After changing Rise And Fail‘s title to Death Grip there was a sharp divide in the small indie action world. Half were relieved, half liked the old title. Action fans seemed to be okay with “Death Grip”, but non-action folks kept thinking we were making either a comedy or some slasher flick. In any group conversation, we continually find that half of the room is divided. So I’ve determined that the best answer is not to defend the new title, but rather just say this:
We know people are divided about the title, but action films often are re-titled anyway by the distributor to fit different regions. So if it means more sales, the title will get changed. We’ll let the market determine that.
That’s a clever way of reassuring your friends and family that your film is not some selfish act of expression (aka artistic masturbation), but rather a commodity whose first order of business is making happy customers. So if you’re planning on going with a distributor to mass-distribute your film beyond your 10-1000 immediate customers, don’t sweat the title. You may even be able to make a deal with them where you’re given the right to print and sell 1000 copies with your title anyway. On the same hand, if you’re self-distributing, your audience is so close that the title may not matter. Sending a quick email to 1000 people is pretty easy.