Film Marketing – Can you make a feature film on an ultra-low budget? There will be critics out there telling you that you can’t make a film on a low budget! It’s impossible to do, and it will turn out horribly if you try!
Making a feature film on a low budget is not easy. Some moments during the film production may cause you to have a mental breakdown and throw everything you created into a huge bonfire and watch it burn.
But don’t let that stop you from chasing your dreams and completing a film project.
This is the final article in my series of the 7 steps to making a film on a low budget; I will discuss, in separate posts, steps that filmmakers should do to make a successful film regardless of the budget.
In this post, we will discuss Film Marketing. How Get Your Film Watched By An Audience.
If you have missed any of the steps to making a low budget film before reading this post, you can click one of the following posts below:
- Plan Of Attack | Step One – 7 Important Steps To Making A Low Budget Feature Film
- The Story | Step Two – 7 Important Steps To Making A Low Budget Feature Film
- Shooting Your Film | Step Three – 7 Important Steps To Making A Low Budget Feature Film
- Pre-Production | Step Four – 7 Important Steps to Making A Low Budget Film
- Production Days | Step Five – 7 Important Steps To Making A Low Budget Film
Film Marketing | Step Seven - 7 Important Steps to Making A Low Budget Film
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Marketing a film
Film Marketing is one of the stages of filmmaking that many low-budget filmmakers dislike doing. This stage is all about networking, marketing, and selling your film to get it in front of an audience.
That’s why we make films right, to share our artistic visions with the world? You bet and also try to recoup costs if possible.
Just remember that if you are in this stage of low-budget filmmaking, it means you have completed all of the stages of filmmaking up to this point.
Now its time to market your film and without a good marketing strategy, you’re going to hinder its potential. So, let’s look at some simple and easy ways to market your film on a small budget.
Remember at the beginning of this series I asked the question about what your goal is for your film when it was finished? Well now is the time to come up with a marketing strategy to accomplish that goal.
If you don’t know where to start, at least have a sense of where you want to go. You don’t have to have a roadmap already in place, but having a sense of where you want to go with your film, you will feel more confident in film marketing.
Others around you will begin to feel more confident in you if you seem to have a long-term objective. But how will you reach your audience? Keep reading to find out.
Create a Marketing Materials Packet
To market your film, you will need marketing materials. This means you’re going to need to have a solid brand for the film. From this, you will need to start building your materials based on that branding.
This can cover things like images and profile images for all of your social media platforms, a movie poster for your film, and the creative tone of your film for a website and Facebook page.
As Independent Cinema Office shows in this piece on marketing materials for a film, there are many small pieces of marketing material that you’ll need.
If you don’t have experience in creating marketing materials, reach out to local artists in your area to create materials for you. If you are on a budget, you can give Canva a try as they have many free and paid templates that can get you started.
Use the Internet and Social Media
The most straightforward way to build your audience is to use the internet and social media outlets, like a personal website and social media platforms.
Next, you want to capitalize on social media and its many platforms. For my short film “Married & Isolated“, I used Facebook as the primary starting point because when your set up IMDB for your film it’s easy for them to recognize that a film was made.
Once a Facebook and IMDB account is created for the film, it’s time to create a Twitter and Instagram account as secondary sites to keep the content flowing.
Related Article: 20+ BEST BLOGGING RESOURCES AND TOOLS
Create Press Releases
The next step in the film marketing process is to produce press releases. When you create a press release, it should include all of the most important information about your film in a compact sample size. You will need to talk about yourself as the director, and the past successes you have had with other films and other projects you’ve worked on.
Once you have completed your press release, you’ll want to communicate the press release to as many media outlets as possible. Look for Facebook groups that focus on subject matter that pertains to your story, and start promoting your film in these groups. This is an excellent way to generate word of mouth cheaply for your film marketing plan.
Make a Series of Trailers
When it comes to film marketing, you always want your audience to be engaged. A great way to do this is to make a series of teaser trailers that are very simple but give your audience a look into the visual world you created on film (video).
It can be as simple as just having some dialogue and a logo reveal. Or you could take the main character from your film and build a short trailer using footage that probably won’t make it into the film. Always be creative and continue to release trailers before your release date. Try to keep it to 3-4 trailers because you don’t want to overload your audience.
Then when you are getting close to the release date, post the final trailer on your social media platforms to get your audiences talking.
Related Articles: 10 Important Tips for Directing Actors – How To Direct Actors, How To Find Budget Friendly Filmmaking Equipment (on the Web)?, and 10+ Important Tips For First Time Filmmakers – Short Film Advice
When it comes to film marketing, film festivals will be part of the plan. Film festivals are a tricky thing to figure out. There are so many festivals popping up all over the place, and you as the filmmaker need to figure out which festivals are important to you.
To be selected for a film festival you will need to make sure you have a game plan in place before submitting your film.
In my article on How To Get Accepted Into Film Festivals, it breaks down how to improve your chances of getting selected into a festival. Have a look and bookmark it later for these tips.
But my biggest advice in submitting to film festivals is, find the ones that will either help you create great connections to other filmmakers, producers, and distributors.
While submitting to smaller film festivals will improve your chances of getting selected for a festival, but if just being selected and getting a laurel to put on your poster is your goal, that won’t help distribution.
Also, something to keep in mind is Festival submission fees can add up if you are not careful. Sure you made your film for close to zero budget, but the $100 submission fees to the festivals you are trying to get into can add up.
The main point of submitting to film festivals, in my opinion, is to find the right audience and networking partners, so go after the right ones that can do this.
You might not get in Cannes, but South by Southwest, Austin Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, and Tribeca Film Festival might accept you. These are the festivals you need to be at for the ability to find distributors and network with our filmmakers that might be able to help you with your career.
When it comes to the film scene today, getting your low-budget film noticed is harder than ever. Having a Film Marketing strategy and getting your film to be shown to an audience will be by far the greatest challenge of all. Just remember to not get down on yourself if you find yourself in a situation where your film isn’t seeing traction.
There are 1000s of filmmakers are in the same place. Just enjoy the test of getting your film seen with low expectations. This way you can appreciate any successes that come your way.
This concludes the series on the 7 steps to making a low-budget film. If you do decide to make a low-budget film, I want to wish you all the luck in the world! Please keep me updated on your progress in the comment section below, or contact us here.
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About the author: Trent (Imdb | Youtube) has spent 10+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. He writes about his experiences to help (and amuse) others. If he’s not working, he’s either traveling, reading or writing about travel/film, or planning travel/film projects.
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