The Film Agency offers a PMD (Producer of Marketing and Distribution) service adapted to producers who are in the shooting stage. It is a basic, strategic overview of the key film marketing materials to enable them to later prepare high quality standard campaigns after the film is shot. Here’s why you should be careful to pay special attention to marketing during the shooting stage:
Don’t lose sight of the whole: distance, distance, distance
Sometimes you’re so close to the project you can’t have a clear and distant point of view. You really do need a sufficiently detached look, to analyse your film from the outside and explore the possibilities with an objective perspective.
Be sure you put your feet in the right place: positioning and strategy
Maybe your film has lots of layers, it really doesn’t fit into one established genre, there are too many details, but you need positioning, you need to establish a clear marketing strategy for the film, with complete benchmarking, a SWOT analysis, positioning conclusions, target audience definition and a communication and distribution plan.
The sooner, the better: timing is success
Content coherence is 90% of independent cinema marketing campaign success and it needs to be defined from the beginning. It’s difficult to define your audience until you know what you are selling, so make things easier.
Do you really know who your target is?
You don’t speak to your elderly neighbour and your teenage mutant ninja nephew in the same way, do you? Identify your target and find the best way to approach them. Bridges between producers and audiences need to be built in the first stage.
Be sure you speak their language
Find the best channels and ways to approach your audience; be sure the message is directly built for them and make it as efficient and as targeted as possible.
Image is queen!
Producers need to connect with audiences, and audiences simply love images. There can be no strong PR, festival or social media presence without strong images. The best way to start Internet buzz is through an excellent visual campaign, sometimes as early as the shooting, crowd-funding or postproduction stages.
A trailer and a poster are just the basics
As basic as it may seem, many films don’t attract enough attention because of the lack of quality and strategic coherence of photography and videos. This is often regretted during postproduction when producers, sales agents and distributors realize that the images are not strong… Other marketing problems kick in from there…
More often than not, the screen-grabs from the film have neither the adequate resolution nor the quality necessary to create posters or other graphic design tools. The film crew and production team are too busy during the shoot to think about promotion tools. The launch seems so far, but it is not… Unfortunately time is non-reversible. Scheduling a photo-shoot in postproduction is often impossible (availability of key cast, change in looks of the main cast etc.), costly and time-consuming. Be sure you produce your materials on time.
It is crucial to elaborate a full PMD (Producer of Marketing and Distribution) checklist of the main materials that are needed, along with a budget and a calendar for the accomplishment of this task. Since shooting is by definition hectic, if there is no overview of the checklist, duly carried out by a marketing professional, deadlines will not be met; systematically so.
Find a professional:
Without deep knowledge of the industry it’s easy to ‘fall between two chairs’. Long experience in sales, distribution and marketing at an international level is key; it helps in spotting potential positioning issues and finding strategic solutions to make your film stand out and find its audience.
* Check the full set of case studies related to this article