Thursday, March 5, 2009

Francis Ford Coppola Embraces Indie Marketing with Tetro

I've heard about Francis Ford Coppola's new film Tetro and what I find really interesting is that he is embracing the forms of marketing that the independent film world has been espousing lately. Check out Tetro's Web site here

Click on the moth and you will see a handheld video of Coppola providing an introduction to the film. It's a very scrappy video of him holding the camera in an outstretched arm as he enters his workspace (in Napa Valley -- I want a workspace in Napa Valley!) and sits down. He talks about how this film is his first original screenplay in years (since The Conversation) and how excited he is for its release, telling people to keep coming back to the site for updates -- very indie indeed. 

I would expect this kind of video from a low-budget filmmaker, not Francis Ford Coppola, which is probably the exact reason he did it this way. He could have easily relied on more studio-type marketing (slick Web site; ads on Variety, etc.) but he's chosen to get very personal about it. He really wants the film to be embraced by the indie world and fans of independent film. Very interesting. 

And his cast is very indie too. Controversial Vincent Gallo, director of The Brown Bunny with the infamous blow job scene, stars, and Coppola comments on Gallo's brilliance. Do I hear another comeback a la Mickey Rourke? I'm looking forward to seeing Gallo in a challenging role featuring his acting chops instead of his sex chops.

The other actors in Tetro include Alden Ehrenreich and Maribel Verdu. Tetro will be 18-year-old Alden's feature debut and Maribel's follow up to a number of award-winning international productions, including Y Tu Mama Tambien.

I'm impressed by Coppola's efforts to self-promote his new feature. He appears to be a real entrepreneur and indie filmmaker at heart with his American Zoetrope production company and wine business. He even states that Tetro is the work he has always wanted to do but his career led him in other directions. Doesn't that sound familiar!


Phantom of Pulp said...

The Coppola approach is fast becoming the best approach.

It reminds me of a great promotional campaign that the producers of a film called 'Midori' did in the 90's.

The film is set in a circus. They toured the country with a freak show, set up a tent, and had the 'freaks' sell tickets and greet guests as they entered the tent 'cinema'.

The film was screened between sideshow acts.

They did this for two years and did not release the film non-theatrically until 2006.

It's a great way to make a film a true "event".

Anonymous said...

This guy is always way ahead of his time!

James said...

Coppola sure seems rejuvenated recently and there is something compelling about his 'new approach' which is a new world version of what he perhaps first tried out in the early 1980s. How can we not wish him well in his digital moviemaking endeavours ?

James Clarke