Design A Logo For Your Filmmaking Business

The easiest way to recognize and distinguish a brand is by its logo. In the film industry production lo

gos are usually seen at the beginning of films, on posters, websites and other materials that market the movie. Some of logos have become very famous over the years and they still have the potential to attract the audience.

Have you ever wondered how to design a logo for your filmmaking business?

The best way to start the logo design process is to write down some words describing your independent production company or your films. Try to think of what your brand should represent and decide what impression you want the logo to impart to the audience. For example, if you are making comedies or funny shorts, you can try to communicate a friendly or ironic message to your target audience – if you’re more focused on horror movies or action movies, choose a dark or intense atmosphere.

If you need help, you can organize a brain storming with your friends and compare their ideas. At the end you need to build a single, clear message about your brand.

Knowing other famous logos can also give you a great insight into what makes a good design. Be careful with taking example from old logos which are very sophisticated and full of details! They are still used because of their historical meaning.

Examples of famous film logos

When it comes to executing a logo, choosing the right graphic elements is the most important thing. Logo will express your brand identity through shapes, fonts, colors, and/or images.

Utilize Pictures In Your Logo

If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then using a graphical element (icon, sign) in your logo should help to build your brand awareness. But remember, there is a huge difference between an effective logo and an illustration!

A picture, while impressive, is full of details and colors which used as a logo, may make it completely unreadable and inflexible! You should choose something very simple that will symbolize your brand’s personality and will represent the business.

Pick Your Fonts

Maybe more important than the picture in your logo, is the font. The typography you use should reflect your company’s characteristics and the brand identity. Finding the perfect font for your design is all about matching its style to the message you want to communicate to your audience.

You then need to find the right balance between the typography and other elements of the logo. Without harmony and cohesion the whole message of the brand will misfire!

Choosing Colors

Choosing a color should be the last decision. Remember that your logo sometimes can be displayed in only one color, so you should check whether this would affect its identity. Remember that if you use colors to distinguish certain elements, your logo may be completely unreadable in greyscale!

Keep in mind that it is good to choose one or two colors for the logo because it facilitates recognition of the brand. It really matters which color you choose because colors have meaning!

Movie production logo examples

At the end, make sure that the graphic elements you’ve chosen look good as one cohesive visual identity. And remember to include your logo in all promotional materials of your company.

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Ela Gancarz is an art director and designer who specializes in branding, entertainment advertising, commercials and web strategies across a variety of media including film, photography and installation art. Find out more about Ela’s services by visiting www.DeLightFilm.com

 

New Hampshire Film Festival

Over the past decade everything in the world of filmmaking has changed. Technology has improved. Distribution has evolved. And filmmakers have taken on the task of distributing their own movies.

If you’ve been reading filmmaking stuff for any length of time, you know how much I obsess over distribution. Why? Because it is essential to your movie business. Without distribution, it is difficult to get financing. So as you plan your next project, if you do not create a marketing, sales and distribution plan, you do not have a filmmaking business – You have a hobby.

On Saturday, October 15th you can find me at the New Hampshire Film Festival. I will be sharing the stage with a group of industry executives and distribution gurus – talking about the current state of movie marketing and distribution and what YOU need to do to get your movie seen and selling.

Film Distribution Topics Covered

  • Distribution Tools for filmmakers
  • How to get your movie into the popular marketplaces
  • SEO for filmmakers
  • How to optimize your movie website for maximum sales
  • Email marketing for filmmakers
  • Leveraging social networks (Twitter and FaceBook) to promote movies
  • And more…

In the event you cannot attend the New Hampshire Film festival, I suggest you grab a copy of the Indie Producer’s Guide to Digital Self-Distribution. The step-by-step system contains nearly a decade of movie marketing and distribution tactics so YOU can get your movie seen and selling ASAP.

The Indie Producer’s Guide To Distribution

This guide provides a step-by-step resource for getting your finished feature seen and sold. This site contains resources on how to leverage the ever changing world of digital distribution and internet marketing.


Happy Filmmaking!

Modern Filmmaking Business Plan

Figure1. Cognitive channel preferences of targ...

Image via Wikipedia

Most filmmaking business plans are stupid. Why? Because most filmmakers have no idea how to project a possible return on investment.

Don’t feel bad. It’s not your fault.

Until five years ago, distribution was discriminatory, abusive and monopolistic. As a result, the old business model for indie filmmaking relied heavily on some 3rd party, middle-man distribution strategy. “If we are really lucky we will get into Sundance and get rich.”

