During the St. Louis International Film Festival, a screening of Tempest Productions documentary “Invasion: Anime” snagged higher attendance records than the free sneak preview screening of “Steven Spielberg Presents Taken,” which preceded the documentary’s world premiere. “Invasion: Anime” brought in an estimated 65% more moviegoers to the Hi Point Theater in St. Louis, MO. That makes us here at Film Threat HQ giggle.
“We couldn’t be happier with the turnout,” said producer/director Angie Alexander. “We even hung on to most of our audience for the question and answer session after our premiere.”
Alexander attributes their success to the efforts of the Tempest production crew both before and after their arrival in St. Louis.
“We came armed with lots of flyers, posters and postcards,” she said. “We hit all of the shops, bars, restaurants and parking lots we could find.”
The week prior to the festival, Production Coordinator Jacque Burlou compiled a list of over 100 comic book stores and Japanese businesses in the greater St. Louis area. “We tried to guesstimate where our target audience might be and spent about 5 hours addressing and stamping posters for a kind of direct-marketing campaign,” said Burlou.
The production company also had some last minute-assistance from a radio interview on KMOX AM with Alexander and fellow documentary director AJ Schnack (Gigantic) as well as an email push from STLFilmwire.com founder Adam Hackbarth, who met Alexander and her staff at an SLIFF party.
“Invasion: Anime” is an in-depth look at the influx of Japanese animation (or “anime”) and its effect on American culture and entertainment over the last half-century. Interview subjects include names well known to anime fans across the world – Steve Bennett, president and founder of Studio Ironcat; artists and animators Akemi Takada, Senno Knife, Makoto Uno and Nobuyuki Takahashi; North American voice actors and directors Amy Howard Wilson, Tiffany Grant, Scott McNeil and Taliasen Jaffe and international anime experts like author Helen McCarthy and Dr. Susan J. Napier, Associate Director of Asian Studies, University of Texas, are but a few of more than 20 individuals who donated their time to this project.
“Taken,” which has its premiere December 2nd on the Sci-Fi Channel, was executive produced by Speilberg. The 20-hour mini-series tells the story of three families over multiple generations and their experiences with alien abductions. The sneak preview consisted of two episodes from the series.