A Song of Good uses internet in innovative promotion

Chaos ensued after Gregory King’s award winning feature film A Song of Good streamed free on the internet to the New Zealand public a week ago. The online experiment, a first of its kind for New Zealand, was highly successful.

Initial estimates of 500 viewers, were exceeded after reports on Close-Up, TV One News and Sunrise drove 2500 people to their computers to watch the acclaimed feature. Local content delivery company, E-Cast ‘s Gresham Bradley said the result was “fantastic and an exciting preview of things to come”.

Unfortunately for producers, a miscommunication between the New Zealand distributor (Rialto) and the sub-distributor (Vendetta) resulted in the film being pulled from release the morning after the streaming.

Vendetta’s Jill McNab released a statement to all retailers intending to stock the film, “We were not made aware of the free streaming and understand fully the threat this poses to you, our customers. Therefore we have made the decision to cancel the release of the dvd as we do not think it is fair to supply you with a product which is legally available for free in the marketplace already. We will be cancelling all orders of this movie.”

Luckily many others in the industry saw the enormous value of the online promotion and the resultant media coverage. First up to the support the film were movie champions Video Ezy who boosted their initial order by 500%. Then other believers (JB Hifi, Warehouse and Fatso) joined suit, much to the relief of filmmakers and producers. Rialto’s Distribution Manager Karen Cartwright is shocked by the reversal of fortune, happily exclaiming “the stock intended to cope with demand has run out already!”

The film is finally being released to dvd today, Wednesday Feb 25th.

Exec Producer Ant Timpson is reflective after the roller-coaster week, “In the end, the film will be enjoying a much larger dvd release, which at the end of the day is all that counts. It should enjoy a long life as its topical subject matter makes it compelling viewing in these turbulent times. I completely understand Vendetta’s initial reaction and I hope they understand that all parties had the best of intentions with this successful experiment.”

A Song of Good is the story of 28-year-old Gary Cradle’s struggle for redemption after committing an horrific crime.

The film stars Gareth Reeves, Danielle Cormack, Ian Mune and Matthew Sunderland. The film was invited to Rotterdam Film Festival for its World Premiere and also won Best Film* at the New Zealand Film and Television Awards.

This online screening was made possible by the good folks at Headstrong, Robbers Dog, New Zealand Film Commission, Rialto Distribution, Cactus Lab, e-Cast and of course the film gurus at Flicks.co.nz

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