Finally, your film is ready for the masses. But what platform will it be on?
Who will distribute it? Who is your target audience?
Electronic press kit
Combining set photos, cast biographies, crew information, and synopsis
This is the part where you can introduce and sell your film, using a choice amount of words. This can be a full page 250 word effort, a shorter 100 word approach, an even shorter 30 word short story summary and a one liner that will get people to notice.
ELECTRONIC PRESS KIT (EPK)
This is a set of videos and photos, duplicated and sent to relevant people.
By hiring a documentary filmmaker to capture the filmmaking process, with interviews from crew and cast, you can use this footage to create a press kit.
EPKs are free content which broadcasters can use.
Create a folder. Print with embossed font for professionalism. Get about 100 copies.
Write a synopsis (Short, medium and long).
Write cast and crew biographies.
Create 10 facts that you imagine journalists asking you, then give 5 line answers, then refer to these in interviews to tie it all in.
Use publicity skills. Hire a photographer to capture the cast in action (holding action shots when the camera is not rolling can stop the shutter sound interrupting the filming.
Get photos of the crew and equipment.
Invite celebrities to the film set and photograph them.
Include endorsements and reviews.
Film interviews in front of a plain background with a poster of the film, so that broadcasters can reuse this with their own backgrounds.
Make sure you have NSTC and PAL copies to distribute, add the trailer to these also.
Electronic Press Kit idea
Film Distribution is a competitive and complicated process. Many films hire distributors to get their hard work shown as far and wide as it can be. They have more access to people in the business and know how to sell your film to make the most profit.
LaunchingFilms.com have a useful website explaining with links about the competitive world of Film distribution:
More advice here from the Independent Cinema Office:
The BFI (British Film Institute) have created a pdf you can download here:
Filmmaker and Distributor Amir Bazrafshan speaks on his friend Chris Jones' blog about how to distribute your film, mentioning the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) on age ratings, how you need to package your product and negotiation:
The Window System is where a film will end up being released. This is tested then trialed on a wide release for a few months.
Released to cinemas
Direct to DVD/Bluray/VHS/retail
To streaming companies/direct download
Rental/pay per view
Satellite/free to view
The Distribution rights can be sold for worldwide distribution if it is seen as profitable. The distributor and production company share profits and manage losses between them.
Film is duplicated onto film or hard disk drives and distributed to cinemas for screenings. You will need to make a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) of your film, which is a long process but one that is vital to getting your film shown in cinemas and distributed. Free software like DCP-O-Matic are great to use:
A DCP package is something that cinemas use to play a film, containing video and audio files and data streams. IndieFilmHustle explain what building a DCP entails here:
Press kits, posters, advertising materials should be created throughout the filmmaking process and published.
The film should have a website and a domain name in place from the pre-production stage, where updates can be published and hype created. Same for social media presence.
B Roll (for a 'making of' documentary) may be press released (with on set interviews, making of clips) to entice reviewers and press parties.
A teaser trailer can be created from footage in a rough cut that is yet to be edited for the final film
There could be a release to a launch party, red carpet premiere and press preview screenings. Interviews with the director and cast and crew help to create a buzz around the films release. These can be online, in print or on TV.
Film festivals - these cost money to enter, so tailor them to your film genre. They can be local, regional, national and international. Do some research into the ones that appeal best to your film, and factor in cost to travel to a few above the line with cast and crew.
Here are some great website resources to mention:
This weeks latest releases
Interview with Leeds Beckett Fabian Wagner on creative choices during his time as DoP on Game of Thrones:
MARKETING AND PROMOTION
It is vital you collect photographs and videos whilst making your film. This can all be used to market your film and create hype while it is still in the production stages.
Use social media to leave teasers and advertise your film
Create a website with a landing page
Create a great movie poster. Empire have a top 50 list here:
Adobe Spark also have a guide to making free movie posters here:
Classification means you can tailor your film to the right audience
Advertise your cast and director and producer
Include star reviews from critics and journalist quotes
Think about trailer music and pace
Release the soundtrack of your film along with the film itself (like for example Guardians of the Galaxy), being aware of copyright
'leaked' images build up an interest
The Joker created a scavenger hunt 15 months before its release, creating a huge buzz about the film in an interactive way as explained by Gary Rosen: https://cargocollective.com/GaryRosen/The-Dark-Knight-Known-as-the-best-viral-movie-marketing-campaign-in
Social competitions and quizzes
Think about how you found out about a film, and work on a promotional strategy that would make you see your film as a film fan.
To understand films and to help cater your filmmaking if you are more interested in making films for the audience and less for yourself, it is good to learn about film data.
For data on how films have evolved over the last century, Greg Miller for Wired.com has looked at motion increases, shot time decreases and lighting patterns:
BoxOfficeQuant have a whole host of data on film genders, the value of an Oscar, film seasons and set locations to name a few:
BoxOfficeMojo.com have daily box office figures for worldwide releases:
Contently.com focus more on sequels and their worth in graph form:
Stephen Follows looks into how much the average movie takes to make:
FilmResearch.org are a great resource of film data
© Danielle Millea 2019