November 16, 2011 Leave a comment
Film festivals can be seductive; there are now more avenues to get your feature film viewed. In reality, that has its upside and its downside. Hundreds of films are now shown at film festivals and nowhere else. Whereas it’s great that filmmakers are able to have their projects shown at festivals, those showings can also give a false sense of security. As a producer, you may feel that something is moving forward where it may not be. And chances are it won’t be if you simply show at a festival and leave it at that. Let’s say you do get your film into a festival, are showing it online, have clips up on YouTube, or have a dynamite website up describing your film. That’s simply step one, now you need to work it! Don’t simply wait for the public, or distributors or producers to find you. Chances are they won’t. Now that it’s produced, you’re job is to shepherd your project, get it viewed, get it noticed, create a buzz.
Let’s say you do get your film into a festival, are showing it online, have clips up on YouTube, or have a dynamite website up describing your film. That’s simply step one, now you need to work it! Don’t simply wait for the public, or distributors or producers to find you. Chances are they won’t. Now that it’s produced, you’re job is to shepherd your project, get it viewed, get it noticed, create a buzz.
The best method I’ve found to successfully market and promote a film, is a combination of social media, blogging and traditional and online PR. Producing, directing or acting in your film is only step one. Once you’ve actually produced it your real work starts. The creative labor of love is over and the marketing labor of love needs to take over. The following is a check list of PR and marketing moves to consider in order to maximize your chances of having your film succeed.
1) If you’re accepted to a film festival, market it; pass out fliers, postcards, etc. Do some basic initial guerilla marketing.
2) Brainstorm and come up with ideas and angles that you can pitch to the media. If there is an event, or photo shoot, or stunt that you can direct them to, give it a shot. Come up with a number of story and pitch angles about the film, the journey and the making of the film, the actors, director, producer, etc.
3) Look for tie-ins with current media stories. The bottom line is– be creative! Don’t just focus on the entertainment angle, try to come up with some topical or human interest pitches as well.
4) Come up with a compelling one-page press release on your film and send it out to the local media, entertainment media, blogs, online publications, freelance writers. Send it out to anyone you feel could help get the word out.
5) Create a media list of the media you’re most interested in seeing the film. Send them the release, but also make sure and make follow up phone calls to verbally pitch them. To be honest, releases are important, but you never know if they’re actually read. You need to contact the media to make sure they received the release, understand the pitch and realize why this could be such a great story for them to cover.
Chances are this film has been a labor of love; it’s cost you blood, sweat, tears and cash. Now you owe it to yourself and to your film to give it a real shot to succeed.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011