“Last Rites,” directed by Russell, is about a woman trying to bring her murdered outlaw lover home for burial. Its cast includes Lizzy Caplan, Peter Dinklage, Dwight Yoakam, Jason Priestley, Kris Kristofferson, Cote de Pablo and Scott Speedman.
Several of the actors, including Dinklage and Yoakam, are participating in Horsethief’s viral marketing campaign. Russell explained, “We’re cutting character teasers for [the actors] to roll out on their Facebook platforms, their Twitter platforms, popularizing the contests that they’re going to be picking the winners on. We’re taking these pre-existing fan bases and culling off of those to get fans to come to us.
“The actors are remarkably responsive to it,” he continued, “because it’s a chance for them to communicate directly with the people that are their fans. It helps them tear down the barriers that have existed between stars and a traditionally distant public, and share their work in an unmitigated way.”
For example, “Last Rites” has two dedicated websites, www.lastritesfilm.com and www.whokilledthedwarf.com, featuring exclusive character-driven content to promote the film. On the latter site, Horsethief put a trailer introducing fans to the Dwarf, the character played by Dinklage in “Last Rites.” The site had generated more than 100,000 page views a week after its soft launch with little promotion.
Also through the internet, Horsethief is running a songwriting contest, where fans can submit original songs and vote for their favorite. Yoakam will announce the winner, which will be used in “Last Rites’” official trailer.
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