“Look Your Customers in the Eye” is an article by Paul Devlin, published in Filmmaker Magazine.
Independent filmmaker Brian Paul is a man who lives his films. In that spirit, he has taken DIY film distribution to a whole new level. Street level, that is.
For the past two years, Paul has made a comfortable living by selling his hybrid fi lm Cure for the Crash…The Art of Train Hoppin’ directly from art market street stalls in New Orleans. His unique distribution strategy has proved remarkably successful. Paul claims to have sold thousands of DVDs of Cure for the Crash by personally engaging more than 100,000 people face-to-face.
“When I was a teenager in West Philly,” Paul explains, “I used to work in a pawn shop, where I learned how to help people make a decision.” Later, his aggressiveness evolved into charm as Paul took a job selling art at high-end galleries on Royal Street in New Orleans. Paul went on to use these sales skills to move DVDs of Cure for the Crash from his Vespa at historic Jackson Square in the Big Easy while simultaneously pushing hard with mailings and email blasts to attract a distribution deal.