I love sitting in a dark theater before the movie starts but most movie theaters don’t do that anymore. Now you usually see a bunch of crappy onscreen advertisements. Originally, I was excited that I wouldn’t have to show any ads before my movie and I could just have that dark theater experience. But then I realized I could put whatever I wanted onscreen while people munched on popcorn waiting for the movie to start.
Since most of the people coming out to a screening like this are supportive of the local arts, and since most of those people probably have their own thing going on, why not give everyone a little free advertising space? A chance to share their own project to a group of like-minded individuals? I want to offer you the chance to show your own crappy onscreen advertisements! For free!
Portland is a town where people help each other out because it feels good to help other people out. So that’s what I want to do. I want you to send me a JPG or PNG image promoting your independent Portland-based project: movie, blog, podcast, book, art show, play, web series, food cart, timelapse photography, improv troupe–basically anything that’s independent and has its roots in the Portland metro area.
I’ll show all of these (okay, let’s say the first 50) starting at 6:30pm when the doors open all the way up until 7:00pm when the movie starts.
UPDATE: After the movie, we plan to do a speed raffle. So if you’re a Portland business, food cart, cafe, etc, I will trade you two tickets to the premiere in exchange for a gift certificate or product. You can use the form below to contact me (or @frontave) and we’ll sort out the details.
There’s a form to submit your image at the bottom of this page. But first, some questions you might have (or ask one in the comments):
Q: When are the ads due?
A: The cutoff is Friday Feb 12th at midnight. But there’s a limited number of ads that can run in a half-hour so the earlier the better.
Q: What format does the slide have to be?
A: JPEG or PNG (preferred), at no more than 1024 x 768 resolution. Try to keep it under 800KB.
Q: Can I submit a slide even if I don’t go to the screening?
A: Yes, although we’d love to see you there, attendance is not mandatory to show your ad.
Q: What do you think would make a good ad?
A: Maybe an image with a tagline and URL. Something simple. Or a parody of movie onscreen entertainment. I don’t know what that would be exactly. It would be very helpful to have some sort of contact info on the slide, like a website, Twitter handle, etc.
Q: Can I give you a video and you could show it like a trailer? You know how they have those at movies? With a fake green “This movie is rated for all audiences.” Seriously, hear me out, I’ll totally edit it so–
A: No. There won’t be any videos or trailers. It’s just too much hassle and my idea is better.
Q: Can I take a picture of my slide onscreen at the Hollywood Theatre then post it to my blog or Twitter or Facebook?
A: Yes, as long as you turn your phone off once the movie starts. Not just silence it, but turn it off. Completely. God, that is so annoying when people are on phones at movies. Even texting–especially texting. Wait, did I answer the question?
Q: Can I promote my for-profit business?
A: I don’t know, I mean a food cart or cafe is a for-profit business, but those things are also part of Portland’s creative infrastructure (I sounded douche-y just now) . Just send an image and we’ll see. [Update: preference is given to individuals, but if you’re a business-y business and want to donate a gift certificate for the speed raffle after the movie, you’ll get double-exposure.]
Q: Can I send more than one ad?
A: No, but you can advertise more than one project on a slide. Just don’t make it too busy, no one likes that.
Q: Can I whoop and holler when my ad comes up?
Q: What if no one submits any ads? Won’t you feel like a total jackass?
A: No, because I’ll just put up images of things I love about Portland, like blogs, podcasts and naked pictures of your mother (BURRRRRRNN!)
Q: Can I make an ad proposing to my girlfriend and then pull out an engagement ring hidden in a box of popcorn?
A: Please stop. Even if the proposal worked, the marriage would only last a few years and forever leave your bride with lingering bad thoughts about movie popcorn. And I can’t be party to that at all.
Q: Do you know of any Photoshop type tools that are free so I can add text to an image?
A: I’m not recommending or endorsing these, but they exist: Photoshop.com, Aviary Phoenix, Gimp and of course, Microsoft Paint.
Q: How do I submit an ad?
A: I’ve made this form below which runs on a free plug-in on a WordPress blog on a budget hosting plan. I’m just saying it’s not a five-nines kind of uptime. You could also directly email it to my gmail account, the username of which is mikevogel.com, meaning put that before the @gmail part. (I don’t want spam or I’d just type it.)
Q: Is there a catch? Is there anything I need to do in exchange for this free advertising?
A: The only thing you need to do is continue being awesome.
(UPDATE: I removed the submission form because the screening has passed. It had some fields where you typed things and a button that you clicked. You get the idea.)