Making a film can be a magical experience, but many filmmakers get so excited about and engrossed in the making of their film that they forget producing their film is only step one. Actually the production of your film should be pretty far down the line in your film to-do list. Particularly when it comes to new filmmakers, the excitement of making a film, and all that is involved in scripting, pre-producing, casting, production and post production, has a tendency to become all consuming. Creating the film becomes everything. But here’s the question, what are you going to do once your film (filled with joy, enthusiasm and dreams as well as blood sweat and tears) is completed. How are you going to get your film, promoted, marketed, distributed? How are you going to build that bridge between your finished product and your audience?
If this article were actually a script, we’d be having a flashback sequence here. We flash back to the incarnation of your project. We would fade back to before you edited, shot, cast, or wrote your film and add a new focus to the process. In this sequence your new flash back approach in the past would change your future. You’d figure out a game plan outlining how to PR, promote and market your film. Your new public relations plan would act as a guide, as a roadmap as you moved forward in your filmmaking process. It would be a bridge-building process between you, your audience, distributors, potential investors and influences. It would be the focus that helped insure your film would have a strong shot at succeeding.
So many filmmakers come to me after they’ve finished their film. They’ve been so wrapped in the process and the project has inevitably gone over budget. They didn’t consider a marketing campaign before they started production and now have very little money left for marketing. There’s often little I can do for them at that point. Those I have most success with either start with me during pre-production, or from the start realized that marketing was an essential part of the game plan and kept that in mind during the production process.
Ideally you want to start promoting your film and creating a buzz online and in the media before you finish shooting or editing your project. A well thought out media relations and social media campaign can serve you in a number of ways. Keep in mind, depending on your needs; you are going to be addressing different audiences with your media relations campaign. One outreach could be directed to the general public, another to a more targeted grout of viewers, another to distributors and still another to possible investors. You can also start creating a buzz for upcoming projects while promoting your current film.
So dive into your film project. Make the very best film you can. But be smart about it. Make a PR and marketing campaign an essential part of your film’s game plan. You don’t want to end up with a film that a few of your friends see, or gathers dust in your home, or gets submitted to a few film festivals and then fades away. You’ve put your heart, soul, time and money into your film project. You now owe it to the film and to yourself to give it a chance to succeed.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012