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Do It Yourself

10 MPH DIY Manual: Design & Brand

When we started 'America at 10 mph', we initially called it 'American Segue'. Segway (the Company that makes Segways) took offense at us trying to use a word that sounded like their brand, so we changed the name of the project to 'America at 10 mph'. Thank God for Segway's idignant response. Segway scooters travel 12.5 mph, but we figured with stops to change batteries every hour, we'd average 10 mph. Can you imagine if we went forward with 'American Segue'? - just the spelling of that word alone makes me cringe.

As we worked on the expedition and project, we started to develop a look & feel for the film that we would eventually make and when we started post production, we decided to shorten its name and call it 10 MPH. This was our branding process and if our next film (10 Yards) gives you any clues, we like the number 10 and may do several (or 10) films with this in the title. In addition to finding a catchy name, we decided to use red, white, and blue as our prominent colors for the logo, website, and t-shirt design. This Americana feeling seemed like a natural fit for our brand. But, brand extends way beyond title, colors, and logo. It incorporates a feeling of who you are or what your project is about.

Because 10 MPH tells some of our story, we felt our brand should represent us. And we wanted to emphasize beautiful design (Josh has got mad skills here) and bold photos that captured America (mostly taken on our expedition). I have been shooting photos for fun since I was about 13 and it's interesting to see how this has really been useful in developing brand with 10 MPH. Brand is also communicated through writing and spoken word. When I got interviewed by Liane Hansen on NPR Weekend Edition for the first time, I was nervous as all heck, but I babbled a bunch of stuff and got done with the interview. Little did I realize that interviews like this (and for all types of media outlets) shape how people perceive what you are or what your product is. After awhile, interviews got much easier and I found myself saying things that I'd said many other times.

Articles and interviews help define your film (your brand) and it's especially helpful that the press will most often say exactly what you tell them to say. More PR later. Like I mentioned in the online experience, I can't emphasize the importance of the look & feel of your film and product. I always hear about those film productions where they didn't shoot production stills. Make sure you get great shots, because often these images will help define your brand. And make sure you invest the money or time to get a good logo and look for the title of your film.

Next Chapter: Festivals
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DIY Resources

Other DIY films
+ Four Eyed Monsters
+ Tijuana Makes Me Happy
+ Head Trauma
+ The Talent Given Us
+ Guatemalan Handshake
+ Book of Caleb
+ Black Gold
Film Festivals & Distribution Books
+ The Insider's Guide to Independent Film Distribution (Stacey Parks)
+ Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide
+ The Complete Independent Movie Marketing Handbook
+ I Wake up Screening: What to Do Once You've Made that Movie
Filmmaking & Production Books
+ Planning the Low Budget Film
+ The Complete Film Production Handbook
+ Clearance and Copyright: Everything the Independent Filmmaker Needs to Know
+ Film Scheduling: Or, How Long Will it Take to Shoot Your Movie?
+ Film and Video Budgets
+ Filmmakers and Financing, 5th Edition: Business Plans for Independents
+ The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers
+ Independent Feature Film Production: A Complete Guide from Concept Through Distribution
Key websites
+ IndieWIRE
+ Greencine
+ Spout
+ Workbook Project
+ cinematech.blogspot.com
Major Film Festivals
+ Sundance Film Festival
+ Slamdance Film Festival
+ Intl. Film Fest Rotterdam
+ Berlin Intl. Film Festival
+ Miami Intl. Film Festival
+ True/False Film Festival
+ AFI Dallas Intl.
+ The Gen Art Film Festival
+ Full Frame Doc Festival
+ Hot Docs
+ Tribeca Film Festival
+ Cannes Intl. Film Festival
+ Seattle Intl. Film Festival
+ Los Angeles Film Festival
+ Silverdocs
+ Telluride Film Festival
+ Toronto Intl. Film Festival
+ Sidewalk Moving Pic Fest
+ New York Film Festival
+ Woodstock Film Festival
+ Hamptons Intl. FF
+ Amsterdam Intl. Doc Fest
+ AFI Fest
+ Denver Intl. Film Festival

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