We hear you, indie filmmakers, we know how much work you put into your film. We also know how much money you spent in order to bring it to fruition. So you finished the entire thing, you try your luck on a festival and the last thing that you think you might do is, well, pray. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
You need to market your film as well. You have to get it talked about, seen, you need to bring it out there and nudge the producers, break through mainstream barriers, et cetera. We know you know how grave this is, but if you don’t know where or how to start, here are a few tips on how to promote your indie film:
DON’T BE A SLOTH
First off, DON’T BE LAZY. There are a lot of film makers who, when they finish their films, just bask in the glory of….having finished a film. And maybe, finally calling themselves “filmmakers”. They are too blind to see that films just die that way. You have to realize that with the vast influx of media (brought about by TV, newspapers, internet) people have limited time for everything. Especially your film. So you have to realize that if you don’t work hard, your film will not promote itself. It all starts in the mindset and your will to do it.
You’re an artist. The first way to seduce your would-be audience is through art. Think of a slogan that jumps out of a page. Make the best movie poster ever. Pour blood, sweat and tears in creating your trailer. Once you get these ready, your film promotion will be an easier walk in the park. You can go from traditional (posters) to ultra-modern (IOS application ads) with the same set of collaterals.
Friends and Family First
Also, we know that since indie filmmaking may only have pockets of appreciation due to its unique (or obscure) language or style, start seeding influence in the indie world. Ask your friends or family members to watch your film and request that they make reviews about it. It could be good or bad but the best ones are the intriguing ones. Or simply ask them to support you by mentioning it. Ask them to say something about it in their blogs or their social media profiles. Surely that wouldn’t be a lot. Even a Tweet can ignite interest.
Speaking of social media, it’s really a big help in promoting your indie film. This time, people spend more time in the internet and they do a lot of work online. Try stealing a little of their time by making yourself easily reachable online. You can an online page for your film, post teasers on your Facebook profile (you can even tag your crew here), Tweet, Instagram film-related events, et cetera. With the easy-share features of the latest social media platforms, you might be surprised how viral your film can go in such a short period of time. Social media is, by far, the best influence multiplier right now.
Talk to Your Crew
Even if you’re the all-in-one director/cinematographer/scriptwriter/editor of your film, surely you didn’t finish your film by yourself. Talk to your crew and brainstorm on other ways to market your film. Thank them, remind them that they have been vital in its production and together, make marketing it a group goal. The more people you get on board, the more your efforts will be multiplied. Make sure you can at least inject 30% of the entire marketing responsibility to them.
Face the Big Dogs
Next up, approach the “professional” arena. Join forums and create a buzz around your film. You can simply ask advice about your treatment, ask for alternative input or anything. Attend film conventions. Sign up for associations. This way, the more seasoned ones can also help you with your craft and you’ve got a community that supports you. On the other hand, you might even gain a following from newer filmmakers or students who, surprisingly, appreciate your work.
Remember, not all stories are gems. So the first job, really, is to create a good story and make a good movie out of it. But since we’re past that stage now, the best thing that you can do is to make a bigger name out of yourself in the industry and apply stellar PR. Good luck!
By the way, we’re holding our breaths for the 8th Mindanao Film Festival. To check out entries and event updates, click THIS LINK to like their official Facebook page. Thanks and see you at the screenings! 🙂