Taking our show on the road
Sorry for the recent radio silence but we've been busily planning the expansion of RED DOORS to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Also, we've moved to the Village East Cinemas in NYC. We are currently showing on 5 screens in the three cities.
We've been more than a little nervous since our strong opening weekend performance. There's nothing like high expectations to derail our best laid plans. After a strong opening weekend, the next most important milestones are being able to show lasting power (continued performance over time) and repeatability (success in other markets besides the first).
In terms of lasting power, we posted a strong weekday gross of over $8,000 at the Angelika and a very respectable $6,800 over the second weekend (on just one screen).
While the numbers are not yet in, anecdotally it looks like we performed well in Los Angeles and excellently in San Francisco. As of the second matinee show at the Clay Theatre in SF, we had sold over 1,150 tickets.
Special mention needs to go out to our cast who have been stretched very thin trying to accommodate Q&As at ALL the theaters. Tzi and co-producer John Fiorelli have been holding down the fort in SF. Freda, Elaine, Jacqueline, and Mia have been running between Pasadena, Beverly Hills, and Encino for our LA area screenings. Georgia spent 2 days in SF before flying back to LA - all the while battling crazy airport delays and flu-like symptoms.
We also need to thank our West Coast PR team - a group of highly talented and devoted professionals who managed to help tremendously in a very short period of time. Corey Tong has been a lifesaver in SF and David Magdael has been phenomenal in LA for us.
We'll be circling the wagons this week to figure out other cities and markets to take RED DOORS to. Please check the website frequently for new city and screening information. And if you haven't watched RED DOORS yet, please go see it in theaters this week. If you've seen it already, take it from me: the film improves with repeat viewings.
RED DOORS is #1
I am extremely excited to report that all of your great efforts spreading the word and supporting RED DOORS' opening in New York helped make the film a huge success! RED DOORS grossed $35,050 on only two screens, earning a stellar per-screen average of $17,525, and making it the NUMBER ONE film in the country
on a per-screen basis!!!
We are so grateful to each and every one of you for all your amazing help to support our labor of love. This opening is a phenomenal beginning, and we hope to continue the momentum into the film's second week in New York (at the Angelika Film Center) and then on to Los Angeles (at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills and the Laemmle Playhouse in Pasadena) and San Francsico (at the Landmark Clay Theatre) where RED DOORS will be opening on September 22.
I cannot tell you how overwhelmed we have been by the love and support we have received from the community. Thank you so much again. Let's harness this great energy to rally folks to see the film in New York this second week and in Los Angeles and San Francisco on September 22!!
Guest Blog: Michael B.
With RED DOORS momentum at critical mass, and the whole team facing tough work with PR, premiere ticket distribution, and the other misc. excitement that comes with opening a small feature film, what can you do to take a break and have some fun?
Why, you can send stars of the film Tzi Ma (playing Ed Wong) and Freda Foh Shen (May-Li Wong) to Chinatown, have them meet with an enthusiastic group of volunteers assembled by the Chinatown Youth Initiative, load everyone up with as many posters and postcards as they can carry, and turn them loose to the streets!Tzi keeps the crew on task...
while Freda inspects the finished product.
Thanks to everyone who came out to help and to Wendy from CYI for organizing our afternoon.
Welcome to the RED DOORS family!
RED DOORS at BLVD
Am going nuts trying to get the million and one things that needed to be done yesterday done now. Went to bed at 5am for the third night in a row and looks like it's going to be a fourth tonight. Tzi has arrived from LA and did a great press conference in Chinatown today. After that we swung by a special preview screening at The Core Club hosted by the NY Mayor's Office of Film and TV and then over to Dolby 88 for another preview screening hosted by the PGA East's Diversity Committee. And am finally back at home staring at an over-flooded inbox...
But in the craze, I wanted to send a shout out to Gary Lee and his cousin Pamela Tsao. I am convinced the Energizer Bunny genes must run in their blood because everyone I meet from Gary's family is UNSTOPPABLE. In addition to having a full-time banking job, Gary (and now with the gracious assistance of Pamela who ALSO is a banker) has single-handedly helped us reach out to the Asian American community in NY. We know the folks in entertainment, but Gary has been instrumental in connecting us with folks in business, politics, non-profit, party-promoting, and the list goes on and on.
So Gary and Pamela threw a launch party for RED DOORS last Friday at BLVD in downtown Manhattan. I just wanted to thank them very much for helping spread the word. AND I wanted to post up some of the fun photos from that night!
Ok, 24 hours to go. See you all at the theaters!
