Film marketing buzz at 4Filmmaking.com
Online Film SchoolScreenwritingPreproductionProductionPostproductionFilm DistributionFilm SchoolsFilm Resources
Articles:OverviewSelling BuzzFilm FestivalsFilm Markets
Film DistributionHollywoodFilm Law  
Previous Filmmaking Article Next Filmmaking Article

Film marketing buzz

Your marketing efforts come together

At every stage of the feature filmmaking process you need to be thinking about how you are going to sell your masterpiece and taking the appropriate steps.

I've included a page in each section of the filmmaking lessons on what sort of activities you should doing to spread the buzz.

Film Development Buzz starts before you've even written the script.

Preproduction Buzz makes the right people aware of what you are up to.

Production Buzz keeps spreading the word at the same time as you are gathering the important marketing materials you will need for the final assault.

Postproduction Buzz begins to get the word to the people who will help you sell your film.

Once your film is done everything needs to come together to get your film sold and in front of audiences.


No one's going to see your movie if they never hear about it.

No one's going to want to see your movie until all their friends are talking about it.

It Doesn't Matter What They Say Dahlings, As Long As They Talk!
- Tallulah Bankhead

Press Kit - Your press kit is your basic marketing tool.

Traditional press kits are put into a glossy cardboard folder. Now it is becoming more common for movie presskits to be distributed electronically.

Contents:

  • Title
  • Description: Short or feature, and genre.
  • Three synopses: 3-line version, 125-word version and-word version.
  • All the people involved and contact information: producer, director, executive producer, principal cast, writer, principal crew.
  • Publicist with address, website, phone numbers and email.
  • Biographies/resumes of the director and principal cast members.
  • Productions notes, statements and anecdotes from the director and principal cast members.
  • Where the film has been screened and reviews or excerpts from reviews.
  • Hi-res production still photos from the film and any posters or other promotional handouts.

Web site

You need one that really sells the film, and holds your press kit.

If you haven't done it already then you must get yourself a domain and a site host to put up your web site. If you don't know what I'm talking about, ask around and find someone who does and that you can talk into helping you handle the details of getting set up and putting up a few pages of info about your film.

Are Top Film Schools Worth It Today? Surprising Film School Secrets!

On the website you would typically put the poster for your movie, publicity photos, info and pictures of all the people involved, a synopsis, a blog, the trailer, etc.

Lots of kids in high schools and colleges have set up web sites. It's not hard to learn how to do it yourself once the site is set up and you have a few basic software tools.

A word of advice: don't put your site on a service that lets you set up for free. The people who host the site will stick obnoxious banner ads and other distracting stuff on your site that looks very unprofessional. Spend a little money to get your own site so you have complete control over it.

This site you're viewing is running on iPowerWeb. It was recommended by a friend and I've have been pleased with them. For less than $100 for a year you get your own domain name (www.MyGreatFilmProductionCompany.com) and the huge capacity and bandwidth you will need to host your film's trailers. There are many other web hosting companies and the competition keeps the price down. iPowerWeb is probably the biggest hosting company, has been in business for years and has a good track record.

I recommend you just sign up and get the process started because it takes a little while to create a great looking web site and it will be a vital part of your publicity campaign later on.

Product Reviews
You Can Help Keep This Site Going: Some of the companies whose products I recomment pay me a small commission if you buy them through my links. So, please buy through my links. I only recommend products I have personally reviewed and/or own and believe them to be worthy of your consideration.
Recommended
info
Recommended
info
Recommended null
Recommended

The Filmmaker's Basic Library has all the top-rated filmmaking resources.

The goals of your film's web site

The main goal of your web site is to create buzz for your movie. Keep this important fact in mind. A lot of independent filmmaker's websites look like high school yearbooks with a cheesy main page then lots of tiny photos of the director, actors and crew partying off the set.

How is this going to sell the movie? If a beer company ran ads that showed the employees getting sloppy drunk in the parking lot would that make you want to buy their beer? Probably not.

Advertisements need to create a mood and show value to create desire in the viewer. That's the main thing your site should do.

The Blair Witch Project was a very successful film and a big part of the success was the web site. It was designed to create the impression that the Blair Witch legend was real and that some filmmakers had actually disappeared trying to film a documentary about the legend. Brilliant!

