Do you worship scribbled lists of to do’s? I sure do. In fact, I regularly prostrate myself at the Altar of Listmaking. Can I get an A-men?
I’m very frenetic with listing at times, but it’s the one activity that saves me from ever running out of ideas. This is stuff I need to do my job right, ideas clients can then leverage as part of their overall audience engagement efforts while they run the marketing gauntlet. If I can’t come up with fresh ideas for things my clients need, what the hell good am I? What good is any Producer of Marketing and Distribution then?
Like any other muscle, idea generation is about being brain-limber.
It’s about keeping that organ primed and ready to pounce and I’m fond of telling my clients during pitch sessions that if your PMD is unable to generate a list of at least ten whatevers at the drop of a chapeau, they’re not skilled enough or involved enough in the industry to do the job properly. They don’t have enough of an inventory to choose from, plain and simple. If that happens, your first question needs to be: why the hell not? And your next move should be: avoid hiring them at all costs! It’s tantamount to money withdrawn straight from the cash machine and then flushed straight down the crapper. Might as well donate it to charity instead.
One of the best list uses, I find, is for Kickstarter pledge rewards.
Pictured above, is PostPanic’s campaign for their new post-apocalyptic feature picture, SUNDAYS, by Mischa Rozema (which I’ve written about before here, here, and here – FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m also a backer), to be shot during 2012’s fall in Mexico City.
After drafting an initial list of pledge rewards, the PostPanic braintrust (people like Ania Markham) went back to the drawing board after reassessing what they were giving away as lures and enticements, only now adding a few additional pledge whizzles. Click here for the ideas they arrived at after retreating to the comfortable confines of their local ‘dam cafe (not “coffee shop,” but a proper cafe) and just scribbling – yes, hand-crafting – further pledge ideas on a napkin. That’s right, The Napkin Method!
There is power in penmanship, believe me. I am a preacher and adherent of this “new religion.” Hell, yes! Can I get a wit-ness?!
Since I practice what I preach, kids, and as I touchtype this post, I glance over at my nifty scratchpad (always to my right) where I’ve scrawled a list of potential series ideas for the week ahead under the original-sounding header “BLOG.”
Rather than roll out of bed rotten and cranky, wholly unprepared for the day ahead, I prefer hitting the laptop running (at least brain if not my ass). I want to be thinking about the day’s post as I perform my ablutions and other morning rituals.
Yes, there are even times when I don’t know what my first sentence will be until I actually sit down, but then there are others when it just flows like butter. Butter, I say…
If you’re constantly in the habit of drafting lists, then it’s easier to imagine a situation where practically anything coming to mind becomes ink on a page – anything of relevance to an indie audience.
Rather than committing things to memory, write shit down thrice. Write it in a couple of different places if you have to Mr. Klutz, but the key is to dive into doing habit-forming activities, especially for those cats who have eschewed paper for virtual enslavement and neck-craning smartphone servitude.
And good luck to a full slew of posts and pledge rewards for the week ahead!
Adam Daniel Mezei, PMD | Producer of Marketing and Distribution
Indie Audience Engagement Services for Independent Feature Films and Documentaries
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