Coming Soon: Two 4 One

Credit" Photo by Arnold Lim
Hoggwild Films' Daniel Hogg on the day-and-date distribution strategy for the transgender romantic comedy Two 4 One.

Coming Soon, an ongoing editorial feature from Playback, highlights distribution strategies for soon-to-be released Canadian films. Here, we speak to Hoggwild Films’ Daniel Hogg about the distribution strategy for Maureen Bradley’s Two 4 One

The film: Two 4 One tells the story of Adam, a transgendered man who gets pregnant after he winds up in bed with his ex-girlfriend who is trying to inseminate herself with a box of donor sperm and a syringe. When Adam meets with his doctor to sort out the final details around his phalloplasty, his doctor tells him he’s pregnant. Two 4 One follows Adam’s dilemma as he tries to sort out his feelings for his ex-girlfriend, his need for a masculine identity and his mother’s desire for grandchildren. The film stars Gavin Crawford, Naomi Snieckus, Gabrielle Rose, Andrea Menard and Matt Baram.

Production/distribution credits: Two 4 One was written, directed and executive produced by Maureen Bradley, with Daniel Hogg serving as producer. Glen Wood is executive producer. The film is produced by Hoggwild Films, Sugar Shack Films and Viddywell Films. Hoggwild Films and Viddywell Films are handling the theatrical distribution of the film. The producers worked with Telefilm Canada for the film’s VOD strategy, along with digital aggregator Under The Milky Way and Alpha Panda.

Distribution: Two 4 One will open at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema on July 17 for a week-long run, with a possibility of holdover. The film will be released day-and-date exclusively on iTunes in Canada on the same day as its theatrical bow at the Carlton. While the producers planned to release the film digitally across multiple platforms including Google Play, they decided in the end of give the film an exclusive initial run on iTunes.

“By releasing on iTunes exclusively first, we hope to leverage cachet and improved promotion from the iTunes store to earn more eyeballs,” Hogg said.

The producers decided early on to do a day-and-date release with Two 4 On. Appearing in a film with a theatrical run can provide the cast more leverage in various awards races, and allows the producers to be more efficient with their distribution funds.

“The Carlton booked us, we didn’t book them. We’re not just four-walling it, which is really nice,” Hogg told Playback Daily, adding that Telefilm Canada, which financed the film via it’s Micro-budget Production Program, was also keen to see the filmmakers test out an innovative distribution model for the film.

Hogg said the producers would like to open the film in other locations after its run at The Carlton, although nothing has been confirmed. For the U.S. market, the plan is to release Two 4 One on VOD to coincide with the Transgender Day of Remembrance in November.

The film was also strategically released on digital and theatrical platforms after it had a strong festival run. It has picked up awards at many, including an audience award prize for best feature film at the Seattle Transgender Film Festival and Best Canadian Film at the Victoria Film Festival. The hope is the theatrical and digital release will build off the momentum of the films’ festival success and coverage it earned through its festival circuit run.

Marketing: The Carlton Cinema is currently promoting the release of Two 4 One via trailers and movie posters in the theatre, with the filmmaking team focusing on publicity and social media to promote the project ahead of its release. The team is doing social media giveaways with Second City and Comedy Bar in Toronto, and has focused its ad dollars on targeted Facebook ads. The producers also hired publicist Strut Entertainment to secure TV, radio and print interviews for the week preceding the theatrical bow.  Stars Gavin Crawford, Naomi Snieckus and writer/director Maureen Bradley are set to do interviews with  various Toronto outlets such as Breakfast Television, E!, Entertainment Tonight and National Post. While the stars of Two 4 One have some visibility in Canada, using earned media to create buzz about the film may be more effective especially in international markets, Hogg noted.

“In terms of efficiency, we are hoping to get the word out via media about the film, because we feel like the impressions can be greater by having a third party talking about the piece rather than trying to do a traditional marketing campaign without recognizable celebrities,” Hogg said.

Additional windows: In addition to its theatrical and VOD release, the fill will bow on Super Channel in September.

Target audience: The target demo for the film skews slightly older in the 25- to 50-year old range and would appeal to both men and women who are fans of arthouse and indie films, Hogg said. While Two 4 One focuses on themes around transgendered identity, Hogg cautioned against characterizing the film as specifically geared towards LGBQT audiences. “You can’t even necessarily say that our target audience is the LBGQT community. Why would a gay man want to see a story about a transgendered man? Mass society may lump everyone together into a group, but the reality is that it is so diverse and there are so many stories within that,” Hogg said.

What makes this film unique? “One of the main things that the (festival) programmers tell us that they like is that they find the film refreshing and that it’s a different take on what is usually such a serious topic,” Hogg said. While the tone of the film isn’t particularly heavy, Hogg said the humour isn’t of the slapstick variety. “The comedy comes out of the dramatic situation,” he said.

Financing: The film received financing from Telefilm Canada’s micro-budget production program, the BC Arts Council, the NSI Features First Program and an Indiegogo campaign. The budget for Two 4 One was about $200,000.

Photo credit: Arnold Lim

Two 4 One – Official Trailer from Maureen Bradley on Vimeo.