April 5, 2010




Check your newspaper listings. Advertising is going to be sparse. Word of mouth is going to be crucial. Don't be shy about telling your friends, even your non-friends. Tell priests, rabbis, dj mixmasters. I've got three guys coming from my boxing gym. The guy who delivers trees for my wife's plant business is bringing his whole family.

Look here what Elaine did in Atlanta. I sent her a digital flier with the Atlanta cinema info on it and she printed them out herself then went out into the city for 5 days and put them up. For nothin'!! I'm telling you, it doesn't get much better than that for support and enthusiasm. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Elaine.

Elaine putting up fliers

Elaine wrote about her experience putting up the fliers on her own blog. Check it out. Here's an excerpt from Day 4:

Upon starting the car, “Light My Fire” plays on the radio. I am no longer surprised; it’s as if the Doors music now keeps me company as I work to spread the word about the film. What DOES surprise me though, is seconds after the song ends, the DJ starts talking about WYS. She says she can’t wait to see this incredible Doors documentary, starting in Atlanta in April. I am stunned and yet elated. And her announcement happened during lunchtime driving traffic. I laugh out loud, thrilled for this shout-out for the film.

Anyone interested in following Elaine's lead can download the flier below. I also placed it on the PHOTO page above. Try the same procedure there if it doesn't work here.

When You’re Strange flier poster

Just right-click on it and choose Save Picture As and send it to your desktop. I won't have time to fill in the info. You can either do it yourselves via photoshop or just write in by hand. Only thing that matters is that people see where it's playing and when. Print out 100 copies on your home printer and go to town.

And if you don't have the time or resources for that then just start pounding out the emails.

I've been doing the same since I got back from LA. I did 2 days of press there for the film with Ray, John and Robbie. All three expressed enormous faith and support in the film. Densmore and I did an in-store appearance at the Apple Store in Santa Monica. It was moderated by the legendary LA dj Jim Ladd of KLOS. Ladd's voice is in the film, used specifically for a scene where Morrison hears some disturbing news on his car radio. I expressed my thanks to Jim Ladd in an email. Here's what he wrote back to me:

I will keep talking about it. I also want you to know that I think word of mouth will be HUGE for this film. Once people see it they will tell their friends, which is really the best publicity you can get. As far as me being in the film, it goes without saying that it was an honor for me.
Jim Ladd

As you can see, working on this film has enabled me to meet some amazing people.

And so, I leave you on the eve of the release of this 2 1/2 year-long effort with this encouragement. Do not under-estimate the power of one. Spread the word if you have the time. It will be appreciated by us all.

andy gan
Hi Tom,
Congrates on your film! i’m very thrill to find your blog here. as a big “doors” fan, i love to discuss with you how to introduce this film of yours to Chinese speaking people.
i was influenced by the doors and jim when i was in college, love them and try to translate some of jim’s lyrics and poems into chinese.
i’m now publishing books and media into iPad. maybe this film can be on iPad also both in English and Chinese (subtitle). so if we can email each other, i would love to talk in detail with you.
you’ve done a great job for the doors fan especially a fan in this “strange country” far away from jim’s birth place in US or his rest place in Paris.
my email: andygan1969@gmail.com
Hey Tom,
Thanks so much, i’ll be keeping my ears open for word of that.
Hope the showings have been going good, which i’ve no doubt they are.
Take it easy, and thanks again.
Hey Stelaine,
really great of you to write–and to be spreading the word of mouf.
I know the film has been sold to almost every country. It will open in France in the beginning of June and the UK shortly after. I think that will help other countries to follow suit.
Thanks so much.
Hey, we’ve been desparate to see this movie since first heard about it last year. Do you know if theres any plans for it to visit Scotland before July, or Spain (Valencia area) after July?
We’d be more than willing to advertise this for you in these locations!
Spreading the word of mouf already.
Hey Donna,
Thanks for this info. Sounds like a cool festival. Glad you liked the film. Ray is an amazing musician.
Hey jb,
Yeah, Ray’s head did get a little crewcut. Not sure how that happened. He still looks good though.
Speaking about Ray Manzarek, his head seems to be cropped on the poster file..
Ray Manzarek, former founder/keyboardist of The Doors is performing this year at a festival in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It’s the only festival in the world that blends poetry and jazz. David Amram, the guy who befriended Jack Keroauc and put music to his words, performs every year at Jazzmouth. Ray Manzarek is available for interviews.
We love the documentary. It’s amazing.
Thanks Tom, I’m glad you like the blog write-up.
My browser (Firefox) didn’t seem to let the image save either – the right-click didn’t work, which is strange. Anyway, I have the JPEG so if anyone wants to email me with what theater they are near, I can modify it and email it back to them w/the info. That’s an option b/c I know you’re busy w/press engagements and such, Tom. My email is elaine@thewriterscanvas.com.
And guess what, all??? I was watching something on VH1 Classic channel tonight and they had a trailer/brief commercial for WYS!!!!! I was so ecstatic but surprised, because I wasn’t sure how much TV advertising they were going to do.
YAY! So it was great to see the preview/clips from the film on VH1.
Hope your press event went well tonight –
Thanks, Mario. I’ll be working on this movie as long as it takes to get it out there.
I hope you get a chance to see it projected.
Great essay on your blog, Elaine about your travels through Atlanta. They should make you a producer.
Hey Jules,
I just tried it and it appears to work. Position your cursor over the poster. Right click it. Select Save Picture As and download it to someplace in your computer. See if that works for you.
Hey Wayne,
Thanks mate. I think with the help of people like you and Elaine we might have a chance.
Hey Tom,
Already on it my friend, spreading word of mouth and bringing some friends with me to Belfast for it’s screening at the film festival up there. I will be doing a piece about the whole festival for the paper and I will give you a big mention 🙂
Thanks, Tom! I certainly had a lot of fun trekking through Atlanta and spreading the word.
If anyone has difficulty downloading or modifying the flier on Tom’s blog post, feel free to email me at elaine@thewriterscanvas.com and I’ll try to modify a copy for you and send it back.
Word of mouth will be huge for WYS, I agree. Way to go, Tom. Hard to believe I found your blog about 2-3 years ago, right when you were starting this project. Now it’s being released in 4 more days. *Cool*
Hey, it’s not allowing me to save the image–can’t even get a right mouse button menu. Privacy settings? No problem with other pics on your site.
All the best to you on this – 5 days!

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Independent Filmmaker & Musician