The Perfect House sounds like a typical horror movie about a house that would rather chew up and spit out its inhabitants rather than let them get a good night’s rest.
Under the surface, The Perfect House is a passionate independent film project for Kris Hubert and his co-director, Randy Kent. It’s low budget with even lower marketing funds, which poses many challenges getting it in front of people to see.
Rather than rely on Hollywood and the brick walls often thrown in front of new filmmakers, the cast and crew of The Perfect House are launching it exclusively on Facebook on October 1 using a new technology called Flicklaunch. It’s like the movie version of how independent book writers have found success bypassing traditional publisher channels and reaching their audiences directly via Amazon.com and Kindle.
One of The Perfect House’s producers, Will Robertson, sat down with our James Zappie to talk about the film, its history, and how it is being promoted primarily via social media, the Internet, and a mobile tour.
So, for those not in the know, what’s the premise of The Perfect House?
The Perfect House is an anthology horror film. Over a span of 40 years, owners of The Perfect House come and go. But not without leaving a trail of blood and horror in their wake.
Why this particular marketing campaign? (tour, webpage, Twitter, Facebook, etc)
The marketing plan started out much larger than what it is. But we have only been able to do what we ourselves could afford. Facebook, www.theperfecthousemovie.net, Twitter, the TPHMobile and tour were the cheapest avenues available to us to get the word out.
Flicklaunch because it makes sense. Kris always has his eye on technology and emerging trends in social media. Flicklaunch and The Perfect House were at similar stages of development at the same time – it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
How did your partnership come about?
The Perfect House/Flicklaunch partnership came about after Kris spied Facebook doing a test-run last year where they made Warner Brothers’ The Dark Knight available for download. The movie received over 3 million views in a short span. Not long after, Flicklaunch was announced. Kris contacted the owner and immediately a deal was struck.
How does FlickLaunch work, exactly?
Flicklaunch is an embedded Video On Demand application. It goes on The Perfect House’s Facebook page where people can pay per download of the film and watch on their computer. Similar to NetFlix streaming service but for independent filmmaker’s who don’t usually get a chance to distribute their product.
What are the advantages to an indie filmmaker in using this approach?
Flicklaunch lets indie filmmakers upload their movies for free and houses them for the public to watch. Most indie films never get any promotion due to the high cost of marketing campaigns. With Flicklaunch filmmakers can promote their movies with Facebook or whatever social media they want and drive interested viewers to their Facebook page where they can watch the movie. Payments are made via PayPal and Flicklaunch keeps a portion while the rest goes directly to the filmmaker.
Have you gotten any pushback from Hollywood for deciding to buck the traditional system and focus your attention on social media and grassroots marketing?
The traditional system in Hollywood has hardly made notice of The Perfect House. One major studio did approach and wanted us to name our selling price. When we gave them a number we were laughed at and basically told, “Good luck. We’ll talk again after this whole V.O.D. nonsense goes the way of the Dodo Bird.”
You’ve been very open and honest with everything involved in the filming/production/marketing/etc. for The Perfect House. Looking back, do you have any regrets in pulling back the curtain so much?
No regrets for our transparency, but a lot of surprise at how many haters and skeptics it has produced. People have wanted to call “Bullshit!” on the entire process and it has created a lot of altercations. But people like that are who we are on a mission to prove wrong. So no. No regrets.
You’ve got a great cast filled with some near iconic horror stars (Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, John Philbin) and the film has been generating some really positive reviews. Was there a moment that you sat back and said “Holy crap, I can’t believe this is all actually happening.”? If so, what was it?
Kris says, “On the 1st day of shooting when ‘Record’ was pushed. Literally, the night before that was still filled with doubt. But then the whole process has been a succession of ‘I hope this works’ moments. And that includes October 1st….”
How would you sum up your fanbase?
Passionate, dedicated, and loyal… like us the filmmakers. A bunch of misunderstood misfits who’ve come together under the banner of The Perfect House to make a little magic.
What would you say are the three best pieces of advice you could give to filmmaking hopefuls out there?
Make your movie. Don’t hope someone else is going to swing-in and do it for you. Write the script so that it’s within your means to complete with the resources you have available and make it. And don’t stop just because the negative nellies tell you it’s impossible.
What’s been the hardest thing about doing the TPH mobile tour?
The hardest thing about the tour has been finding gas and food money.
What has been the most rewarding?
The most rewarding is every time we run into fans who support and love what we’re trying to do. Makes all the cold, hungry nights worth it!
Check out The Perfect House beginning this Saturday, October 1 on Facebook.