Written by Staff Writer
Whether as an independent, low-budget, or student project, you made a film! That is a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration. Congratulations! Now all you have to do is convince an audience to go see it. That is where film marketing comes in. These days, however, it gets harder and harder to break through the noise. With hundreds of films, TV series, and online videos competing for the audiences’ attention, filmmakers – especially those just starting in the business – need to find creative ways to make their work stand out.
The Diversity Production Pro gets it. Independent filmmakers have a lot on their plates. Creators are working with smaller budgets and juggling multiple responsibilities between writing, directing, producing, casting, production design, storyboarding, and more, promoting the film is the last thing on their minds. You have too much going on to worry about marketing your film.
Yet, film marketing is a critical component of the filmmaking process. One of the biggest mistakes indie filmmakers and producers make is moving from filmmaking to film marketing, that is, developing a marketing plan after they finish their films. Not exactly a winning strategy. There is a lot you can do and must do throughout the entire filmmaking process to promote your film to make it stand out from the crowd. The harsh reality of this competitive industry is that without developing a marketing plan for your film before you begin production, it will end up on a hard drive collecting digital dust.
Regardless of how much you have to do to make a movie, Indie filmmakers also need to think about who is going to buy their product. Who is going to watch the movie? Because those who manage to successfully market their films and gain film exposure find the most success with their work.
However, the question remains. How can you promote your film when you have a smaller budget and no time? Well, here are some tips on how to gain film exposure. But first, let’s take a peek at the world of marketing.
What is film marketing?
In the earliest days of film, movies were the marketing. People bought tickets just to see pictures move on screens. As it became clear that film was going to endure as a source of mass entertainment communication, permanent infrastructures emerged- things like movie studios and theater chains. These studios started making more and more movies to keep up with the demand, and suddenly, the audience had more options. As a result, viewers became more sophisticated, wanting stories and stars. Facing greater competition, film studios needed to find ways to persuade people to see their films instead of someone else’s. That’s how marketing for films was born. Though a lot has changed since then, many of the elements of cinema’s earliest marketing campaigns are still with us today.
In the early 1900s, movie studios noticed people bought tickets based on the star actors featured in the movie. So, they began to market their film based on celebrities, thus creating the star system. Today, celebrities are still a powerful weapon in film marketing. They appear on talk shows, get featured in magazines, and on press junkets. They even leverage their own social media to increase hype around their movies.
The cornerstone of film marketing
As flashy as the celebrity system is, the cornerstone of film marketing remains the poster. Organized around an iconic image of the movie or covered with the biggest actors starring in the film. These graphic designs can be used in print ads, transformed into billboards, and displayed outside of the movie theater. The best posters represent the movie in a single, powerful image. Posters also include taglines, brief, and memorable, catch-phrases that sum up the story.
Trailers or previews were also an early development in film marketing. Once featured films became the norm, studios would select shots of their most famous actors and pair them with title cards and a narrator to tell the audience how incredible the movie is. But around the 1960s, movie trailers began to break this mold. By the 1970s, films were advertised on television, featuring short versions of the theatrical trailer.
However, around this time, film marketing experienced a bigger change. Before 1970, marketing departments for major movie studios began their work after the fine wrapped up production. But by the 1980s, marketing professionals were consulted before movies were fully developed. Bigger studios like Marvel have taken this strategy to a whole new level, scouting out release dates and creating promotional material for the film way before writing the script and casting the actors.
At the same time, sponsorship and product placement have been around, in some form, since the dawn of movies. But in the 1980s, this strategy also evolved to a new level. Companies like Coca-cola would write checks to have their products featured in movies aimed at an audience they wanted to reach. And it worked.
The Diversity Production Pro
An Online Revolution
The internet has revolutionized marketing for film in many ways. Delivering trailers through the web is cheaper, and marketing departments can now target their content to a specific audience. Plus savvy use of social media can amplify the marketing message and reach more people.
When you are marketing a movie, you will have to figure out how much you are going to spend. Generally speaking, marketing will cost around a quarter or half the film’s budget. But as an indie filmmaker with a tight budget, very little time, and a nonexistent social platform, where does this leave you? On The DPP this is what you can do:
Market Your Film
We have already established how crucial it is to start preparing your marketing strategy and promotional materials early in the filmmaking process’s development phase. Film marketing has an eco-system of its own, and you have to be prepared to address all of those questions to run a successful marketing campaign. These questions include:
- Who is your audience?
- Where can you find your audience?
- Why should they see your movie?
- What are you selling to the audience?
- What is the value in the movie?
While it is a good idea to have your own marketing plan and think about branding, you still need to outsource some of these marketing tasks that are above and beyond your skill set, or you’ll just be exhausted from doing every single thing. This will take away from your creativity, time, and energy and not deliver the desired results.
The good news is The Diversity Production Pro has created a film announcement platform that will help showcase your talent and hard work.
With immediate access to posting your film banner across our network that features your poster and trailer, you can send out and market your film across various social media platforms with a click of a button.
The DPP also offers advanced tools like mass emailer that automatically creates an email template from your banner that you can blast out to hundreds of contacts, an immediate upgrade from those boring email attachments. t
The DPP Community
As a member of the community, you have a dedicated space to show who you are, the projects you have been a part of, and your education and experience. Plus, you can upload links, behind-the-scenes photos, and short videos. You also can build your own community, gain followers, and create forum groups and collaborative projects with other members of the platform. All your work is stored, organized, and documented for future reference. You can invite friends and family to come to see your work through social media or with custom emails.
1 – Build a network
Networking is getting around a group of like-minded people and discussing all aspects of your industry. They say your network is your net worth and being around uplifting, motivating like-minded people who believe in you and support you is crucial to your success. They are many ways to network in the film industry. You can attend events where you’ll find filmmakers, writers, and casting directors. You can engage with industry professionals online and make friends in a non-industry setting. However, always make sure to add value to people’s lives and be consistent.
2 – Collaborate with other industry professionals
Filmmaking is not a solo act; in case you haven’t noticed. Sure, every once in a while, you can work on a project by yourself and create something beautiful. However, if you are looking to make a career of your craft, collaborating with other professionals is a must. Collaboration can not only improve your creative game, but it can also help when it comes to promoting your work. Other filmmakers involved in the production of your project can promote the film on their platforms to some degree. Now you have more than one avenue to reach the audience.
2 – Showcase Dynamic Portfolios
The Diversity Production Pro is more than a cool tool for filmmakers. It is a community where film professionals of all roles can connect and showcase their skills, projects, and creativity.
The Diversity Production Pro is a community built from the ground up by filmmakers for filmmakers. Join a community that is completely focused on you, the hard-working creator, the underdog. The DPP is a movement of independent creators, filmmakers, professionals, trades, and craftsmen that when united raises the volume on the independent voice.