Congratulations! You have completed your film. Pat yourself on the back, but don’t get too comfortable because your main goal, to get your film in front of an audience, has yet to be completed. Regardless of if your project is short or long form, the main goal now is to get that film out there to the public.
Relying on Others to Help with Marketing Your Film
You may ask yourself, “How do I do that?” It's a valid question and the simplest answer is, it will take time, patience, and research. Now, you might be thinking to yourself, I don’t handle the business or marketing part of it, I’ll let someone else take that over. Two things you might want to consider: You definitely want to find a person who has true expertise in the field of marketing specifically using social media. This person may prove quite difficult to find. There’s an old saying I was taught growing up and maybe you've heard this to: Sometimes you just can't rely on people to do your dirty work for you. Sometimes, you must to do it yourself. Some people may not think so, but in this case, I certainly believe that’s true.
Hard to Find Help After Post-Production
I know what you're thinking. But the film business is about collaboration and aren't I supposed to rely on other people? Yes, it's true, filmmaking is a collaboration and during the production process you will definitely need others to help. However, once your film project has completed post-production, it gets much harder to retain committed helpers.
Don't Underestimate the Workload
Whenever, I’m in a social setting with artist; actor, directors, producers, etc, they like to talk a lot about their film they just finished and when I ask them where I can see their film, most of them usually say they plan to show it at film festivals around the country. However, marketing at film festivals can be a huge task. Who will take on that workload?
What Can You Do to Market Yourself
Let’s talk a little bit about what you can do yourself. If you’re an independent filmmaker outside of the studio system, Film marketing generally takes a lot of time and money. Most studios have entire marketing departments that handle marketing and promoting their films. However, you're more likely a local filmmaker in Austin or a another non-Hollywood city. Perhaps, you don’t have a lot of funds for marketing either. What can you do? Should you advertise? Print ads? Billboards? Newspapers? Magazines? But traditional advertising can be quite expensive. However, if you think more strategically, you can find lots of alternative methods for advertisements on the cheap.
Consider Social Media for Low Budget Films
We are in the age of social media. Every major corporation and every small business uses it to drive revenue. It can be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. It is in our face every time, the general public turns on a computer. You can also use this tool to help get your film out there. You might be reading this and say to yourself “Well, that’s common sense.” I’m talking about how to save money and truly using this to your advantage. Before you do anything, you really have to know what type of film you have. Any type of genre fits; Drama, Thriller/Horror, Comedy, there are companies and distributors that are looking for all types of films. My point is you have to really know the film you just made. You want some advice? Once, you have the final cut done (not the rough cut), but final cut, sit in a room by yourself and watch it. Nobody can be with you, just watch it by yourself. You probably need to do this several times and just get a feel for it. Ask yourself, what kind of movie do I have here? How can I market it and get it out there?
Digital Marketing Is an Affordable Film Marketing Alternative
Digital marketing is an effective tool. You made a Facebook page for your film for cheap. There’s also Twitter, Instagram, and tons of other social media sites, but just let’s stick to Facebook right now. The poster is up in all its gloriousness and you have behind the scenes stills. Very good, but you also need to add the cast and crew to draw people’s attention. So, invite all your friends and their friends and try to get some word of mouth promotion going for it. You’re taking baby steps, which is good. However, putting together a Facebook page for your movie does not guarantee your film will be accepted to any film festivals on the circuit. But this does help get the word out about your project.
Submitting to Film Festivals
This is where it get’s tricky. In order to submit to a film festival, it will take money and time. There are websites that help you out with this. Without A Box, is the most common one that people know about, but it takes a lot of time to set up a marketing page for your film because they ask you every technical question known to man. Film Freeway is another good one and it just ask you basic and simple question about your movie. Manage your marketing budget and who you plan to send your film too, if you go to every film festival, than you’ll run out of money. Strategic thinking is the key.
You Have Control
It’s all up to you and what you do with it. All the cards are in your hands, it really just depends on what you do with them. You will certainly make mistakes down the right and maybe all the festivals you submit to don't accept your film. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. All you have to do is move forward and something awesome will happen eventually.