These days, relying on a 3rd party middleman to buy your movie is like waiting for the Tooth Fairy. It’s a nice thought, but it’s not solid business. Instead, I recommend you answer these questions before you go into any production:

  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?

After you answer these questions, then make sure you incorporate your marketing costs into your initial budget.

You might ask: “What if I just want to make movies and sell my movie?”
My response: “1995 called and they want their dumb distribution plan back.”

Like it or not, the world of filmmaking has changed.

If you hate asking permission to become successful in your own moviemaking business, then make sure you sign up for the filmmaking stuff newsletter.

5 Awesome Filmmaking Websites

After exploring all the wonderful filmmaking information here at Filmmaking Stuff, you may benefit from putting some other blogs on your reading list. So to that end, I’d like to point out a few of my filmmaking favorites:

Jon Reiss’ Website
Jon Reiss wrote the famed book Think Outside The Box Office. Like most feature filmmakers, Jon realized that the world of independent film is evolving. I recommend both his book and his blog. Make sure you pay special attention the NEW role of PMD. Jon believes (as do I) that a producer of marketing and distribution is now essential for all modern productions.

Peter Marshall’s Action Cut Print
Peter has been in the industry for a long, long time. His site Action-Cut-Print is updated frequently and it’s full of useful filmmaking tips. Peter is very willing to help filmmakers improve their filmmaking business.

Jurgen Wolff’s Screenwriting Success Site
If you’re looking for advice on screenwriting, I can’t think of a more robust resource than Jurgen’s site. But more importantly, Jurgen is very kind and really wants you to write the best projects you can.

Sheri Candler’s Marketing Site
Sheri is a marketing guru. Her business is totally focused on helping modern moviemakers create an engaged and robust online community for their work that can be used to monetize effectively. So if you have a movie and you are looking for marketing tips, I recommend her site.

Ted Hope’s Truly Free Film Site
Ted Hope is a very well known indie producer. And I think his filmmaking blog provokes a ton of discussion between other filmmakers. Once you get into the conversation, making comments becomes addicting.

Hopefully these resources help you increase your modern moviemaking knowledge. And if you’re new to filmmaking stuff, make sure you instantly download your modern moviemaker tool kit.

Thanks for reading.

Filmmaker David Allen Talks Modern Moviemaking and VOD Distribution

As we get closer to an independent filmmaking business driven by video on demand distribution, I am on the hunt for various case studies that can help filmmakers navigate the changing world.

I caught wind of an indie production company based in Australia called Rapidfire Productions. This is a production company that operates as a self sustaining modern moviemaking business. They develop, produce and distribute their genre specific titles through their own distribution arm. David W. Allen is one of the producers. Earlier this week he stopped by Filmmaking Stuff to share some ideas on how to make, market and sell movies through new forms of internet distribution.

Jason Brubaker
What is your name?

David W. Allen
David W. Allen

Jason Brubaker
How did you get started making movies?

David W. Allen
I have always been into making movies with my long time best friend and director of our most recent feature, “The Gates of Hell,” Kelly Dolen. As kids in our early teens we would always be running around with a video camera making home movies and writing our own horror and action screenplays.

Jason Brubaker
And then when you felt ready, you made the shift to features?

David W. Allen
Yes. Our first feature length film was a low low budget vampire flick called ‘Reign in Darkness’ which we both wrote and directed. We only had $49k to make this with and considering the budget it came out okay.

Jason Brubaker
Sounds like an exciting first feature.

David W. Allen
We jumped on a plane to LA wide eyed and innocent to sell our film and make it big in Hollywood.

Jason Brubaker
I felt the same way after our first feature. It’s like you work so hard to make the impossible, possible. Hollywood sure seems like the logical next step.

David W. Allen
Ahhhh how naive we were all those years ago. [Laughter]

Jason Brubaker
So what happened? Were you able to sell the movie for an amazing cash advance and get a 3 picture deal?

David W. Allen
We ended up getting a distribution deal with a sales agent who we were introduced to by an entertainment lawyer.

Jason Brubaker
Was it a good deal?

David W. Allen
No. We got ripped off and didn’t see a great deal of money for the film. That was 10 years ago. Today the title is still selling out there, online. The movie is making money for other people but not us.

Jason Brubaker
How did that change your perspective about traditional distribution?

David W. Allen
I learned a very valuable lesson with ‘Reign’ and vowed if we ever made another feature film we would distribute ourselves.

Jason Brubaker
I agree with you. Especially when it comes to video on demand distribution.

