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Interview Lynnaire Macdonald


Tell us a bit about your background

I’m a Kiwi girl, born and raised! I’m of Māori and European descent. I’m currently living in Christchurch but moving to London soon.


Did you grow up wanting to be a film publicist?

I grew up wanting to be many things, everything from a paleontologist through to a mortician (yes, really). I got my first typewriter at the age of three- it was a real working typewriter for kids. That should have told me straight away I had some calling to be in media! And I was doing freelance journalism from the age of 15 but nothing ever really ‘stuck’ for me.

The only thing I was truly, consistently passionate about was film. Even in my early twenties I would sneak off to see new release films when I was supposed to be in class (sorry lecturers!). I knew in my heart I had to work in the film industry, but it took the Christchurch earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011 to really set me on my path. In 2012 I was sitting in a small independent cinema, still struggling in the aftermath of the quakes and suddenly it hit me like a bolt out of the blue- no more waiting for permission, no more thinking small, I was going to make my career in film happen, no matter what.


What are five of your favourite movies?

Only Lovers Left Alive: my favourite of Jarmusch’s films and Tilda Swinton is just magnificent in it.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings- loved it so much I saw it 10 times at the cinema. Still a fave.

Inglourious Basterds: I’ve always loved Tarantino’s work from an early age (much earlier than I should have been allowed to see it!), but this is my favourite of his.

Trainspotting: I saw this for the first time when I was 15 and it really woke me up to the fact that films could have so much substance. I can’t wait for the sequel.

Wreckers: this indie was one of the driving forces for me in terms of creating Film Sprites PR. I was so inspired and energized by D.R. Hood’s first feature film that I knew I had to work with creatives like her.


Film Sprites PR

Where did things begin for Film Sprites PR?

I had been doing freelance publicity work after getting my Bachelor of Arts and Certificate in Public Relations and Business Communication but was having difficulty finding consistent opportunities. What I had seen, however, through connecting with filmmakers via Twitter was that there were incredible independent filmmakers that weren’t receiving the exposure they genuinely deserved in a bigger capacity. I knew I had to be of service to the independent community. I really wanted to not only champion the work of these filmmakers, I wanted to make sure they connected with a wider audience and media outlets who were also enthusiastic about their films. It took one Tweet for everything to take off: I simply asked if there were filmmakers needing PR and digital marketing assistance. By the end of the day I had 3 clients, by the end of the weekend I had 6 and by the end of that month I had 12. Since then we’ve taken on new team members as well as freelancers in various areas (like copywriting) and assisted over 25 filmmakers across the globe.


Who are some of the filmmakers you’ve worked with so far?

Film Sprites PR have had the great pleasure of working with the likes of Richard T Wilson, an Emmy® award-winning writer and filmmaker to help promote his short film The Halloween Girl. We have also had the incredible honour of being able to assist D.R. Hood (of the aforementioned Wreckers, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy) with the pre-production Kickstarter for her second feature filmThis Family.


What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?

The biggest challenge has actually been time zones! UK time in comparison to NZ time is fine, but US time can be problematic.

How influential has digital media been in marketing films?

I think the digital age has really offered filmmakers opportunities that they wouldn’t have had, say, 15 years ago. I know for a fact 15 years ago I couldn’t do the job I do now. Social media platforms now offer filmmakers the opportunity to connect with their audiences in real time, on an authentic level. There’s also more options available for filmmakers in terms of how they offer their content to their audiences- look at all of the streaming options available now! The digital age means filmmakers don’t wait for the opportunity- they make the opportunities to build an audience and have their film seen around the world.


Tell us more about some of the services you offer to filmmakers.

We offer a range of services to suit filmmakers at any stage of production. Whether you are looking solely for social media marketing of your film or an entire suite of publicity and digital marketing services for your cinematic or VoD release, we can help you out. We also have a consultancy service if you’re just looking to “pick our brains” with regards to how to publicize your film. You can find out about all of our services here: https://thefilmsprites.com/film-publicity-and-digital-marketing/

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