What is Your Filmmaking Niche?

In movie marketing, there is this phrase I really like: “Marketing to everybody is marketing to nobody and niches will make you riches.” And while not every movie is guaranteed success, it is much easier to find your audience when you choose a filmmaking niche.

What is a filmmaking niche? It’s making a movie for a small slice of a larger audience. For example, let’s say you were making a horror movie. Horror is a very broad genre. But a subset of the horror genre is zombie movies. So in this example, making a zombie movie for a zombie loving audience would be your filmmaking niche.

So this is where you start. Will you make a horror movie, romantic comedy, action movie or a girl with a horse movie? (By the way, a girl with a horse movie really does well internationally.)

filmmaking niche

Photo © auremar / Dollar Photo Club

What is Your Filmmaking Niche?

Knowing your filmmaking niche is important because in order to make non-discriminatory distribution channels, such as iTunes and Amazon profitable – It is required that YOU market your movie on the internet. This means that you must work on sourcing your target audience and then drive those folks to your point of sale.

Having spent the last few years working in distribution, I can tell you that most filmmakers screw this up. They make a movie for everybody. And it is frankly too expensive to market to everybody! So before you even think about making your movie, answer these filmmaking questions:

  1. Who Is Your Target Audience?
  2. How Large Is Your Target Audience?
  3. How Will You Reach Your Audience?
  4. What Is Your Marketing Strategy?
  5. How Many VOD Sales To Break Even?

Since both iTunes and Amazon are internet, transactional marketplaces, it makes sense that most of your sales will come via the internet. And as a result, you must create a web presence that speaks to your audience. In other words, you need to make sure the right people know your movie exists.

Who are the right people? People who love your type of movie.

Your Movie Website

When it comes to designing a movie website, most filmmakers never think about their filmmaking niche. They know they need a website for their movies. The problem is, most filmmakers put way too much crap on their site. And none of it speaks to their audience.

Goals

It’s essential to have goals for your movie website. When people come to your website, what action do you want your visitors to take? Do you want them to Tweet about the site? Join you on Facebook? Get into your audience list? Or buy your movie?

Distractions

Once you know your website goals, you need to determine if your website architecture and design is inline with your goals. To do this, install Google Analytics and monitor your traffic. If you find people are getting lost in a bunch of silly pages, remove those pages. Keep what matters.

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If you like these tips, you’ll love the Independent Producer’s Guide To Digitial Distribution

Making a Movie

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Image via Wikipedia

The other night, I did a film school talk at the UCLA film school about how to make, market and sell your movie without the middle-man.

And while most of the UCLA film students in attendance agreed that my way of making a movie may not be fully inline with the studio ideal – many of these filmmakers agreed that getting a movie made is better than merely just talking about making a movie.

Thanks to familiarity with YouTube as well as access to affordable production equipment, many film school students, as well as modern filmmakers are embracing accessible, non-discriminatory distribution channels without hesitation or excuses.

And this experience is changing the ways in which filmmakers think about making a movie.

While it’s still true that making a movie can be a pain in the butt, the barriers of industry entry are down.

As a result, filmmakers are now empowered to go out and make their movie. And just in case you are not attending film school, I’ll share the BIG question you need to ask yourself as a filmmaker:

“Given the resources that you have now, what is the movie that you can make this year?”

Check out these filmmaking tools.

 

Filmmaking For Multiple Streams Of Movie Income

The world of filmmaking is changing. Cheaply produced movies, coupled with nondiscriminatory distribution channels has resulted in oversupply and under-demand. This paradigm shift raises some questions:

  1. Can independent filmmakers still make a living?
  2. Can your indie film budget cover production, and pay freelancers?
  3. How many VOD sales will it take to justify the budget?
  4. How will you get these sales?
  5. And if the numbers don’t work, then what?

In the following filmmaking podcast, I share some thoughts on how we might actually make independent filmmaking profitable again. Specifically, I compare the filmmaking production process to any small business. And I share my thoughts on VOD (video on demand) distribution – and how this sales channel finally gives every filmmaker the opportunity to create multiple streams of movie income.

[UPDATE: So far, the feedback for this podcast has been positive. What I present to you is not 100% refined. For that, it will take all filmmakers contributing ideas. So after listening to the podcast, if you have ideas on how we can push the “multiple streams of movie income” forward, feel free to share your comments.]

If you liked this filmmaking podcast, please share this with your friends.