It used to be that a film company would spend the same amount of money marketing a film as it would spend producing a film. The P&A, or prints and advertising would include the prints, advertising, PR, screening, basically anything that had to do with getting the film out to the public and creating a buzz.
In this digital world the word “prints” is rather rapidly fading from our vocabulary, but everything that falls under the advertising umbrella is still mandatory. And now you can add a host of other must-haves such as a website, social media strategy, EPK (electronic press kit), a blog, etc.
The trouble is that most producers in the world of independent filmmaking seem to factor very little of the above into their overall budgets. Oh, they’ll generally build a website, maybe put a few trailers on YouTube, do a minor Facebook outreach and then…. Wait.
What they don’t do is start by creating an initial budget that includes, at the very least, a web designer/webmaster, a graphic artist, a savvy social media consultant, and an experienced PR firm, or PR consultant.
What they don’t do is what you want to make sure you do.
You want to cover all of your basis from day one, since, chances are you’re not going to do this after the fact. After you’ve produced your film, unless you’ve budgeted and carefully prepared, your money is spent, you’re in a rush to get it out there, you’re exhausted and the last thing you want to do is come up with a savvy, creative marketing approach.
At that point, in all probability, you’re going to throw up a website, cut a fast YouTube trailer, send out some tweets and Facebook posts, write and send out a novice press release (with no strategy or follow up). If you’re smart you’ll make sure you’re listed on IMBD and that you have your own Wikipedia page. Then, thinking you’ve covered all the basis, you’ll kick back and wait.
you’ll wait some more.
You’ll then either come to the conclusion that no one understands how brilliant your film is and the world’s just not ready for you yet, or that marketing and PR are a waste of time. They must be. No one responded.
The truth is, you didn’t prepare, you didn’t give marketing or PR a chance and you didn’t give your film a chance. You could have a gem, a real hit on your hands and never know it.
Now the good news.
You can do it differently. It’s best if you plan for all of the above at the pre pre production stage of your film, but, no matter what stage of the process you’re in, you can stop review the situation, develop a new gameplan and prepare for success.
In my PR for Filmmaker workshops, I cover all of the basics that you need to know to help your film succeed. If you can’t make it to one of workshops, follow our blog. If you have questions, shoot us an email.
As a wise man once said, knowledge is power, so learn as much as you can, do your preparation and give your film a real shot at success.
Copyright © Mora Communications 2014