Let’s start with a multiple choice pop quiz that includes just one question:
Why do filmmakers make films?
1) Because they’re bored and have nothing else to do.
2) Because they have too much money and don’t know how else to spend it.
3) Because they want to watch it in their room, by themselves, on their laptop, over and over.
4) Because it’s a fun, albeit expensive, way to meet people and maybe find a date.
5) Because they have a story they want to tell and share with as large an audience as possible.
If you answered 1, 2, 3, or 4, stop reading his article right now and see what’s playing on Bravo.
If you answered number 5 and you indeed are a filmmaker, or interested in becoming one, read on.
In all honesty, I don’t think there are many filmmakers that set out with the objective of having their film fail. They’re not rooting for it to be seen by only a handful of family and friends, or spend its life in distribution limbo or be remembered only as a side note, they can say, yeah I made a film once.
But the way many filmmakers act and the decisions they make or don’t make has to make one wonder.
Without marketing and public relations there is no film success.
It’s a given.
It’s a truth, set in stone and yet it’s something that many filmmakers ignore or avoid or in some case simply forget. They are so focused on getting their film made that they forget why they are making their movie.
Understand that as a filmmaker marketing is an integral part of your job description. It isn’t simply something you could do. It isn’t a choice, isn’t an option
If you want your film to succeed setting up a marketing plan that stats when you’re writing your first draft is something you will do.
Start outlining your public relations campaign, as soon as you start working on your project. Whether at the writing or preproduction stage, start thinking about the PR angles and how you can best utilize them when ready
Once you have your stories map out your outreach, if you can hire a PR firm to launch a campaign, or for some basic consultation, that will make your life a heck of a lot easier, but if your budget doesn’t allow it, don’t let that stop you.
Make a list of your possible stories or media angles. Successful PR is successful storytelling. It’s an art. One angle could be the film itself, the subject matter, another could be your journey to making the film, and another could be the cast members. No matter how crazy some of the ideas might sound, write them down. You never know where that one story that hits the right nerve will come from.
If you’re adept at writing, put together a one page press release. If you’re not, find someone who can and have him or her write one for you. Keep it at one page.
Next put together a list of your main target media outlets. Now contact them. Be aggressive, but not pushy.
Don’t wait for others to market your film. It’s up to you to take action. Either bring a professional on board or start your own marketing outreach.
You’ll never get where you want to go if you don’t start.