By Zeke Zelker, October 18th, 2010

Times are tough, listener-ship is down and Clarence Lindeweiler needs to come up with a plan to save his struggling alternative rock radio station, WTYT 960. Clarence’s plan is to host a billboard sitting contest, where four lucky contestants have the opportunity to win, “a beautiful mobile home and nine-sixty hundred dollars”. All they have to do, is be the last person to survive, living on a billboard.

Two weeks ago we announced our next project, a transmedia project based around the movie Billboard an Uncommon Contest for Common People!. I warned everybody in attendance that they could shape the course of the project, be a part of it, be immersed in it or simply be entertained by it when the finished movie comes out. I guess I should warn you too. This is what has transpired thus far.

The day before our announcement we launched our indiegogo crowd funding site. Our site outlines what the project is about, how the funds will be used, a description of the perks that we’re offering and details on how contributions can be tax deductible through our fiscal sponsorship with Fractured Atlas. Check it out, donate and please give me your feedback.

Prior to the announcement we sent out press alerts to 20 news organizations in the area, in fact twice, two days leading up to the announcement and the day of. We sent out invites to about 100 people to join us for the big news. Well, it poured down five inches of rain that day but we still had twenty people show up and two people from the press. While I was discussing the project live, people at the office where emailing out press releases. Why did we feel it was important to make an announcement? The project is inspired by a real contest that took place in the early eighties in the area and we need local supporters, a.k.a. funders, to help us make the project a reality.

We’ve learned that press begets press. Press also builds credibility with potential supporters, which can help a lot. The press that we have received, has resulted in over 130,000 impressions for the project thus far, which savvy businesses could have already been capitalizing on. A buzz on the street helps too when you start making phone calls to people, but it doesn’t exactly equate to dollars. We’re attempting to raise 10% of our budget locally.

We feel by having 10% of our budget in place, will also prove to those people who are on the fence of support, that the project has some legs and carry them over to the other side of support.

That is my focus for the next couple of weeks, to seek out some local brand sponsorships before I go national with a press campaign. I may look for someone who would be willing to match donations dollar for dollar for a given amount of time up to a certain dollar amount. Maybe you or someone you know could help us achieve our goal?

Stay tuned…

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Posted in INDIE FILM CAPITALSIM Storytelling audience crowdfunding transmedia

Zeke Zelker – an award winning filmmaker, blends art and commerce in all that he does. His latest film InSearchOf is not only creating buzz about the content of the story line but also for his business techniques. Always creating new revenue streams by blending traditional distribution outlets, adapting others to suit his film’s needs, and pioneering some of his own Zeke has been forging a pathway to profitability. He is currently developing on a transmedia project that will begin unraveling 2010.


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