A Game Of Inches

Mike Plante started Cinemad as a film zine in 1998, which continues as a blog and podcast at iblamesociety. He has worked at Sundance Institute since 2001 in a variety of roles and had some strange times working at CineVegas. He also helps run Cinemad Presents, a distributor bringing unusual films to unusual venues.

Going into distribution, even micro-distribution like we are doing at Cinemad, is going to have some challenges. You just hope that 50% of what you think will happen, will happen.

New lesson: A poster is a game of inches. We value the art of the poster, but had to make an adjustment. The traditional poster size, in the US since the 1980s anyway, is 27” by 41”. Every studio makes that, so every theater has poster cases that size. In order to make one or a few, you can go to most local printers with a big, awesome inkjet printer. But it gets pricey per poster, $20 is a deal. A more professional printer will want to do 1000 that size, to make it worth the time and materials. Great, as the price each gets down to a buck or so, but then you need more than a grand and you’ll probably have 750 posters left over.

If you wanna go nuts plastering a town with them – that’s the way to go. But we really only needed 100-150 per project. That took us to a great place that would do 100 for a little over $6 each, but with a smaller printing press, as most of the big presses are being scrapped for metal in this day and age. Smaller run for a smaller press meant the biggest we could go was 26” by 39”. All in all, not a huge deal, but lesson learned. A quick trip to a theater showed the poster should be fine in theater cases. You just try not to have the budget affect the art.

Lead photo: