officials, the police, and citizens to confront local tensions and violence. It opened at one local theater to a strong result ahead of other big-city dates.

What comes next: New York opens Wednesday with Los Angeles on Friday.

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer (GVN)

$1,236,000 in 673 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $1,836

Under the radar except in areas with significant fundamentalist Christian cores (that is to say, much of the country), this recounting of the trial of a Philadelphia abortion provider is, as its title suggests, is preaching to the choir. That choir is sizable with over $1 million for the initial weekend, although Friday was the best day. This should get a second week at most theaters before a likely afterlife in multiple non-theatrical venues.

What comes next: This looks to have hit its maximum in theaters.

Jane and Emma (Excel)

$122,000 in 21 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $5,810

Initially released in Utah and other areas with large Mormon audiences, this 19th-century story about the unlikely friendship of two women from different races early in the religion’s history did decent business among the faithful.

What comes next: Likely to have appeal among a core group, the initial numbers are good enough to attract interest beyond its initial dates.

Photo Credit: ERIKA DOSS

Week Two

The Hate U Give (20th Century Fox)

$1,765,000 in 248 theaters (+212); PTA: $7,117; Cumulative: $2,477,000

An excellent second weekend for George Tillman Jr.’s drama about the aftermath of a police shooting. 20th Century Fox, not usually in the business of platform and limited releases, has pushed all the right buttons. Despite only having 248 dates in its second weekend, this placed #9 in this weekend’s Top 10, with strong Saturday-night increases in mostly new theaters. That suggests it continues to get a strong reaction with a chance of considerably wider positive response.

Studio 54 (Zeitgeist)

$23,700 in 6 theaters (+5); PTA: $3,950; Cumulative: $52,064

The 1970s New York club gets its documentary treatment. New dates including Los Angeles show interest is still out there.

The Great Buster: A Celebration (Cohen)

$3,289 in 1 theaters (-1); PTA: $3,289; Cumulative: $14,911

Peter Bogdanovich’s documentary on the brilliant movie comedian held for a second week in New York with modest results.


Ongoing/expanding (Grosses over $50,000)

Colette (Bleecker Street) Week 4

$1,037,000 in 593 theaters (+486); Cumulative: $2,588,000

Released in participation with 30Wes, this biopic saw a big jump in theaters. Grosses are similar to Bleecker Street’s “Captain Fantastic” and the current “The Wife,” both of which reached nearly $6 million or more.

Free Solo (Greenwich) Week 3

$859,051 in 131 theaters (+90); Cumulative: $2,144,000

National Geographical’s latest release continues to score excellent results as it bids to join other top documentary films. Several new West Coast cities opened with very strong reaction. This is playing to a younger crowd than other recent documentary hits. Much of the country has not yet opened, and this is only in the early stage of expansion.

The Old Man & the Gun (Fox Searchlight) Week 3

$912,000 in 228 theaters (+179); Cumulative: $1,697,000

Robert Redford as an older criminal is getting continued good reaction as it expands. The theater average is around the level of “The Wife” and “Colette” when they played at fewer theaters. That suggests this could ultimately reach an even wider audience.


“The Sisters Brothers”

Magali Bragard

The Sisters Brothers (Annapurna) Week 4

$258,355 in 129 theaters (+75); Cumulative: $1,071,000

The latest ambitious film from the always creative Annapurna, in the news this week with internal reorganization after disappointing results, continues its slow expansion. Like most of their films, this Western outlaw story with Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly is doing well enough to warrant some wider play, but looks to still end up with modest totals.

The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9

$215,872 in 201 theaters (-157); Cumulative: $7,242,000

The Glenn Close-starring marital drama is still adding to its quite decent totals late in its run.

Tea With the Dames (IFC) Week 4

$99,614 in 73 theaters (+28); Cumulative: $303,363

This documentary about Dames Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, and Joan Plowright is finding a willing audience in still-limited dates.

Fahrenheit 11/9 (Briarcliff) Week 4

$(est.) 60,000 in 95 theaters (-327); Cumulative: $(est.) 6,160,000

Michael Moore’s pre-election cry to action has lost most of its theaters, but the remaining include some that could stick around until midterm voting.


