Make A Horror Movie

As a filmmaker, you need to start somewhere. I suggest you take action and make a horror movie.

Our first feature was a silly zombie movie. The production value was horrific. But the movie got a write up in Premiere Magazine, Fangoria and about one hundred horror related websites. As a result of this buzz, our crappy horror movie gained a cult following and sold very well.

As a result of popularity, our horror movie was pirated and is now available for free all over the internet. While this is not a filmmaking article focused on the merits of piracy as a marketing strategy – I did want to take a quick moment to remind you that you should probably get off your butt and make something.

Here are three reasons why filmmakers should make a horror movie:

  1. Horror Movies are inexpensive. With a good story, you do not necessarily need “name” actors.
  2. When you make a horror movie, finding your target audience is easy
  3. Even if your horror movie sucks, horror fans love to hate (and talk about) horror movies.

If you want to make a horror movie, my suggestion is to find a great script. Then break your script into a schedule and a budget.

Once you have an initial budget, create a crowdfunding campaign to test your concept. While getting money is a benefit of crowdfunding, the greater objective is to guage audience response and demand in the marketplace. Additionally, your crowdfunding campaign will allow you to test the reach of your social networks.

If successful, your crowdfunding campaign will emphasize the viability of your project in the marketplace. You can detail this in your business plan. Then with the added confidence of social proof, you can confidently enter meetings with prospective investors and demonstrate demand for your title.

Of course, if your crowdfunding campaign fails, all you gotta do is think up a new horror concept and start over.

Here is the trailer for Special Dead, our first feature, a crappy horror movie.

If I can make this type of movie, what is your excuse? Go grab a camera and make a horror movie!

Advertise Your Movie on StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon

Image via Wikipedia

When you’re in the middle of the filmmaking process, you probably aren’t thinking about ways to advertise your movie online.

I want to provide you with a little secret: 

Advertise your movie on StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking tool that allows people to share interesting websites with their StumbleUpon  networks as well as Facebook, Twitter and email contacts. And if someone happens to “stumble upon” your movie website, you have the potential to garner significant traffic!

(Case study: Our zombie movie got over 100,000 visitors from the service.)

But did you know you can actually pay for someone to “stumble” your site?

It’s true. And it’s awesome. The StumbleUpon paid discovery service allows you to choose from three advertising service tiers. Each tier provides a different level of audience targeting. The first tier starts at a nickle per stumble.

But here is where it gets interesting. Unlike other paid advertising solutions, StumbleUpon allows for exponential, unpaid traffic. Let me explain:

Let’s say you want to target someone into horror movies. So you invest a nickle to get that person to “stumble” your website. But then that person shares your site with four of his friends. Guess what?

Because your paid stumble resulted in four additional free stumbles,  you really only invested one penny per visit (five cents for five visits). Taking this further, let’s say these five stumblers each share your site with one friend – Now you got ten visits for a nickle.  That is an investment of merely a half-cent per visit!

And if these people tell ten of their friends… I’m sayin’ if you are lucky, then you could possibly get exponential traffic onto your site!

Not bad for a nickle.

Before you get too excited, you should know something. I have tested this service with various movie titles and websites, but so far, only a small handful of my test sites resulted in significant traffic. The rest just were not interesting enough to warrant exponential stumbles.

But for five cents a visit, StumbleUpon Paid Discovery  may be worth a test.

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If you liked this tip, you’ll love my “Film Distribution Action Pack”