Creative Marketing for Films

Film and TV Production with Peter Rosten and Jeremy Sauter
This seminar focused on production for Film and TV and was by far the most engaging and interactive of our classes thus far.  I expected to learn about experiences that these professionals had but they were very humble for the most part, and threw away those expectations right away. As some other professionals have told us, “what worked for me in the 70’s isn’t going to work for you today.” So, instead of going deeply into their personal stories, these two tried to get us involved and thinking about the actual creative process used to create and market a film.

 Peter Rosten

I really liked Peter Rolsten, he has 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and has produced 8 films ... He is now retired but continues to give back through forming and running The MAPS Media Institute where he gives young students experience-based learning to help them succeed in the entertainment industry.

"In 1985, Peter Rosten came to Montana for what he thought was just a vacation; little did he know that this visit would leave a permanent impression.

Today Peter and his wife, Susan (she’s a fourth generation Montanan) live in Darby. Her four children, and now Peter’s as well, are grown. Two attend MSU in Bozeman, one lives and works in Great Falls and their oldest is married and living in New York City.

Best known as the President and Founder of MAPS: Media Arts in the Public Schools (, Peter created it in 2003. The program is now in five Montana locations (Corvallis, Missoula, Bozeman, Red Lodge and Wolf Point) and has received local, state and national recognition.

Recently honored with the 2008 "Award of Excellence in Education" from the San Francisco based, Society of New Communications Research, the program has evolved into a profitable business run by high school students. "We currently have TV spots running in 38 states and the Center for Disease Control is broadcasting our tobacco-prevention PSA’s nationwide," says Peter. "Our clients pay us, we pay the kids in stipends and scholarships - it’s the real world."

-Taken from desription on the University of Montana Entertainment Managment Program page.
Me, The Student
I learned so much from Rosten. He gave me several great rules of thumb, that I’ll list below. All these things will be incredible bits of wisdom that I think will help me in the future. I have no criticism of how Rosten found his path in life, although I will have a different path, he seems happy and that’s what matters.

  • Study the history of the business, this will help you build rapport and bond
  • Hollywood doesn’t know anything, so show them something
  • If the word “no” tends to crush you, you’ll never make it
  • Just one “yes” can change your life.
  • Everyone will describe themselves as “smart”, “ambitious”, or “creative”, so how do you stand out?
  • Buzzwords that smell like money: Fresh, Edgy, Committed, Passionate
  • Without integrity, on your bad day, no one will stand up for you
  • How do you make luck? HARD WORK. Create opportunity.
  • No one “knows” anything, you either like things or you don’t.
  • Being from Montana is something worth telling people. They think you’re hardworking.

Article, “How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity”: How I will create an environment to allow communication.

I imagine that I am in a film company just like Pixar and I am managing a group that needs to generate ideas for a film within 20 minutes (we did something like this in class).

  • Make sure I have excellent talent on my team
  • Create small incubation teams to help refine ideas
  • Emphasize that creative vision is what matters most
  • Don’t second guess or micromanage people
  • Be a meritocracy: based on merit
  • Force accidental interaction, so people will respect and support each other
  • No ego
  • Allow people to consult experts outside our group for advice
  • Allow heated discussions so long as everyone knows that the passion is about the story, and not personal.
  • Show unfinished work as it happens
  • Applaud crazy ideas: these can turn out to be the best!

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Content by Laura Gabriele