October 15, 2013 Leave a comment
I recently had a conversation with two filmmakers who had finished their first full length feature film. I asked them what their marketing game plan was. Their response was that they were going to submit their film to festivals, contact distributors and that once they landed a deal, the distribution company would take care of all of the public relations and marketing and would most likely pay for a PR firm to promote the film.
I tried not to look too incredulous.
They were completely serious. From their perspective, they had done their job. They had produced their film. The rest wasn’t their concern. Someone else would do the work for them.
They had no marketing plan, they had no money set aside in their budget to PR or promote their film. They had a film, yes, but now they were completely at the mercy of others.
A public relations and marketing plan could have initially helped them secure a distribution deal, but even if they landed one, a distribution deal is simply step one, it in no way insures that a film will be properly marketed.
If you are an independent filmmaker, make the following your mantra:
With or without a distribution deal, to succeed, my job is to market, market and – market!
This unrealistic mindset is one that I see on a regular basis with filmmakers and authors. Filmmakers believe a distributor will solve all their PR and marketing problems, while authors believe that a publisher will be the white knight to take care of any promotional or marketing issues. Whereas most musicians now realize that there has been a huge paradigm shift and they need to market themselves, authors and filmmakers still generally believe that landing a publishing or distribution deal solves their problems.
I’ve seldom seen a distribution company that handles low budget films actively market a film. I give seminars on PR for artists and have heard story after story about filmmakers who thought their job was to produce the film and that marketing would be taken care of. A number of these had already landed distribution deals. They didn’t budget for marketing or PR and had no idea that promotion was part of their responsibility.
Sadly, these are all films that very few people will ever see.
Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2013