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Micro-budget indie thriller Paranormal Activity debuted at Slamdance in January 2008. Two weeks ago it started screening at midnight sessions in 33 cinemas in the United States. Since then the film’s distributors Paramount have made sure there are plenty of computer terminals available at the cinemas and encouraged the audience to log on and post their reviews on Twitter and Facebook immediately – a hive activity that had dire consequences for Bruno, when negative posts and tweets halved the movie’s audience in 24 hours on its opening weekend.

Tweet Your Scream

What’s happened since Paranormal Activity‘s launch is reminiscent of another micro-budget thriller that built its audience through word of mouth a decade ago. The film’s distributors have enlisted a company synonymous with promoting music acts, and a strategy that calls potential audiences to action by asking them to DEMAND the film be released nationwide.

Demand It!

Touted as “the first-ever major film release decided by you”, over here at KCDC we think it’s a clever and relatively inexpensive strategy we’re waiting with baited breath to see unfold. So far it seems to have successfully hit its target… the buzz is so great that exhibitors have been calling Paramount asking to screen the film.

Perhaps in these unpredictable days of indie film when the old paradigm has been overturned but the new one is not yet in place this is a distribution model that could work, enabling independent cinema to find its audience. Or perhaps it will only work until everyone’s doing it and the noise becomes too great?

Keep checking the official site to stay informed of the film’s (and the distribution model’s) fate.


One Comment

  1. Update: one day after posting 1,000,000 demands were recorded. Paranormal Activity set to go nationwide (USA) on October 16.

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