If someone gave you $70, what would you do? Would you go on a very meager and very short lived shopping spree? Would you purchase a commemorative DVD box set of some kind? Or would you create a full length film that is wowing critics and audiences at Cannes, one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world?
That’s exactly what 30 year old director Marc Price decided to do with his pocket change. His zombie flick “Colin” cost just $70, and that includes every possible expense—the actors, the editing, the directing, the camera equipment, the make up, and everything else required to make a full length film.
But how did Price manage to stay so insanely under budget? Easy. He begged, pleaded, and hyped via the social network. Zombie films, after all, have a very loyal and very specific cult following thanks to films such as “Night of the Living Dead” and the more comedic turn “Shaun of the Dead.”
Price utilized this knowledge to rally fans of the genre through venues such as Facebook and MySpace. By posting the simple query, “Who wants to be a zombie?” they managed to get fifty people in full zombie regalia ready to be a part of the film for nothing other than the fun of it.
But there are lots of filmmakers and other various artists that promote their work on social networking sites and still don’t receive the acclaim and renown enjoyed by Price and his little movie that could. So what was his key to marketing success? Basically, he coupled the power of the social networks with an innovative and high quality product.
In this way, Price exemplifies that marketing can only get you so far. In the end, your product still has to be desirable. This is why “Colin” is not just any zombie movie. Rather, the quirky film turns the genre upside down by telling the story from the perspective of the zombie, who happens to work nights making bookings for taxis. It’s being labeled, “as original, compelling, and thought provoking as Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’.” Other venues predict it will, “revolutionize zombie cinema.”
The mechanics of the film were certainly arranged and established with the tremendous connective power of the internet, but that kind of praise and buzz can only be garnered through an innovative product.
But through all this modern marketing, there’s still one question everyone wants to ask. Where did that $70 go? What were the only things considered so unbelievably crucial that they would spend their few meager dollars on them? Price dished on the goods.
“We bought a crowbar and a couple of tapes, and I think we got some tea and coffee as well—not the expensive stuff either, the very basic kind. Just to keep the zombies happy.”