In today’s changing Indie distribution markets, we must engage with strong marketing strategies from a project’s inception. Find your audience. Get to know them. Understand their needs and how they will gain access to your art!
Check out this great article from IndieFlix!
Finding What Works in Film Marketing & Distribution
Submitted by lauren on Thursday, 15 October 2009
Filmmaker Jon Reiss has spent a lot of time working the indie film market and has accepted, if not embraced, the marriage of filmmaking and marketing. He has written a much-anticipated book on the subject, called “Think Outside The Box (Office): The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing in the Digital Era,” which chronicles the lessons he learned while promoting his film “Bomb It,” a documentary about graffiti on five continents. The book is, he describes, a “360 page nuts and bolts guide to distribution and marketing for filmmakers,” which basically goes over all the things filmmakers have to think about when all the hard work of creating their art is over.
He deals with these subjects at length on his blog. His latest post answers a lot of questions about the state of distribution and marketing indie films and the steps filmmakers must take to make sure their work gets noticed in today’s economically challenging, online world.
You can read the whole thing here.
Not only does he advise working with distribution companies like IndieFlix that offer competitive profit splits, but he describes in detail a film’s “path to release.” It’s exciting that Reiss points out that blanket, untargeted marketing and simple “check this out” messaging simply doesn’t work for anything but multi-million dollar pictures.
Being able to find those niche groups and tailor your promotional messaging to them is an essential tool for indie filmmakers. Plus, audiences get genuinely excited about films they’re interested in watching because it relates to their own interests. In turn, those people are more likely to talk about it to friends who might enjoy it as well.
Marketing, Reiss says, “isn’t a dirty word – it is the way that filmmakers will connect with their audience.” I like that statement a lot – it’s something we try to emphasize to IndieFlix filmmakers on a daily basis. Marketing your film doesn’t make you a salesman or a shameless self-promoter… it’s the avenue you take to reach the people who probably don’t know about your film but would be very interested in it once they do.
Filmmakers have to include marketing in their filmmaking timelines. Reiss advises to start thinking about it “at inception… or at least in production.” It’s disappointing to work so hard, only to sign it all away and watch it drift into oblivion or collect dust on a library shelf. Taking control of the process, going in with a game plan and remembering who your audience is are all essential pieces to a successful launch. Trying to promote an indie film through the old-school studio distribution model is like trying to fit a circle piece into a square hole. Recognizing and accepting that fact is the first step to making a successful film and proactively taking control of your art.
The market is changing and evolving, so it’s important to stay flexible and experiment a little with marketing and distribution. I can’t wait to pick up Reiss’ book, because we’re all learning and are in this boat together.