David W. Allen
I could see where the Internet was heading and knew it was going to be the way to reach our future audiences with our Independent films.

Jason Brubaker
What is Rapidfire Productions?

David W. Allen
Rapidifire Productions was established by Kelly Dolen and myself in 1999 with the sole purposed to produce a diverse, wide range of Independent high concept genre films, ranging from action, drama, horror and sci-fi.

Jason Brubaker
So you are staying very genre specific?

David W. Allen
Our long-term goal was to make commercially successful projects that satisfy a marketplace craving for intelligent genre films and build a distribution arm for low budget Indy films.

Jason Brubaker
And it sounds like your title called “The Gates Of Hell” fits your model. Tell us about the project.

David W. Allen
The Gates of Hell is a dark psychological thriller and horror flick which is inspired by a combination of “old school” films like The Exorcist and The Thing and the adrenalin of cutting edge video games like Gears of War and Manhunt.

Jason Brubaker
Could you tell our readers where to find out more about your movie?

David W. Allen
Here is the website: www.TheGatesOfHellMovie.com

Jason Brubaker
How did you come up with the idea?

David W. Allen
It was back when Kelly and I were sharing a place together and we were talking about what we can make next for a low cost and high commercial value. We were talking about a filmmaking seminar we attended in Melbourne, Australia conducted by Dov Simmens, a Hollywood indy filmmaking guru.

Jason Brubaker
I am familiar with Dov and his work. What was the most inspiring advice he gave you?

David W. Allen
He said the best thing to do with your first film is to get a bunch of young people and take them to a single location and chop them up.

Jason Brubaker
Ha! I think that is sound filmmaking business advice.

David W. Allen
That was the thought process that ignited the idea for The Gates of Hell.

Jason Brubaker
So once you had your idea, what came next?

David W. Allen
Kelly and I started brainstorming ideas and we come up with an old condemned orphanage that used to house discarded deformed children that upper class people didn’t want.

Jason Brubaker
That sounds like a true horror movie.

David W. Allen
We researched this online to see if in fact a place like this did exist and they did back in the early 1940’s. And then we added some Hollywood to the idea and the first treatment was written.

Jason Brubaker
So once you had the treatment, what came next in your process?

David W. Allen
From there Kelly ran with the idea and developed it into a screenplay which was constantly developed over some years to get it to a stage where it was ready to make. We had a local artist drawing characters for the film and story boards you name it was all happening.

Jason Brubaker
What was your role during this time?

David W. Allen
I focused on the producing and marketing. I was responsible for developing an internet marketing strategy, building the website and creating the entire online distribution business model. I planned an online release from the very beginning.

Jason Brubaker
Building your movie business plan based on an internet marketing strategy is a very new concept. Was there any pushback from other producers or investors?

David W. Allen
The Investors had no intention of going down this path. They wanted the big blue sky and Hollywood. But I knew in the end they would end up going with my plan to self-distribute.

Jason Brubaker
What was Kelly’s role?

David W. Allen
Kelly went out and raised the large majority of the money from investors of our previous film and the new investors came from people he knew from his years selling home audio equipment at the large retailer JB HI-FI. The main investors were customers of Kelly’s from this store and over the years they come to value him as a friend more than just a shop assistant.

Jason Brubaker
So would you say that filmmakers must first understand the value of relationships?

David W. Allen
There is such a valuable lesson to be learned here especially with the social networking explosion on the Internet… Success is all about the relationships both online and offline.

Jason Brubaker
That makes me remember a quote I learned while selling overpriced hot tubs in college. “People buy from people they trust and like.”

David W. Allen
In my opinion this is the key to being successful in offline and online business and film distribution. Over time your followers will come to trust you and believe you, so when you have something to sell they will be far more likely to buy because they feel like they know and trust you.

Jason Brubaker
So let’s talk more about your movie sales strategy. How did you handle the sales, marketing and distribution?

David W. Allen
After the film was completed we took the film to a number of film festivals such as Screamfest, Amberg, Sacramento, and NYC. We also attended some film markets such as AFM and Cannes.

Jason Brubaker
Were you able to gain any traction?

David W. Allen
The film had great reviews but with all the positive hype around the the film the distribution deals were not very favorable and we didn’t want to go down the same path as we did with our first film ‘Reign in Darkness’ where were got a raw distribution deal.

Jason Brubaker
That is a tough choice. Many first time feature filmmakers will consider deals that do not pay a dime, just for the validation that comes from someone else saying “Great work! You’re a REAL filmmaker!”

