Filmmaker interview with indie creative Jed Brian.
Jed Brian is a horror filmmaker from Sumner, Illinois in the US. I kicked off the interview by finding out why Jed is passionate about the horror genre.
The reason I chose to do horror is ever since I was a kid I have always loved horror movies from the classics like Frankenstein and House on Haunted Hill to more modern horror films like Hostel and IT. So after I graduated high school I made it my goal to make a film for my favorite genre.
What have you been working on recently?
We are currently promoting my debut film Unlisted Owner. The film has been as high as 9th on Amazon's top 100 hot new horror release list.
What is Unlisted Owner about?
It’s a found footage horror film about a group of friends making bad choices that lead to a night filled with horror and terror. Our six friends hear of a family of five murdered in a house close to where they will be camping for the night. Deciding to return to investigate would be the worst mistake of their fun-filled night.
Unlisted Owner is a feature length film written and directed by me and starring Gavin Groves, Haidee Corona, Andrea Potts, Jed Brian, Tyler Landers and Levi Atkins. The film was released on DVD and through Amazon Streaming on November 14, 2017.
What is unique about the work that sets you apart from other creatives working in your field?
The thing that sets Unlisted Owner apart from other horror films is the realism in the film. Unlisted Owner has been edited and presented as crime scene evidence of these cameras that were discovered at the scene of a crime. This adds a whole new realistic factor the Unlisted Owner that separates this horror film from the rest of the pack.
It also has a strong Midwestern feel. The movie was filmed entirely in Southeastern Illinois town of Sumner by my production company Lawford County Productions. The cast is mostly from the Sumner area and actress Haidee Corona from Shelbyville. The film is being released by Tomcat Films/ Summerhill Films.
What does it take to build a promotion strategy for an indie horror film?
Facebook was great early on to grow locally. Twitter, Instagram and Amino have helped grow outside the local and into the worldwide spectrum. I post any interviews or any publications the movie is published in. I also share or retweet anything other pages or profiles post about the film. Most of the time it is Interview, Review or News related to the film. We seem to be spreading through the reviews and press releases we have sent out. We also try to follow people back when we get a follow on Twitter.
Beyond social media, what else have you used to create some buzz?
There are several sites that will repost your stuff for horror. One is Promote Horror. They are great to work with to get the news out about your horror related project.
Do you pay for advertising either online or in other media?
A little, not much. It has mostly spread from interviews or reviews we have done and gotten.
Where do you make the most sales?
Amazon has been huge! Especially with us making the number 9 spot of the top 100 new releases for DVD. We have a distributor so I am not sure how the sales differ from platform to platform yet.
Do you have any techniques to convert followers into customers?
In-store signings and meet and greets have helped get followers into customers. By having an event where people can meet you face to face really helped us get followers to come meet us and also get new fans of Unlisted Owner.
Do you have a marketing philosophy?
Just try to be positive to others even if they aren't a fan of the movie and try to get as many people to hear about the movie as possible.
Do you use any tools or apps to help you market your work online?
No auto replies! I have quick links saved to all the viewing platforms Unlisted Owner is available but that is about as automated as I get. I want people to know they are talking to a real person and not a robot. It helps them feel more involved with the project.
What are your top 3 tips to help other creative people learning to market their work?
1. Believe in what you are doing and that it is worth your time.
2. Don't only do something part way. Go the distance or it won't work out.
3. Try to get as many eyes as possible on your work. Remember every person you know also knows 100's you don't. Word of mouth is key to success.