Guest Blog: Freda Foh Shen "May-Li Wong"
Late, late, late. Late at night, late with my blog. Blog. Makes me think of the horse I rode this morning, who has the exceptional ability of being able to cough and fart at the same time. This is not off to a good start.
Late, late, late. Friday approaches. So strange, hard to remember. Who WAS that
wigged woman?? That umbilical cord was cut a long time ago. Now, I watch - she floats. The character may have exited the womb, but our film's cord still needs nurturing. Such a long birthing process. It seems so simple - you approach the counter, lay down your bills, and receive a ticket that lets you into parallel universes. If only we knew the chaotic histories of all these creations.
Late, late, late. So much to do, and late with it all. The day so hot, that 92 degrees inside the house felt cool. So hot, that by noon the brain's multiple folds felt as if they were smoothing out, flattened by heat exhaustion. So hot, nothing got done. Ah. One thing got done - a trip to the fridge to make a root beer float. Yum yum smack smack. I look at stacks of papers and think hopefully, another float?
Soon - later - Henrik (isn't that a lovely Sondheim tune). Everything will get done. Or not. At any rate, come Wednesday, sans gels or liquids, I'll be in the air headed for the vortex. Whoooosh.
Chinatown, New York
I can't believe we are less than four days from the opening! I have been running around like a madwoman - printing out stickers, putting up posters, getting postcards to gracious friends who have offered to hand them out to others, chatting up restaurants and stores to let us hang up one sheets, etc.
In this craze, I wanted to take a moment to thank Telly Wong, John Leo (LMDC), Paul J.Q. Lee, Eddie Chiu (Lin Sing Association), Mark Wong (Silk Road Cafe), William Lee, and countless others in the Chinatown community for all their amazing help and support to spread the word about RED DOORS!
Also, there will be a press conference/reception in Chinatown on Wednesday, September 6 from 3-5pm at Silk Road Cafe (30 Mott Street). Tzi Ma (our peerless actor who stars as Ed Wong in the film) is arriving and will be available for Q&A. Jane and I will be there as well to hand out more posters and postcards :)
And if you happen to be down in Chinatown before then, check out the kiosk on Canal and Baxter/Mulberry Streets to pick up a postcard! :)
Ok, back to work. No rest ever for indie filmmakers!
Happy Labor Day everyone!
It's perfectly natural to be curious about stuff like this
We are in the process of finalizing our opening weekend party schedule. We will be having parties on Friday and Saturday night. Anybody with a ticket for RED DOORS for a screening on that day will be able to get in. Time and location to be announced soon.
More fun events on opening weekend: we are excited to announce Goth Night at RED DOORS. the 10pm screening at the Angelika Theater on Sunday September 10 is Goth Night! We will be featuring a special Q&A with director Georgia Lee to be moderated by Voltaire
. Informal drinking, dancing, and howling at the moon to follow.
Off the Grid
I find myself reflecting as the Pennsylvania countryside whizzes by my rain-splattered window seat. There is a zen-like comfort in riding the train. My town of departure, Altoona, PA, is a long-since burnt out town, hanging onto prosperity with a lucky mix of geography, strip mall construction, and a lush PSU branch campus. Leaving the town on a train isn't so bad, the railroads built Altoona, and have since left their skeletal fingers on every facet of the area. Trains are the only thing the area does well (Along with the trafficking of heroin and meth-amphetamines, if one is to believe the local papers). I fortunately live a few towns west in the extended Pittsburgh suburbs, and have little daily encounters with trains or drugs. Before I get too whimsical, I should introduce myself. I'm the RED DOORS online/street man, known round these parts as Michael B.
Soon I'll be on the ground in New York City, rushing between premiere screenings, poster-hangings, group meetings, and zany street promotions, cleverly designed to not result in any of us going to jail. I even find myself getting ahead of schedule, thinking about flying to LA for West Coast screenings, and plotting DVD strategies for the coming months (#1 on Amazon? Anybody?).
The RED DOORS machine has been pumping full-steam for some time and has been one of the more incredible creative undertakings I've born witness to in my life. For two years now I've been in the background of this process, watching every decision and making minor contributions when possible, often in awe of the energy level and
commitment of those steering the ship. Being landlocked in Western/Central PA, there were not many digital editing opportunities for me to pursue. I finally figured I'd be better off paying someone (a school, a person, anyone!) for an amazing editing project than staying at home and working on public access commercials for a house fitting business. The Edit Center
lets students learn the craft on actual film. Someone shot it and it could be a product someday! How evermore exciting than a tutorial disc! I met Georgia & Co. at The Edit Center in NY during my final year of college. I poured through the RED DOORS script during my first week in NY. No friends nearby, no distractions, just a heavily revised stack of pages to keep me company. To my surprise, the raw footage we later saw at the Center matched many of my brain's visuals for the script. The visual sensibilities displayed echoed my own imaginings of the script. I knew I wanted to stay close to kindred film spirits. From that point on, I've been in the fold, handing out buttons and fortune cookies to Tribeca-goers, annoying celebs at CineVegas, and furiously plugging the film from my well-worn iBook at home amongst the PA trees.