Also noted:

Mandy (RLJ) – $43,711 in 32 theaters; Cumulative: $1,113,000

Monsters and Men (Neon) – $30,302 in 65 theaters; Cumulative: $445,237

Pick of the Litter (IFC) – $24,278 in theaters; Cumulative: $500,141; also streaming

Matanga/Maya/M.I.A. (Abramorama) – $22,974 in 9 theaters; Cumulative: $144,491

All About Nina (The Orchard) – $14,902 in 54 theaters; Cumulative: $77,123

Blaze (IFC) – $13,486 in 32 theaters; Cumulative: $680,102

The Bookshop (Greenwich) – $12,636 in 26 theaters; Cumulative: $1,601,000

Science Fair (National Geographic) – $12,480 in 26 theaters; Cumulative: $195,908

Source: IndieWire film

October 14, 2018

‘Avengers 4’: Russo Brothers Commemorate End of Production With an Enigmatic Photo

The fourth “Avengers” movie doesn’t have a title yet, but directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo have been leaving vague hints as to what their next movie might entail. Less than a month after posting a photo with the caption “Look hard…,” the filmmaking brothers have commemorated the end of production with a blurry picture accompanied by the hashtag “#wrapped.”

Said photo has already given rise to much speculation, of course; fans theorizing as to its meaning have touched on everything from planets to the resurrection of a certain dead hero to the Russos simply messing with them. There’s no way of knowing which (if any) of these interpretations is correct, of course, and likely won’t be until the film’s highly anticipated release next year.

This spring’s “Avengers: Infinity War” ended on a much-discussed cliffhanger that’s sure to have huge implications on its still-untitled sequel. Audiences will finally know what it all means when that film is released on May 3, 2019.


Source: IndieWire film

October 13, 2018

Marvel Fires Comic Book Writer Chuck Wendig for ‘Vulgar’ Social Media Presence, but There’s More to the Story

The fourth and fifth editions of the comic-book series “Star Wars: Shadow of Vader” will no longer be written by Chuck Wendig, who announced his firing on Twitter yesterday. In a lengthy thread, the author cited “too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part” as the reason for his ouster. “Basically, because I was not civil.”

The story goes deeper than that, however, as Wendig says he’s been targeted by abuse from angry readers who disapprove of him introducing the openly gay character Sinjir Rath Velus to the world of “Star Wars.” That led to a flood of negative reviews even before most people had gotten the chance to read “Star Wars: Aftermath,” the 2015 novel in which Velus first appeared.

“I was literally at a midnight release of the book, and when I got done, there were already a pile of one-star reviews piling up – which seemed strange, obviously. And scary, too. I didn’t understand what was happening at the time,” Wendig explained.

“I also started receiving TONS of harassment – harassment that has gone on for years, harassment that has required me to contact local police and warn them of SWATting attempts, harassment across all corners of the Internet, here, FB, Reddit, YouTube,” he added.

Wendig then notes that he has other projects in the works and will be fine. “Be more concerned for people with less power and more marginalized voices — who even BEFORE big projects at the bottom of huge funnels of harassment,” he writes. “Be good to each other. I’m gonna go hug my kid and eat a sandwich.”

IndieWire has reached out to Disney for comment.


Source: IndieWire film

October 13, 2018

‘Halloween’: Michael Myers Actor Learned How to Kill People From an Actual Murderer

You may not know James Jude Courtney’s name, but you certainly know his latest character: Michael Myers, the masked killer from “Halloween.” Ol’ Jimmy isn’t himself a crazed murderer, but he once lived with an actual hit man who wanted his life story written. The actor recalls this experience in a Vanity Fair interview, explaining that he took said contract killer to see “The Hit List,” a movie he was in, and received the following reaction: “Jimmy, it’s a really nice movie, but that’s not how you kill people.”

“Really?” Courtney asked, to which his new acquaintance responded, “I’m gonna show you how.” Well, all right then.

“There’s a stealth efficiency to the way an actual trained killer works,” Courtney explains. “Movies tend to dilute that quality with dramatic pauses and dialogue, which a true predator would never waste time doing. That efficiency is what I took to the part of Michael Myers.”

Courtney’s time under the mask was preceded by six other performers, whose stories are likewise recounted in the Vanity Fair article. “That’s something that only these guys and I get to know,” he says of this exclusive club. “No one else will get to experience that. Part of the honor of this experience is being able to join a club with these distinguished gentlemen who happen to kill people for a living.”

