From script to screen and all inbetween, carefully plan the marketing of your production. 

What we’ve witnessed in the independent filmmaking process is that filmmakers forget about the marketing and promotional aspects of filmmaking. They suddenly ‘remember’…maybe, when they start to think about the film festival circuit, by which time it’s often too late to monopolise on the film’s potential – let alone recouping any financial investment.

From the earliest stages of scriptwriting, you really ought to pick out ideas that can be used as promotional content – be that on social media, your media pack, your press release or your biography.

So, the following are some tips (in no particular order) that’ll help you to plan the promotional aspect of your movie.

  • Think about the themes and/or messages of your story; is it about love and romance, coming-of-age, is it a road-trip, is it about adoption or identity? Pin your ideas down and write them up in a way that your intended audiences will grasp immediately.
  • Ensure that your actors and key crew members have good, high-resolution head and shoulder images of themselves.
  • Have a reasonably good photographer on set to take high quality images.
  • Get domain name(s) and keep their registration up to date.
  • Have a videographer on set to take actor, director and other crew interviews for behind the scenes outtakes. This will be good material for extras and your social media content.
  • Have a comprehensive media/EPK kit created that includes crew, actor, director bios; long/short synopsis etc.
  • Get a website – even if it’s just a landing page for your movie. If you’re the director, you could use this as an opportunity to build your profile/portfolio starting with a personal website and then add your productions and/or show reels. You can use Wix, Squarespace, WordPress or any other credible platform. The following are some examples:
  • Set up social media channels. This may sound daunting, but what you have to realise is that you don’t have to be on ALL social media channels. Pick one or two that suits your audience and then maintain those with consistent content. Consistency is key. This is where those images and audio-visual you took earlier will come to the fore.
  • Get press releases written, preferably by a professional PR agency/freelancer, or have a look online. LinkedIn and Hubspot, for example have good, free, online courses on this and other topics.
  • For the love of god….cut at least one trailer! It boggles the mind to see productions submitting their films to festivals with no trailer. You can in fact cut 3 starting with say a teaser. No matter how short your film, cut a trailer!
  • If you’re fortunate enough to get into film festivals and/or media publications online and off, they will want lots of strong images and copy. Where they don’t have this from your production, they’re less likely to promote you – how can they?!
  • Focus on your movie posters. Remember those images you took on set? Well, you’ll now have a lot of content to sift through for your ideas that your graphic designer can utilise to design a fitting movie poster.
  • Finally, any producer of merit will incorporate a budget that includes the marketing part of the film production process. And remember that a budget can include payment in-kind partnerships.

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