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RSC Quoted in Top Press on Gibson's The Passion of the Christ
 

REUTERS (www.reuters.com)

Christians aid Gibson's "Passion" marketing - by Emily Kaiser (13.02.2004)

"Gibson is not the first movie maker to tap into the church marketing machine. Cloud 10 Productions' movies based on the popular Left Behind series of Christian books helped pioneer church-based marketing.

"If you get the Christian community behind your film and supporting it, they're very strong at word-of-mouth and grass-roots (marketing), and bringing friends to the theatre," Melisa Richter said, who runs Richter Strategic Communications and was formerly Cloud 10's public relations manager.

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Spanish:

Gibson no es el primer productor de cine independiente que incursiona en la maquina de mercadeo con las iglesias. Las peliculas de Cloud 10 Productions basadas en la popular serie "Left Behind" de libros cristianos ayudaron a marcar el rumbo del mercadeo basado en las iglesias.

"Si uno logra el respaldo de la comunidad cristiana a su filme, ellos son muy fuertes en (el mercadeo de) propagar la difusion boca a boca y llevar amigos al cine," dijo Melisa Richter, quien administra Richter Strategic Communications y fue gerente de relaciones publicas de Cloud 10.

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L.A DAILY NEWS (www.dailynews.com)

The gospel according to Mel - by Glenn Whipp (02.21.2004)

"When you're touching on something that the Christian community is passionate about - and there's no subject they're more passionate about than Jesus - then Christians see an opportunity to tell Hollywood that they want more films like this to be made," says Melisa Richter, who ran marketing campaigns for the two movies based on the popular "Left Behind" apocalyptic series. "And the Hollywood community usually pays attention to box-office numbers."

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THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER (www.philly.com)

Bible may not be hip enough for Hollywood - by Beth Gillin (04.03.2004)

"I think biblical films are going to find their way back on the silver screen," said Melissa Richter, owner of Richter Strategic Communications in Toronto. Richter has promoted films including the Book of Revelation-based Left Behind: The Movie, a grassroots success for the faith-based movie company Cloud Ten Pictures.

"What remains to be seen is if major Hollywood studios are willing to take a leap of faith and produce films, either in partnership with a Christian film studio or alone, that will satisfy a massive Christian audience," she says.

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CANADIAN PRESS Wire Service (www.cp.org)

Grassroots support for The Passion translates into strong ticket sales - by Greg Bonnell (02.25.2004)

"The fact that Gibson chose to devote a core component of his marketing strategy to show the film to the Christian community was a very smart move," said Melisa Richter of Toronto's Richter Strategic Communications. "That's essentially what you need to do." That grassroots approach has worked well for Christian films in the past, including one that Richter worked on as lead publicist, Left Behind: The Movie. Produced by independent film company Cloud Ten Pictures after Hollywood studios turned the project down, the apocalyptic tale lacked the funds to mount a big advertising blitz. So the St. Catharines, Ont.-based company decided to go straight to the Christian public in 2000, hosting screenings of the film for key opinion leaders.

"Some of the time just to get accolades but essentially to get pulpit support and drive the grassroots machine within the Christian community," said Richter. "When we launched theatrically we were the No. 1 independent film at the box office, which says a lot."Cloud Ten also worked with Christian organizations to distribute free tickets, Left Behind door hangers and banners.

It seems the director of The Passion was taking notes. "Gibson actually met with the CEO of Cloud Ten Pictures on a couple of occasions," said Richter, who no longer works for the production house. "And I know that there were a couple of calls from Mel's (marketing) team to former members of Cloud Ten."

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CTV.ca (www.ctv.ca)

'Passion' packs theatres, garners mixed reviews - by CTV.ca Staff (02.26.2004)

"The fact that Gibson chose to devote a core component of his marketing strategy to show the film to the Christian community was a very smart move," said Melissa Richter of Toronto's Richter Strategic Communications.


 
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