Source: IndieWire film

October 11, 2018

How to use ethnographic research to tell a meaningful brand narrative

Source: Visual Storytelling

October 11, 2018

Filmmaker Jim Cummings Talks About His SXSW 2018 Narrative Feature Jury Winner Thunder Road

Filmmaker Jim Cummings is no stranger to the SXSW Film Festival. He’s produced many films that have word premiered at the festival and last year he was included in our SXSW Film 25 Alumni Series. In 2016, Cummings received a Special Jury Recognition for Acting in the short Thunder Road, a film which he also directed, wrote, and edited. In 2017, he brought the short Robbery and then returned to SXSW in 2018 to unveil the feature version of Thunder Road where it won the Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize!

Thunder Road opens in theaters on October 12 and will be available digitally on October 26. Before you watch it, read our interview with Cummings where he discusses his passion for SXSW and why Thunder Road was a story the world needed to see.

In your own words, what does this film mean to you?

Jim Cummings: Thunder Road is a love letter and apology note to my mom and to all of the other parents who had to put up with a difficult child. It’s a document of my love for people, of life-affirming art, and also I hope that it’s proof of life for DIY filmmaking.

What motivated you to tell this story?

JC: I really wanted to wake people up like Springsteen did. I wanted to encourage people to stop being spectators of their lives, to change if they’re unhappy.

What do you want the audience to take away?

JC: Oh man. I don’t know. I would love for people to be more considerate of their lives and their legacies here on this planet.

What were you doing when you found out you were coming to SXSW?

JC: I was editing the film. I was in my office mixing the parking lot monologue and I got the email and ran around the office shouting and giving high-fives.

What made you choose SXSW to showcase your film to the world?

JC: It is the perfect audience. I have screened the film around the world since, but the SXSW crowd appreciated the comedy and the drama, they don’t take themselves too seriously, they love big comedy, but appreciate humanity on film, too. We got big laughs in the theater and big hugs in the lobby.

Do you have a past experience at SXSW that impacted your decision to come back?

JC: Seeing Krisha. I sprinted in a suit (this was when I was still a producer) to the Alamo Ritz at 11am, made it just in time, laughed throughout, and then spent 2 hours crying and walking around the river.

Describe what you were feeling during your SXSW premiere?

JC: Anxiety. Nobody had seen it in a crowd before. I didn’t know if any of the jokes would land, I was nervous. There’s a photograph that a friend took of me right outside the theater and I look white as a sheet. But then everybody loved it and I was able to sit back with my girlfriend and enjoy the movie with the crowd. It was great.

What was going through your head when Thunder Road took home the Narrative Feature Jury Award?

JC: So there’s footage of it. A friend was filming on his phone and documented my sprint to stage. It’s on my Vimeo. I keep saying “holy shit,” sorry mom. I remember the way they announced it the jurors said, “This next award goes to a writer… director… and actor” and I put my face in my hands and my team kept slapping my back and for the rest of the night we celebrated and talked shop. It was unbelievable, still is! I’ll stop in the middle of the day and turn to a friend and say “I can’t believe we won.”

Join Us For SXSW 2019

Register and book your hotel now to save! The Film Badge gets you primary access to all SXSW Film events including Film Keynotes and Featured Sessions, world premieres, round tables, workshops, parties, and more. Over the course of nine days, the SXSW Film Festival hosts over 450 screenings! Film registrants also have primary access to Convergence events, including the Comedy Festival and nine unique Conference tracks, as well as secondary access to most Interactive and Music events.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SXSW News for the latest SXSW coverage.

See you in March!

Jim Cummings with the 2018 Narrative Feature Jury – Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

The post Filmmaker Jim Cummings Talks About His SXSW 2018 Narrative Feature Jury Winner Thunder Road appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

October 10, 2018

SXSW Exhibitors: What’s Next After Getting Your Trade Show Booth

We’re excited you decided to join us for the 2019 SXSW Trade Show! We want you to get the most out of your SXSW experience, so we’re dropping some tips you may not have considered to ensure your success this year.

Initial Planning for Your Show

Confirm the dates and times of the show as well as the load in and load out prior to making any travel arrangements or booking accommodations.

