One of the quirks of working from home, is interruptions seem to occur throughout the day... Besides the usual household routines, sales people selling "magic spray" cleaners, zealots on missions dispatched from a higher authority, charitable solicitors, home improvers setting up appointments 'cause their boss "is going to be in the area this week" and various other practitioners of this "old school" spam show up unannounced... but on rare occasions someone shows up with a story worth hearing...
"So this guy shows up on my porch..."
Selling "Irish Whiskey"
So this guy shows up on my porch -- I open the door and before I can say a word, he pops open this big binder with dog-eared pages. It looks like some kind of giant high school scrap book -- hand scrawled notes on every page -- some highlighted in bright yellow. He begins his quick talking presentation saying, I'm a movie director selling my movie door-to-door trying to prove that there is a market for it. He then goes into a bit of a criticism over the difficulties for an "outsider" to generate interest from Hollywood...
Now he's got my attention... not that I have axes to grind, but among all of the other personal characteristics that I have mentioned in TheRandomTimes.com, I am also a sucker for the "underdog." If someone's at a disadvantage but still trying, despite the odds, I'm usually rooting for him. Maybe it's the "every man" syndrome -- that special tenacity, which made the Rocky movies so special. Maybe it's the fact that I see myself as an "every man"... I don't know exactly what it is that tweaks me this way, but Jon Stevens had my attention and I wanted to know what he was selling and I was even interested in buying it. I thought to myself, maybe this guy is like the one who sold me the "magic spray" that turned out to be plain old dish soap... Maybe those DVDs he's holding are just blanks... but his story continued -- "It's called 'Irish Whiskey'" he says, then he flipped through some pages and showed me some stills from the movie. He said "the main character is an updated alcoholic 'Archie Bunker' -- he doesn't like anyone, and doesn't hesitate to let everyone know his opinions. It's an Irish-American family that could be 'any' American family. It's Thanksgiving and his younger brother brings his new fiancée (an African American) to the family get together," Jon's voice sounding excited and sincere.
A "Must See"
It turns out that his description was only the tip of the iceberg. "Irish Whiskey" tackles a number of issues -- both contemporary and chronic and the outcome is very interesting. It's not what you really expect... It really is a "must see."
"...partners are Visa and MasterCard"
Suffice it to say -- the movie is really good, if not great, especially when one considers that the operating budget was $28,000 and two of the film's early financial partners were Visa and MasterCard... NOTE - with the deferment of payments for the contributions of several others, the film's actual cost is around $700,000.
"Neither Spielberg nor Coppola have stopped by..."
So here's this guy -- a "regular folks" guy -- going door-to-door to sell his movie because he feels so strongly about his creation -- I can't remember the last time that a Hollywood director came to my front door and asked me to buy his film. Neither Spielberg nor Coppola have stopped by... though Coppola's nephew Nicholas Cage grew up in the neighborhood a couple blocks away...
Now how does any of this fit into TheRandomTimes.com?
Well... most of my regular readers are familiar with my bizarre interpretations of inter-disciplinary relationships. In this case, the art portion seems somewhat apparent on several levels, but in the quantum reality a few scenarios are playing themselves out right here on my porch... the most obvious is that he's already succeeded and is simply going through the requisite motions fulfilling the criteria to prove the inevitable
accomplishment or... since every possible outcome is always present -- he is ignoring all of the negative outcomes and simply moving forward with no expectation other than a successful resolution to his pursuit. Regardless of the success of "Irish Whiskey" (did I mention it's really good...?), there is another script, which he is living and that is waiting to be written. It's the story of a person who believes in his work so much, that he is willing to methodically go door-to-door and personally ask people to buy his movie, one DVD at a time.
Here is a man who picks a neighborhood, parks his car and starts knocking on doors. If someone answers the door, he then launches into his presentation and people respond in a variety of ways -- some just close the door, others humor him and politely decline the purchase. Still others inquire about his venture and even appear to be interested, only to also politely decline. Then again there are some people who find his story compelling and their interest peaked just enough to part with a few bucks and purchase his "masterpiece." He offers a money back guarantee -- when was the last time a director offered money back for a movie...? I certainly wish that I could have requested refunds on some of the big-budget lemons that I've spent money on.
50,000,000 Unit Sales...
Jon's original goal was 5,000 unit sales -- that was 3 years ago -- I was sale number 5571... Since he's still repaying his deferred investors, he's had to increase his sales goals, while he puts the finishing touches on some new methods of distribution.
He's knocked on around 25,000 doors and of those who have answered the door he's sold nearly 5600 copies, which he says is about a 60% conversion rate -- not bad. Considering that there are approximately 281,000,000 people in the USA, Jon's current marketing method would result in about 50,000,000 unit sales -- but that will take a few years -- then again, seeing Jon's tenacity -- if he must continue to promote his movie door-to-door, I imagine that he will see it through, though I have a feeling that Jon won't have to knock on every door in America to make the world aware of his film. If it hasn't already happened... one of these days, Jon's going to knock on one door that will open all of the rest.
Jon has put together a very interesting business plan to get the film into movie theaters. It is relatively low-risk and he projects quite an ROI. Now he just needs a few investors who can recognize the potential of his film.
See the trailer -- visit the "Irish Whiskey" website at: www.iwfilm.com
"... one of these days, Jon's going to knock on one door that will open all of the rest..."