Ted has started blogging a lot about film festivals – and tips for film festivals. So for my first blogs for Truly Free Film I will be blogging a number of additional tips as well. This is the first one.

Create a piece of striking key art. Easier said than done. This can be expensive (starting at $5,000 – $10,000 and up) – but it does not have to be. Chances are you have a few friends that are good at graphic design – ask them. If not – try a post on Craig’s List and/or Mandy.com. Since you are in a festival – you have the ability to say that their work will get a lot of exposure. Also you might consider outsourcing your graphic design. For Bomb It we had a Uruguayan group do some of our key art for Tribeca. Try to get the designer to give you a variety of comps to choose from.

Get the key art sized for a 4×6 postcard as well as at full film poster. Its way too expensive to offset your film poster now. But you can get single printouts from most digital printers for about $50-$60 each and you only need one or two.

For the postcard, have your key art on the front and have film, contact and screening information on the back. Printing postcards are very inexpensive now. You can get 4000 for $100 at NextDayFlyers.com (and 1000 postcards for less). For super low budget create one postcard with your general contact and film information on the back and leave room for putting stickers for your show times. BUT since postcards are so cheap now – I really recommend printing your screening time on the back of the postcard. It can take a bit of time to print and stick the stickers on the back of the postcards and you are very busy. A compromise is to print your first festival screenings on the back (esp since this is often your most important screening) and to use the rest for other fests putting the label over your first set of screenings.

Don’t forget business cards – I recommend putting your film title treatment on the front with your films website so that people remember why they have your card. Again these can be printed very inexpensively – 1000 for around $10-$20.

In a couple of weeks I will start putting downloadable PDF samples of Key Art on my this site.