The other purpose for you web site is to be a repository for your press kit. If anyone in the media or any potential buyers express interest in your film you want to have an easy way to get them your press kit. Your web site is a great place.

Traditional press kits are put into a glossy cardboard folder. Now it is becoming more common for movie presskits to be distributed electronically.

Contents of a film press kit:

  • Title
  • Description: Short or feature, and genre.
  • Three synopses: 3-line version, 125-word version and-word version.
  • All the people involved and contact information: producer, director, executive producer, principal cast, writer, principal crew.
  • Publicist with address, website, phone numbers and email.
  • Biographies/resumes of the director and principal cast members.
  • Productions notes, statements and anecdotes from the director and principal cast members.
  • Where the film has been screened and reviews or excerpts from reviews.
  • Hi-res production still photos from the film and any posters or other promotional handouts.

Your film's poster

4Filmmaking.com

You need to have a really great poster for your film the reflects the subject and engages the viewer. Put some time and effort into getting a great poster. Besides printing posters you want to have postcards printed that you can mail to reviewers and distributors and give away at the festivals.

Reviews

If you don't have any then call a reviewer of a small local paper, invite them over, offer them a beer and, when they're feeling no pain, show them your film.

If all else fails then maybe you should fabricate your own review. For a long time Sony film advertisements featured rave reviews from a "David Manning" of the "The Ridgefield Press". Problem was David Manning wasn't really a reviewer. Thoses reviews were all being written by Sony's marketing people. They also used hired actors to pose as filmgoers and give positive testimonials about Sony films.

I'm not suggesting you be dishonest ... well maybe I am.

Interviews

Make friends with the editor of the entertainment section of some local papers and get them to write an article about your production. Supply them with your press kit and everything else they need, including a prewritten story they just have to edit, so they don't have to do much work.

Starting your film's festival buzz

Three to four weeks before your film shows in the festival contact the local press. This includes all the local newpapers, radio and TV statsion. Since nothing will have been written about the festival that soon you can possibly get interviewed by the reporter assigned to write about the festival. You will be featured in the article about the festival or possibly get an article just about your film.

Everything goes into the press kit.and all this coverage will make buzz at the festival.

More festival buzz

When you get to the festival smooze with everyone. Pass out postcards you've printed of your film's poster along with xerox copies of any local reviews or articles you gotten. Have a drink at the opening party and talk to everyone you can. These people are filmmakers, reporters, future fans and colaborators. Attend every party, conference, and social activity. Talk to everyone, give out your cards, get everyone else's cards. Remember to contact them after the festival.

Are Top Film Schools Worth It Today? Surprising Film School Secrets!

Put up posters and had out postcards for your film where ever you can. Give out cards on the street in front of the theaters and ask people to come to your film. Get as many people into your screening as you can.

Every seat you fill may be another vote for an award for your movie. If there is any local ethnic, political, religious or fan group that might promote your film find out about them and contact them. If they start helping you promote your film you are well on your way to the Audience Favorite Award.

An excited festival audience can result in interest from film distributors.

During the festival and afterward collect any coverage you can find. All this becomes more quotes for the press kit. You will make copies of it to give out at the next festival.

Start another project

It's going to take at least a year to work your way through the festival circuit with your current film. You want to be developing another film so you are moving ahead with your career, but also you want to have something interesting to talk about besides your current film at the festivals.

It often happens that a filmmaker's first film is not quite what the distributors want but if they see talent in the filmmaker they will be very interested in the filmmaker's future projects.


Product Reviews
You Can Help Keep This Site Going: Some of the companies whose products I recomment pay me a small commission if you buy them through my links. So, please buy through my links. I only recommend products I have personally reviewed and/or own and believe them to be worthy of your consideration.
Must Have!

The Filmmaker's Basic Library has all the top-rated filmmaking resources.

Previous Filmmaking Article   Next Filmmaking Article

Filmmaking Blog






Newsletter signup

Get a Free filmmaking podcast

Subscribe to my Free Filmmaking newsletter. Get my filmmaking podcast for free plus occasional educational and entertaining emails.

First name:

Email:

I hate spam too! Your email address will never be given to anyone else or used for anything except to send you stuff about filmmaking. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.