The film business is one of the most illogical businesses in the world. Or, rather, the people who operate inside The Industry (executives, let’s say) make some of the most illogical decisions. If they were working in another business, they’d be fired or out of a job pretty quickly.
And, well, actually, the turnover rate for Industry executives is steadily climbing. Remember your contact at that company? Yah, he only worked there for six months, and then he was canned. Now he works at that other company. No, wait, that company folded, he’s working as a Producer’s Rep now.
Anyway, when I’m casting a movie, I’ve found that sometimes it makes more sense to cast famous musicians in roles, instead of famous actors.
Famous musicians have global followings and fans who buy whatever they churn out. I figure tapping into that market place makes sense if my purpose is to have exposure. To get the movies I make out there, to be seen by an audience. I don’t make movies so they can sit on the shelves in a dark closet.
Did you know that a musician can have as many, and in some cases, MORE fans than a famous actor? Famous actors are used to being in movies. So when I’m putting together a guerrilla style shoot, the chances of attracting someone like Kevin Spacey to that project is pretty slim. But, famous musicians don’t get approached for movies very often, so for them it’s a fun adventure.
Danny DeVito can attest that Mike Patton has as many fans as he does. Ask him! But, most Industry executives don’t know who Mike Patton is. And, those who do know probably don’t think he has a fan base as big as Danny Devito. So when you have a film starring Mike Patton, Industry executives won’t be as interested as they would if it starred Danny Devito.
I learned that lesson when peddling my film FIRECRACKER. I was just stunned by the film Industry’s total disregard for famous musicians. I was reminded by this while peddling my film THE CASSEROLE CLUB. It stars Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson in his acting debut.
The Backstreet Boys are the best-selling boy bands of all time. They sold over 170 million albums. They have a global following that is larger than that of Mike Patton. Which means, Kevin Richardson has more fans than Danny Devito. It’s almost the equivalent of having someone like George Clooney in the movie. The tens of millions of Backstreet Boy fans spend money to buy a DVD just as easily as they do a CD.
Yet most film businesses can’t wrap their heads around this idea.
But that’s okay. You don’t particularly need anyone in the film business to help you market directly to a musician’s fan base. You can do it on your own.
Filmmakers: think about why you’re making a movie. Do you want people to see it? Are you only interested in working with famous actors? Have you thought about casting a famous musician? Did you know that there are famous musicians you’ve never heard of who have more fans than Brad Pitt?
Maybe one day the film Industry will recognize the music industry exists, and take advantage of cross-market promotion. But until they figure it out, my advice is to take advantage it, and be thankful they don’t!