Confirm your production budget. Beyond the standard setup, strongly consider spending extra on customizing your booth — a well-designed booth will help set you apart, stand out, and draw more people in. Check your Exhibitor Portal for more information and quotes on local vendors that can help reduce shipping and storage costs.

Marketing, Design, and Production

• The most important factors for successful exhibiting are the experience and engagement you offer attendees — location and booth size aren’t everything, so get creative! Don’t just rely on your good looks and business cards. Design an inviting space and be proactive: demo products, offer snacks, photo opportunities or merch. Provide interactive or one-off experiences unique to your business and promote your booth via social media and SXSW Social to create a buzz.

• Everyone loves merch! Promotional t-shirts, earplugs, phone cases, and portable chargers are popular ways to attract people to your booth, but why stop there? Be creative with your promotional efforts — high-end daily giveaways, such as tablets, wearable tech, headphones and gadgets, etc., can create a stir and get people talking about your booth.

Booth Designs for 20’x10’ booths and larger are due by January 11, 2019. Please make sure all booth dimensions are included — booths are placed on the show floor once the design has been reviewed and approved. The sooner you get the design in, the better your chances to secure a great spot.

A Few Quick Reminders

• A certain number of hotel rooms are available for exhibitors. Once we have your signed contract and booth payment, you’ll get an exhibitor coupon code to redeem your SXSW Registration and to book your hotel room through our Housing Department. Exhibiting companies will also have access to a limited number of non-downtown hotel rooms for booth workers without a SXSW Registration. For any issues or questions about your booking, contact housing@sxsw.com.

Downtown parking, especially near the Austin Convention Center, will be limited and street closures make it difficult to get around. We strongly recommend using public transportation where possible, or carpooling. No parking spaces will be reserved for exhibitors. Refer to the Arrival Guide in your Exhibitor Dashboard for maps and more about parking.

• Don’t forget about insurance! You’ll be required to upload a current certificate of insurance (COI) that meets the SXSW minimum requirements. Many exhibitors can easily obtain this from their own agency, but if not, SXSW can connect you to a preferred vendor that offers temporary event insurance (typically around $100).

Exhibitors are required to staff their booths during operating hours of the show. Booths left unattended or vacated early will receive a violation and potential fine, so plan ahead and staff accordingly.

Refer to your Exhibitor Portal for more details, or if you have any additional questions, please contact exhibitions@sxsw.com.

Photo by Alexa Gonzalez Wagner

The post SXSW Exhibitors: What’s Next After Getting Your Trade Show Booth appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

October 10, 2018

Women Empowerment: Gabourey Sidibe, Jenny Slate, Princess Reema & More SXSW Sessions [Video]

Photo by Mike Jordan/Getty Images

With Featured Speakers including actress Gabourey Sidibe, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Princess Reema, Harvard University professor Iris Bohnet, and more, gain insight from women who are challenging the traditional landscapes of business, music, politics and beyond as they offer ideas and solutions to mend gender gaps during SXSW sessions in this curated YouTube playlist, Women Empowerment.

The speakers in this playlist make up only a fraction of the incredible talent and industry leaders in attendance at the SXSW Conference each year. Programmed sessions seek to honor SXSW’s original vision, to act as a tool for creative people and the companies they work with, to develop their careers, and bring together people from a wide area to meet and share ideas.

Get inspired by the speakers below from past SXSW sessions including Representation of Women in Music, Time’s Up! Shifting the Imbalance of Power and more.

Women Empowerment Playlist

The Female Lens: Creating Change Beyond the Bubble | 2017

In post-election America, we all want to go “beyond the bubble” — to reach audiences and change minds outside of NYC screening rooms or film festival panels. Film is uniquely positioned to do just that, and female directors, writers, and actors are using their work to change the perception of women onscreen and off in real world ways. Glamour gathered four female creators – Janicza Bravo, Danielle Macdonald, Gabourey Sidibe, and Jenny Slate – to talk about how films do (and don’t) alter perceptions of women across America.

Time’s Up! Shifting the Imbalance of Power | 2018

Conceived by women in Hollywood to serve all industries, TIME’S UP is addressing power imbalances in the workplace to stop sexual harassment and promote equality. In this session, TIME’S UP and TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund leadership – including Hilary Rosen, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Fatima Goss Graves, and Tina Tchen – discuss the TIME’S UP movement and the changing cultural climate.