David W. Allen
Yeah. But being passionate about everything Internet, I was pushing the proposal of just self-distributing online. But it was a hard sell to our investors who wanted to see the film in cinemas and up in lights.

Jason Brubaker
That is interesting. I guess some of those folks need traditional validation too?

David W. Allen
Well, all I wanted was to see a positive net return for sales of the film and focus on introducing the film to its market online and letting its popularity spread over time.

Jason Brubaker
Sounds like a pragmatic approach to your modern movie business. Were you able to get your way?

David W. Allen
I managed to get my way in the end with a little compromise. The investors wanted to see the movie in the cinemas so we did a distribution deal with an Australian distributor for Australian and New Zealand rights.

Jason Brubaker
Sounds like a hybrid deal. You retain some rights, while licensing other rights through other channels. Was this a profitable strategy for your movie?

David W. Allen
As I am writing this, the distributor is still yet to do anything with ‘The Gates of Hell’, which is no surprise to me, but a big lesson for the investors who wanted a quick return and blue sky.

Jason Brubaker
At least you can move forward with your own internet movie marketing strategy. Can you tell us a little more about your marketing plan?

David W. Allen
My marketing plan is simple. With very little money, I am taking the advice of a brilliant marketer Seth Godin and build a tribe and sell the movie to that tribe who over time will spread the word.

Jason Brubaker
What are the mechanics involved in building a tribe?

David W. Allen
I will be collecting emails from prospective customers so we can sell them backend products that they actually want.

Jason Brubaker
What about marketplaces? Where will you actually sell your movie?

David W. Allen
My distribution plan is to start off with selling the DVD then when I get some traction in the market I will approach a VOD distributor and then an iTunes aggregator and Amazon. I will also look at Netflix but I will wait until it gets more popularity so to get a better upfront fee.

Jason Brubaker
You mentioned DVD. Who is going to handle your DVD fulfillment?

David W. Allen
For the DVD distribution I use a company called Disk.com. They were highly recommended to me by some of my Internet marketing peers who use them to create and distribute their information products. They are based in the USA and is a great place for the shipping of the DVDs within the US and throughout Europe and the UK. There are some great companies here in Australia but the shipping costs would be way too high given our main market is in the USA and UK.

Jason Brubaker
Outside of distribution and your website, how are you spreading word of mouth?

David W. Allen
Facebook Pages and Twitter play a bit part in my strategy. I use these platforms to build what is called Market Leadership. I also hit the forums and get involved in the top ones and this is a great way to get people to check out the film.

Jason Brubaker
What about getting prominent website owners to review the movie?

David W. Allen
I am sending out copies to influences in the market place, people who already have a large following in the horror market and if they like the film they will tell their tribe about it.

Jason Brubaker
When I first saw your movie website, I was impressed. I think it has all the components necessary to create a movie sales funnel. But you also have something called an opt-in box to build your mailing list. How important is a mailing list for modern moviemakers?

David W. Allen
Very important! It is such a valuable asset for filmmaker if they don’t abuse it. It takes so long to build traffic to your website so you want to be capturing as many leads as possible so you can stay in touch with them, send them cool free stuff and then sell them backend products related to their film.

Jason Brubaker
Yes. I think filmmakers need to take charge of sourcing their own core audience. But what about in-between projects? How do you leverage your list?

David W. Allen
Between projects, the other thing filmmakers can do is introduce other people’s related products to their list for a fee or on an affiliate basis. Over time your mailing list will become very valuable. The bigger and more responsive the list, the more other industry players will want to pay filmmakers money to get related products or films in front of their subscribers.

Jason Brubaker
What suggestions do you have for other filmmakers who want to create their own movie business?

David W. Allen
Look at the market you’re making the film for first. This is a business and if you are going to spend money on making a film you better be sure there is a big enough and hungry enough market out there to buy your film and other backend products.

Jason Brubaker
You keep mentioning marketing related products. Could you explain this a little more?

David W. Allen
I look at the film itself as a lead generation product for the purpose of building a big list. I am not all that concerned about making the money back on the DVD itself but on other monetizing avenues over time including advertising.

Jason Brubaker
That is an interesting concept. Most filmmakers do not think like marketers. Yet if we want to make money making movies, it makes sense that we would need to diversify our product offerings.

David W. Allen
The modern filmmaker needs to think beyond the film itself as the only means of generating income. The money online is where the eyeballs are. Think about it.

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Find out more about how to sell your movie.