Distribution : So where does Marketing fit into Film and TV on Stage 32? by Tanya Laird

Tanya Laird

So where does Marketing fit into Film and TV on Stage 32?

I've been on stage32 since it started but the one thing I consistently notice is there's a lack of places to discuss the marketing of indie projects. Once you've gone through the gauntlet of pre production, getting the thing in the can and actually finishing the editing on it, the next step seems to be all about distribution but there is a genuine and worthwhile step that's often overlooked and that's marketing. No, not promotion to your family and friends. Good old fashioned marketing. That covers everything from your website, your social media channels, the strap line and poster art through to paid acquisition of eyeballs to view your trailer if you want to try and push some viewers to your content on Youtube or wherever you decide to put your shiny new trailer. So, I suppose my question is this. Do you, the Stage32 community not feel that this is the right place to discuss marketing of your projects or are you going somewhere else to have those kind of conversations?

Tanya Laird

Hi Lynn, anything I can help with? feel free to fire questions at me on this post. I'm happy to give some general advice

Diana Murdock

Great clip, Lynn!

Dianne Gardner

Hi Lynn, you're write. Let's get our films in front of eyes. We are in preproduction and I'm already marketing on my website and I think its working. I'm posting photos of our shoots, and progress reports on our FB page. I am also doing some blogging. Can't wait to post our promo trailer when we get it made. I would love to hear some more ideas for getting it in front of funders too.

Dianne Gardner

Yes, we are Lynn Reed. We had a meeting with staff and crew and we have something in place so that everyone is going to participate and get their contacts early. I have been growing interest with FB, we have the movie page, my author page, and one character page (Silvio the Wizard has his own FB page) and by posting every day either about the story or the progress, seems to be building the audience.

Lhisa Ungelis Mrklon

Yes, marketing is an issue, but a casual Google search like 'marketing indie films' yields some pretty good responses

Zachary Block

A hot tip for film marketing - https://vimeo.com/103821570

Tanya Laird

[WARNING: LONG POST] Hi All, I just wanted to add a few thoughts to the comments, firstly, having an asset schedule is a valuable marketing tool. Rather then creating your marketing content after production has finished, knowing in advance what you'll need and why allows you to get extra (unique and dedicated) content that can be platform specific. There are small nuances between content for Facebook and content for Twitter for example and having a clear outline of what you want your audience to do/see/hear at specific milestones can't be underestimated. On the crowdfunding point, yes, crowdfunding can be a great way to gather some momentum behind your project but it is not in itself a solution, in short it is not somewhere to raise awareness or build an audience, its somewhere to go once you've established your audience to give them a single focus point of action. The majority of successful crowdfunding campaigns already have 30% or more of their funding goal committed BEFORE they post their campaign. When posting a Crowdfunding campaign its important to remember, if you can't guarantee 30% of your funding goal you'll become another campaign that isn't doing too well and gets lost in the vast ocean of struggling campaigns. As an advertising/marketing tool, anything less then a funded campaign is a failure that automatically damages the credibility of your project (oh, it wasn't good enough to get funding, not enough people are into this). So if you want to go down the crowdfunding route, firstly, get your 30% commitment from everyone you know first, secondly, create dedicated content for the platform, don't just chuck up your original trailer, Crowdfunding audiences demand and expect more. Make sure you include three parts to your Crowdfunding video: 1) The intro, explain who you/the team are and why you're passionate about the project (humanise yourself) 2) The goods, give them a taste of how awesome your project is, this is the place to include all the cool trailer shots, 3) The trade off, explain exactly what they're getting by supporting (note the use of the word supporting, not funding) your project, talk about the campaign perks but more importantly talk about their direct impact and the actual outcomes of their funding, remember, don't try to fund your entire film project, pick a specific aspect of production or pre-production and ask for funding to complete that aspect (you need cash to finish the amazing special effect, you need cash to hire a stunt team so your actors don't get hurt, you need an editor and sound design because you've already done the hard work and you just need that last push to help get you over the line). There are other alternatives to Kickstarter and I would strongly recommend you check out NationBuilder as an alternative option that focuses less on funding and more on building an audience (this platform is more relevant if you have a documentary rather then a feature or short). because ultimately the priority is to not just gain eyeballs but to gain advocates who will go out there and tell everyone else about your project. Remember folks, there are some Film industry marketing professionals on Stage32 so you're not alone and you don't have to go dig out generic guides via google searches.

Brittany Riley

I am involved in a indie project that is now needing pledges and I agree with all these comments.. Our project has a strong committed audience in aspects of favoritism in the cast. http://youtu.be/KjMoLA2rb6Q Here you can see that everyone involved. I believe that we don't have enough strength in our community and speaking from a young generation point, features,shorts, and indies are not what it used to be. Everything is transforming more like scrambling into different portals.

Nicholas Jordan

What I am going to do is focus on film-festivals and agree with you findings, seems to me to focus on writers. What got me here was one or two meetings with working producer who had migrated to Austin Access, a very accomplished person base on what he and I talked about. Looking for him on the internet he was here then the value of what I found here just nearly floors me. I will have to bend major-portions of my idea to make it marketable so what i see is this is place to discuss it as there are working professionals then for paid-eyeballs I cannot think of anything better than working festivals, getting in early pitching with the festival as the base of all marketing effort.

Olya Kornienko

Hello everyone. Yes marketing is so important. The thing is most of filmmakers think about marketing just before they want to do a crowdfunding campaign or after they completed the project. It should start in the very very beginning, would you agree?

Tanya Laird

Hi Olya, marketing, when done properly, becomes a part of the production process. Direct lines into the key HoD's and primarily the director/writers is a crucial key to aligning marketing most effectively. When creative/marketing agencies are brought in during (or pre) production rather then at post-production they can create truly immersive campaigns that have genuine impact. Great examples include the http://www.thecapitol.pn created for the original Hunger Games film. A direct example of a marketing campaign that took elements of the IP and expanded the universe into an immersive social audience experience that helped establish a new franchise. The value of having a story to tell and a clear architecture for marketing and communications can't be overlooked.

Tanya Laird

Hi Nicholas, film festivals are a great way to raise your profile to potential distributors but remember, there needs to be a clear strategy in place before you consider submitting for festivals. Do your homework and figure out what the actual strengths/benefits of each festival is in advance of submitting. Some will be good for PR and raising profile, others for getting in front of distributors and some just good to get in front of mass amounts of eyeballs. Don't forget, territory preferences can also play a part in how well your project might be received by specific festivals. Also, a word to the wise. Most truly impactful festivals are not about the screenings, they are about the events happening offscreen be that parties, fireside chats, Q&A's or promo events. Getting accepted into the festival itself is just the first step. Separating yourself from every other submission is about creating an experience beyond the screening that will stay with people.

Olya Kornienko

Thank you, Tanya!

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