Here at ye olde Mercury, we try to cover Portland's film scene in all its permutations—from the big blockbusters rattling the speakers at Lloyd Cinemas, to subtitled arthouse flicks flickering around at Cinema 21, to homemade digital shorts playing on some TV at some bar. While there's a huge amount of film in Portland (yay!), that makes covering all of it just about impossible (boo!). Sure, some stuff can't help but slip through the cracks, and yeah, some films get covered at the expense of others—but overall, I think the Mercury succeeds at writing about Portland's film scene in a thorough, smart, fair, fun, and non-terrible way.
That said, we can always do better. So if you're a local filmmaker, theater owner, or publicist who wants us to cover your upcoming film screening or film event, here are three things you can do that'll significantly raise the odds that we'll list, cover, and/or review it.
1) SEND PRESS RELEASES. No, Facebook links and/or tweets don't count. Send your press releases in email, Word, or .pdf format to firstname.lastname@example.org, and send them early—at least two weeks in advance of your event, and preferably earlier. Make sure your press release is clear: The things we need to know are the film's name, what it's all about, when and where it's playing, and how much it'll cost to attend. Want to include any other info? Great, but make sure the above info is easy to find. (And brownie points for letting us know where we can download hi-res stills from your film—that way, if we decide to run an image from it, we won't have to hunt one down.)
2) MAKE PRESS SCREENERS AVAILABLE. DVD is the preferred format, but we also try to hit all the advance theatrical screenings we can. Just like press releases, we get a ton of screening invites and DVDs, so clarity matters: Make sure your film's title, the film's screening date, and the film's screening location are legibly written on your DVD or DVD case. Get screeners to us at least two weeks in advance of your event, preferably earlier. (And want even more brownie points? Test your screener beforehand. DVDs that're poorly encoded, scratched to hell, or otherwise gimped so they won't easily play on our DVD players and computers are quickly thrown away [like frisbees!] and/or appropriated as coasters.)
Screeners can be sent to/dropped off for:
605 NE 21st Ave, Suite 200
Portland, OR 97232
Screeners that arrive alongside a nice bottle of Scotch or a six-pack of Full Sail Amber usually get looked at first. Just sayin'.
3) MAKE GOOD MOVIES. We're ridiculously thorough and complete when it comes to our movie times listings, but space and time restrictions make film reviews and recommendations significantly harder to come by. While we certainly try to, we simply can't watch everything, and the amount of coverage we give to a specific film depends on a multitude of factors—from where and when that film is playing, to who made the film, to what we think our readers might be interested in, to what other film events are happening that day/night/week, AND ON AND ON AND ON. Still, we're far more inclined to give attention to films that we like—films that we're impressed, surprised, and amused by—than we are to films that're crummy, derivative, or boring.
Any questions? Email me at the address above!