Second Amendment documentary
Just some more thoughts on "In Search of the Second Amendment," the documentary film I'm wrapping up. Thanks for the input. (BTW, I have an old, emphasis old, website devoted to it here. Note it's so old that it doesn't have the current title, In Seach of the Second Amendment. The script there involved educated guesses as to who would be filmed and what they would say. Today, of course, everything is on ice. When In Search of the Second Amendment is ready to distribute, I'll switch the website over to that). Anyway--
1. Editing is pretty good and keeps the story moving. My one concern is with the English right. It's very hard to pep up 17th century legal evolutions! I chopped it to the minimum, maybe 12 minutes, and tried to keep it going. Could always have added pikemen and musketeers but that would have cost several thousand and, as I had zero assistance and zero budget at that stage, it couldn't be done. I got some nice images and used those in place of moving footage. I figure 12 minutes of slow moving isn't going to hurt. I couldn't cut it, because I wanted to illustrate that the American right did not just spring out of nowhere, or just out of conflicts with redcoats after 1768.
The rest of the film is pretty lively. It had to keep moving! There's so much ground to cover in short time. When your history spans from Charles I to the civil rights movement, you have your work cut out for you!
When I get time I'm going to transcribe the latter. I got a couple of former civil rights workers (Don Kates and Joe Olson) to carry that end, talking about how they packed guns, how almost every civil rights worker they knew did so, and how they used them to ward off the Klan (Joe said protocol was this: on a lonely road, a truck pulls up right to your back bumper, high beams on. You know what that means. You take your handgun, put it in your left hand, and lean it out the window, pointed up, wave it slowly back and forth. The vehicle behind you suddenly slows, falls back, and turns around. This was not the civil rights worker they wanted to tangle with. Then I go into Robert Williams' book on his experience, where his chapter of NAACP got itself chartered as an NRA club, and started ordering in rifles, and wound up shooting up a Klan attack. From there to re-enactment of a case where the Lumbee Indians, with their weapons, broke up a Klan cross-burning and ruined the Klan in their area (local officials charged the Klan leader with inciting them to riot and sent him to prison. Amusingly, the judge noted that perhaps the Lumbees were not without fault, but none could be identified. It's amusing because reporters had photographed them at close range and the pictures were in local and national media! I suspect the judge and spectators were chuckling as he spoke).
2. A reader was concerned the first run would be 5000 DVDs... might that be suddenly wiped out, and will there be arrangements for pre-ordering?
I'm one of those fellows who is VERY loathe to make a promise until he is certain he can fulfil it. I figure to set up pre-ordering maybe a week or ten days before the DVDs arrive. By then I should know everything has tested out, the reproduction is mostly complete, and have a very good idea of when things will arrive. I think my distribution system should insure against wiping out the inventory.
a. Starting in mid or late November with 5000, slowly begin promotion. Note it here, of course, maybe hope for some internet chatter. Follow with articles in quick-turnabout gun journals such as Shotgun News. If this moves 500-1000 or so (the first number probably more realistic), invest that in another order for 5000 or even 10,000, which should arrive in 1-2 weeks.
b. In mid-December, run the first ad in a major gun magazine. (These have to be scheduled 2 months in advance, so take out a loan for it). At that point, 3-4 weeks after first availability, I hope for the first big demand.
c. IF that turns out big, order more and follow with advertising in multiple gun magazines in, say, March-April. (The two month requirement makes the gap in time necessary).
UPDATE: Thanks for the ideas. I'm writing up flyers, etc. in my spare time. And text for an internet store page. I'm in contact with a fellow here who designs and runs internet stores. I suspect that, what with having to fit this around other work which has to take higher priority, this will take about ten days. That should put everything in place maybe a week before the DVDs are done.