Representation of Women in Music | 2016

As more and more female musicians gain awareness, it’s become increasingly important to take a step back and analyze how female musicians are represented in mainstream media and advertising today, what improvements have been made and what challenges we still face as an industry. Hear industry leaders – Kiran Gandhi,
Michele Fleischli, Sadie Dupuis, and Tom Barnes – come together to discuss the present and future of representations of women in music media.

Princess Reema’s Mission to Empower Saudi Women | 2015

Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud, CEO of Saudi Arabian luxury retailer Alfa Intl, says “you cannot have half of your population not working,” Princess Reema discusses her latest bold moves toward women’s empowerment in Saudi Arabia. Whether it’s hiring women, providing day care, offering free employee transportation or letting employees make their own decision about whether to wear a veil, she is embarking on a paradigm shift for a population hungry for change.

What Works: Gender Equality by Design | 2016

Gender equality is a moral and a business imperative. But unconscious bias holds us back, and debiasing people’s minds has proven to be difficult and expensive. Presenting research-based solutions from her new book, What Works, Iris Bohnet shares the tools we need to move the needle in classrooms and boardrooms, in hiring and promotion, benefiting businesses, governments, and the lives of millions.

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(L-R) Hilary Rosen, Tina Tchen, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Fatima Goss Graves attend Time’s Up! Shifting the Imbalance of Power – Photo by Mike Jordan/Getty Images

The post Women Empowerment: Gabourey Sidibe, Jenny Slate, Princess Reema & More SXSW Sessions [Video] appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

October 9, 2018

SXSW Film Festival Alumni Stories – Jennifer M. Kroot

At SXSW 2018 we celebrated the 25th Edition of the SXSW Film Festival and had the pleasure of sharing stories, memories, and reflections from our distinguished alumni. We had a blast telling these tales and want to keep the party going!

Filmmaker Jennifer M. Kroot has world premiered two documentary features at SXSW – It Came From Kuchar (2009) about the zany, underground filmmaking twins, George and Mike Kuchar and The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin (2017). The latter winning the 2017 Audience Award for Documentary Spotlight. The film examines the life and work of a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels have inspired millions to claim their own truth.

Read Kroot’s recollection of her first filmmaker experience at SXSW:

“In 2009, I premiered my first documentary, It Came From Kuchar. Since this was my first documentary, I was extremely nervous about showing the finished film to the subjects. Actually that’s always nerve-racking! We screened the film at one of the the Alamo Drafthouse locations, which was absolutely perfect for the wacky and low budget sensibility of Kuchar, not to mention that the theater had a large B sci-fi style, alien spaceship hanging in the lobby, which was comforting since both Kuchars have had personal encounters with UFOs, and have expressed that through their filmmaking.

The screening was late afternoon on a Saturday, and this was the first time that I ever screened my work at a major film festival, so it was quite a thrill to see that it was sold out. The audience reacted exuberantly on the emotional rollercoaster ride of the film. George Kuchar was there to see it for the first time, but he wanted to sit alone in the back of the theater. I kept turning my head to try to see if I could see his reactions, but he was too far back. I was actually shaking at the end of the film, dying to know what George thought. He was not only my subject, but also my former teacher and mentor, so it felt extremely intense. I knew that there were a couple things in the film that were personal and maybe uncomfortable to George, and I obsessed in my mind about how he might take it.

When the credits ended and the lights went on, I jumped up and ran to meet George as he was coming towards me down the aisle. His face was shiny with tears. He was so moved by the film that he was sobbing, and thanked me profoundly. It felt amazing. The first thing that George said to the crowd was that the film was a good documentation of his former bad teeth. He explained that he had just had them fixed for the premiere. It was completely surreal to suddenly notice his big smile of perfect new teeth. This may have been the only time that I ever actually pinched myself to see if I was dreaming. After I assured myself that I was awake, I was so proud to be there with George. He was someone that I deeply admired. It was a beautiful moment in my life that I will treasure as long as I live. Sadly, George passed away in 2011. I am so thankful that I was able to make the film when I did, and so indebted to SXSW for this spectacular experience.”

Jennifer M. Kroot – Photo by Jim Antich

The post SXSW Film Festival Alumni Stories – Jennifer M. Kroot appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film