Indie Film Spirite Logo To be, or not to be, that is the question. Or if you'd like to be more specific about it, to support indie film, or not to support indie film, that isn't a question under my mate Lynnaire's purview. Especially if you check out the following interview I did with her only the other day, whilst we were both reciting the ode to Mc Hammer. You can't touch this. 

Lynnaire1) What are your own origins, Lynnaire? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today?   I was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. I’m of European and Maori descent. My path to being a publicist was definitely not a straight line, that’s for sure. I was a freelance journalist for the local newspaper during my last 2 years of high school, but illness prevented me from pursuing a job in media for a time. I received my Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Canterbury at the age of 29, but still didn’t think about pursuing my dream of being a publicist in the film industry until 2012.

Long story short, after the Christchurch Earthquakes and an epiphany in a little seaside movie theatre, I decided to make things happen. It took 2 years to network and build up a presence online but I got there in the end.

2) How did ‘Indie Film Sprites’ come about? Plus what is your role within the scheme of things?   Believe it or not, Indie Film Sprites as it is now happened accidentally! I was doing freelance publicity and hit a lull in April. I wasn’t sure what to do or how to make it happen as it were. I had recently seen Amanda Palmer’s amazing TED talk on ‘The Art of Asking’. So, having built up my contacts in the independent film community, on April the 17th, of this year, I took to Twitter...and asked. I asked if there were any film-makers that needed publicity support. By the end of that day I had 3 clients, by the end of the weekend I had 6, and by the end of April I had 12. Since April we’ve assisted over 21 films at various stages of production (including crowdfunding) from all over the world.

Christchurch, New Zealand
Role-wise, I’m chief cook and bottle washer! I do everything because there’s just me on board right now. It’s a 7 day a week operation and involves everything from creating press releases and connecting with media to promote film-makers through to social media promotion of films and crowd-funding campaigns via Twitter and Facebook. It also means advising film-makers on social media strategy and making sure we connect film-makers to appreciative audiences who want to see their films and champion their work.

On one film I also ended up sourcing post-production sound houses and scouting for unsigned independent musicians who wanted to provide tracks for the film’s soundtracks. I’m also an executive producer on the up-coming 'The Jupiter Chronicles' animated short film which is going to be crowdfunding on Kickstarter very soon.

3) In your opinion what would you say was the best / worst aspects about the independent film market?   I think the best is that the range of different visions and stories from film-makers in the independent community is so nebulous. Many of the films that inspire me to be of the best and most faithful service to my clients are independent films. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with mainstream film -- heck -- if I had more time I’d be front row and center at the latest blockbuster as often as possible. But the range of visions from independent film-makers is breath-taking.

The worst? Funding. We do a lot of support of films in their crowdfunding stage, and that in itself can be a battle. 

4) What song would you say best represents this company and why?   Believe it or not, I’m a huuuuuuuuuge Marvel fan (I’d love to work for Marvel on their films) and I do tend to see myself as a female Tony Stark so I’d say “Back In Black” by AC/DC, because it was on the Iron Man 2 soundtrack. Every day when I tackle publicity for our clients it’s about rolling up my sleeves and getting things done.

William Shakespeare
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your company, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Being a massive Shakespeare nerd I’d probably say William Shakespeare simply because I’d be curious as to the way the Bard himself would promote Indie Film Sprites! But I don’t think I’d want a celebrity to promote us as such. Probably I’d love them to be supportive of what IFS is trying to do. And in that case it would be an honor to have the film-makers I’d love to work for supporting IFS, like Joanna Hogg (Archipelago), D.R Hood (Wreckers) and Jim Jarmusch. I’d also love Kevin Feige of Marvel to be supportive -- or better yet -- hire me! Seriously, Kevin! Let’s chat. I’m thinking Thor 3 at the very least.

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour? And were there any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with along the way?   Great question! I’ve learned so much about myself in the past 6 months. When you dive in and start anything from scratch entrepreneurially there are some steep learning curves. The biggest lesson I’ve taken away from the journey so far (and the thing I’d tell anyone with a dream) is that you can’t wait for ‘the big break’. If you have the drive, the passion and the talent, you make your own opportunities. You don’t wait.

The biggest obstacle has been walking the tightrope between my old life and the new career and dream. Currently, I run Indie Film Sprites 7 days a week with an average of about 3 to 4 clients per month and we’re booked up 2 to 3 months in advance right now. However. because we’re indie it’s only a partially monetized company...which means I also have to work 40 hours a week doing administrative work.

'Heartbump’ pendant from Gala Darling’s NZ Mint collection
Finding a balance so I don’t burn out has been a huge issue and an obstacle because I’m a workaholic at heart and give 110% to every film-maker I work with as well as at the admin job. Just as important as getting those press releases out there and making sure we’re covered with social media coverage is making sure I eat well, sneak in time for meditation, kickboxing and kundalini yoga and also making the time to watch films and not just promote them!

7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Always reminding myself of why I’m doing this. I have had a passion for film since I could walk, and I have been inspired by so many films and film-makers that it is an honor to be helping film-makers who ask for publicity assistance. When I launched Indie Film Sprites and it was clear that it was going to take off in a larger way than anticipated, I bought myself a piece of jewelry on the one month anniversary. It was a ‘Heartbump’ pendant from Gala Darling’s NZ Mint collection. It’s a locket, and carefully tucked inside is the faded, coffee-stained ticket from the film that sparked my epiphany that launched this crazy journey. No matter what’s going on, it’s there -- inside the locket -- to remind me why I’m doing this and to reaffirm my commitment to the film-makers I work with.

8) If ‘IFS’ had a motto, what would it be?   We have one that is on all our branding: “to bring dreams to dreamers and dreamers to dreams through the magic of film”. The day I don’t want to do that is the day I should give up and do something else!

And on that note, film fans, all I have left to say it please check out Indie Film Spirites today. Plus don't forget, follow them on twitter and facebook too. So go on. Click-click. And see what you can do for independent productions.

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