Logos, web design, photography

Logos, web design, photography

Indie Film: Awakening

Project Description

Awakening, directed by Evie Warner and starring Ali Ferda, Titus Young Wolverton, John Bradley Hambrick, and JoAnna Lloyd, is the story of Amy, a young woman recovering from a traumatic kidnapping and the loss of her friend. Amy faces a spiritual crisis in order to come to terms with the ordeal and to help the FBI find the still-at-large second kidnapper.

The actors turned in some fine performances in this 45-minute film and it took a year and a lot of hard work to complete. It deserved to be seen by as many people as possible.

As with many independent movie productions, budget is rarely adequate. Renting big theaters for a red-carpet movie premiere is not always possible. But with the benefits of the modern digital age and social media, that’s not the only way to premiere a movie and reach a good sized audience.


The movie started production in the early summer of 2013. By September, editing had begun and by Christmas it became apparent that there was little money for a theatrical premiere. Although Dayton Access Television (DATV) would give the film a late-night local premier, RenRaw Films wanted to promote the film further than the metro-Dayton market. We had till mid-March to find a solution, get it organized, and get ready to go.

Deliverables and Deadlines

Instead of renting an expensive brick-and-mortar movie theater, we used social media to spread the word about the movie’s online premiere.

An Awakening Facebook page was the primary vehicle to create buzz with daily posts about the cast, crew, and the movie. We included some stills from the film and used YouTube to post and deliver some teaser film clips to the Facebook page (see one of the teasers below).

On the night of the premiere, our audience arrived at the Facebook page where we posted the Vimeo link to the movie at the appointed time.  While the movie was playing, we used Twitter and Facebook to allow our audience to speak with the director and actors. Over the next two hours we had about 150+ views from three countries — not bad for a local indie debut. In the month following, that figure jumped to almost 2.000 views in more than 30 countries!

To close this project, we simply collected social media and viewing metrics. In future projects follow-up actions could include an online questionnaire for viewer’s reviews or even a Crowdfunding link to help finance the next production.

live film clips: top left: full Awakening movie; top right: Awakening teaser;  bottom left: Awakening fun outtakes.  Click on each thumbnail to see the videos.

All video content and elements related to the movie “Awakening” are © Evie Warner, of RenRaw Films, and cannot be reproduced without permission. All content on this page is used with permission of the copyright holder.

RenRaw Films is the brainchild of Evie Warner, a young Communications student at Wright State University in Dayton. This was her first film and, as you might imagine, students do not have a great deal of money to spend on movies.

Evie had written the script and got the film ready for production and hired local and area actors for the part. By joining Dayton Access Television (DATV), Evie was able to use their equipment for production.

The film was finished early in 2014 and was released internationally as described above. Since Awakening, RenRaw Films has released their second film, “As it Appears”, and are in the middle of their next production “But I’m an Actress“.

A low-cost way to get a low-budget movie seen by as many people as possible.

Use social media to create buzz and then set up live-chat links with the director and actors during the on-line premiere. Cost: less than $20 (for some online paid “boosting” of selected Facebook posts).

Result: from several hundred views on the premiere night to almost 2,000 in 32 countries just over one month later!