Lyla Foggia establishes the Portland Film Marketing Institute

An institute to help filmmakers stand out against heavy competition.
| By Lisa Cicala

Like every new product today, films have to be promoted or no one will know they exist. But how do you do that when your production has run out of fuel midway through post?

“By doing it yourself,” says Lyla Foggia, a former TriStar Pictures VP of Publicity and a veteran marketing consultant whose local clients have included documentary filmmakers Lydia B Smith (“Walking the Camino”), Matt Briggs (“Deep Green”), Courtney Scott (“From Suffering to Satori”); and narrative filmmakers Neal Miller (“Raising Flagg”), Susan Hess Longeais (“Not Dead Yet”), and the Pander Bros. (“Selfless”).

Easier said than done without formal training. Thus the reason why Foggia has founded the new Portland Film Marketing Institute—to provide filmmakers with hands-on step-by-step instruction guided by Foggia and other veteran marketing mentors.

The school’s first offering will be “Crafting the Media Kit,” which shapes how a film is perceived by multiple audiences— including festival programmers, the media, distributors and ultimately moviegoers. Through actual interviews, participants will learn how to create exciting kits that tell the world what makes your film truly unique, as well as the unusual challenges that were involved in making it.

Upcoming courses will include the steps to developing compelling key art and taglines, charting the right festival strategy for your film, using publicity to stand out from the crowd at festivals, and how to shoot and select the right stills to convey your story.

Along the way, students will also gain rich insights into the key factors that influence moviegoers’ decisions, why Genre holds the DNA to how films should be marketed, the secret to designing a compelling elevator pitch, the care and feeding of A-list talent during production, pitching and conducting interviews on the set without disrupting production, and how to get the best photography shots without a scene.

To learn more, please email or call (503) 622-0232.

Submitted by OMPA member Lyla Foggia. Submit your story here.

Lyla Foggia lectured for three years for UCLA Extension on such subjects as entertainment publicity. She doesn’t presented workshops for the OMPA, the Oregon Film Office, Willamette Writers and the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, among others. During a decade spent working on studio staff in the heart of the industry in Los Angeles and New York, Foggia served on the core marketing teams for over 75 major motion pictures, including “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.” She also spent three years in production in charge of the publicity on such films that Steven Spielberg’s “ET” and Ron Howard’s “Splash.” Following her return to her native Oregon, she was recruited by Disney Television to launch the daytime show, “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” and to save the primetime sci-fi series, “Babylon 5,” from imminent cancellation.” She continues to work with independent filmmakers around the country.

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