It’s been an enormously hectic at both MovieBank and Quantum, creating a somewhat “crazed” week at the studios, with travel and consultants and writers and more conspiring to keep me from blogging quite as much as usual. I did manage five posts over the week but they were mostly quickies. I’ll try to give some additional details here.
Monday and Tuesday we had the Stir Communications (Internet Marketing and Technology) team here for a two day intensive project management and strategy session. The entire WeEarth team was really in on this and it was both informative and helpful in getting closer to launch. As a result of those meetings and followup since then, here are the steps and timetable
- February 25 we will “go live” with the beta site. Remember — there are four pieces to the whole thing – portal/webzine, ecommerce site, social network, and video host/download. The “go live” will be the portal/webzine for sure, and if we are a little lucky with what happens next week, the ecommerce piece will also be functional. There will be no major paid marketing push at this point–rather, we will be quietly working out the bugs of the publishing aspect, starting out with at least 100 pieces of content already on the site, with 10-25 more being added per day. We will also use this forum to talk about what we’re doing overall — explain the vision, etc — and through all of this we will begin to acquire early friends and partners. We will be using internet marketing techniques to reach out and find people — but these are things like trackbacks, and pings, and so on, ways that gradually build up a reading audience and connections withbloggers/writers etc. The bottom line is that it’ll be like a functioning professionally managed webzine and a basic ecommerce site. Having the ecommerce going will allow us to get all the ecommerce basically going — shopping carts, credit cards, affiliate relationships, etc….so even if it is not as “sexy” in presentation as the ultimate ecommerce site will be, it will be functional and “cool” enough to get the ball rolllng on all these things.
- April 14th, 8 weeks later, will be the “real launch”. That is when the full site with all the “whiz bang” comes online. At that point we will be doing some substantial internet marketing to make as much noise as we can — also including online and some offline publicity. This is the “big day” and from here on we will be fullbore. (I do need to issue a disclaimer about this date — and that is that our ability to hit this date is based on what the designers and programmers are telling us. There is a possibility that they will encounter bugs which set us back a bit … but we hope not and have a little cushion already built into the schedule. (I.e. they say they can be ready by April 1st. I don’t believe them.)
WAY OF THE DOLPHIN
The screenplay development process has been somewhat excruciating, as it always is. We are three drafts into it and I am still not comfortable sending it out to our actors. Fortunately the Writer’s Guild strike has ended so we are looking for Wendell Morris — multi-emmy winner — to come in for a polish and with any luck, two weeks of Wendell’s efforts will get us to the point where we can send it out. As I have mentioned elsewhere, the first place it goes is to Woody Harrelson who has expressed interest through some of his “peeps”. He would obviously be a great edition.Aside from screenplay — our dolphin researcher Ken Levasseur and underwater cinematographer Paul Mockler (and yours truly) have been corresponding and working on a number of special underwater camera rigs that will allow us to do some things that have never really been done. We’ve also been doing work on a lot of computer screen graphics that will figure into the overall design of the movie (screens that will be visible at the research center). Plus Cornelius and his team on Grand Bahama Island have been doing location scouting for a number of the new locations we’ll need.
FILM SALES — DISTRIBUTION
Jamie Thompson and his sales team just got back from the European Film Market Berlin where they picked up some more distributors for EOD and made a number of good deals for the other films. They’re jetlagging now but will be in on Monday and we’ll get their reports. Their “road show” will be heading to Hong Kong next month for the Hong Kong Filmart market.