Name a webishly-sounding verb: podcasting, myspacing, posting, demoing, coding, converting, cross-promoing. I've done it, many times with little or no prior experience for the given task. As with any independent art excursion, little compensation has come my way (or to anyone involved). Why would a human eat, sleep, and techno-regurgitate a project of which he bore no creative part of it's birth? I've been asking myself this question for the past few months, and think I finally understand the answer. Forget the compelling back-story of Mia, Georgia, & Jane's decision to shun the corporate life in pursuit of an even more challenging sector. Forget about the fortuitous casting, the tempered pacing, and the deep cinematography of the finished product. Forget about the raw footage equaling my own take on the material. I'm able to rest easily because of what people tell us after seeing the film. I've seen the broadest possible collection of people come up to the producers after a given screening and offer them their heartfelt thanks. Elderly Jewish men thank Georgia for accurately portraying the uncertainty of retirement. Go-getters applaud the depiction of eldest sister Sam, the driven corporate drone. Women of all creed and color appreciate the character of May-Li, the loving mother who just isn't sure how to let go and allow her family the space needed to grow. Middle sister Julie's plight will be familiar to anyone who has broken the norm and sought acceptance, while youngest Katie is embroiled in first love and the search for identity. Every audience member finds themselves embedded in this film.
The power of film is certainly best realized when one sees its effect on another. It has lead me to believe that though we lead separate lives, rich with cultural traditions and differing goals for ourselves and our families, the power of a darkened theater bonds us, allowing that brief and fleeting moment where we all silently acknowledge our needs for life, love, and change.
Who wouldn't want to help share that experience with as many people as possible?
Thanks to everyone involved for allowing me to do exactly that.
Win a Date with...ME!
Has my love life really come to this? Apparently so... In any case, I wanted to let you guys know about this hilarious/ridiculous little gimmick Michael B came up with as a, um..."unique" way to promote the RED DOORS release. I've always said I was willing to pimp myself out for this movie, and now I guess I am! Anyway, Page Six (the NY Post) caught wind of this and ran a little blurb about it today
. So I guess that cat's out of the bag...MEOW!! Know anyone who might actually be interested in going to the NYC premiere with me (and 500 of my closest friends)? Send 'em over -- hey, who knows, maybe I'll meet Mr. (or Ms.) Right... ;)
RED DOORS - Win a Date with Mia Riverton!
Move over, Tad Hamilton! To commemorate the opening of RED DOORS (in theaters Sept. 8th), the producers have created a one-of-a-kind contest.
By purchasing advance tickets for any RED DOORS opening weekend show, you are eligible to win a date with dazzling actress-producer Mia Riverton to the RED DOORS New York premiere and exclusive VIP after-party (or another RED DOORS screening of your choice). Five others will receive RED DOORS theatrical posters signed by Mia and the rest of the RED DOORS cast and filmmakers. Mia enjoys the company of both men and women and encourages everyone to enter the contest...
HOW TO ENTER:
1) Buy tickets online by 11:59 pm on Monday, Sept. 4th. Tickets are available at the RED DOORS website: www.reddoorsthemovie.com
or directly via the theaters:Angelika Film CenterImaginAsian
2) Email your ticket purchase confirmation code to: firstname.lastname@example.org
with "Date Mia" in the subject line.
OR send a postcard with your name, email address and phone number to:
8491 Sunset Blvd., Box 416
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Winners will be randomly selected and notified via email by Tuesday, Sept. 5th. If unable to attend the premiere, the grand prize winner has the option of selecting a screening time during opening weekend (Sept. 8-10, 2006) to suit his/her personal schedule. Friends and associates are welcome to attend / chaperone but must purchase their own tickets. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. The producers are not liable for any fun, motion sickness, fainting, or heartbreak induced by Ms. Riverton (trust us, we've worked with her)*. She's waiting for you...www.MiaRiverton.com
*By entering the contest, you agree to take sole responsibility for your own health and well-being while participating and agree to release the producers from any legal liability in the event of injury, death, property damage, or loss, and you waive any claim you may have, now or later, arising out of or relating to your participation in the contest. The producers disclaim any and all responsibilities and warranties relating to health, medical and legal issues, express or implied.
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