One of my earliest gigs in New York was a disaster. I am not kidding. At the time, I was renting the corner of some kitchen, where I slept on an inflatable air mattress. I thought there was honor in being a starving filmmaker. That sentiment, combined with a dwindling bank account meant I would […]
Independent moviemaking has changed forever. If you are still holding out for the Sundance dream, you are wasting your time. What is the Sundance dream? It’s the thought that you’ll make a movie, get into Sundance and garner a gazillion dollars…
I love Kevin Smith’s attitude towards modern movie distribution. If you’re like most independent filmmakers, what Kevin was able to accomplish from his days of Clerks has been amazing. Back then, he not only dreamed the Sundance Dream, but he realized the dream as well.
“How do you plan to sell this movie and return my investment?” In the old model of filmmaking, traditional distribution was a lottery. So to answer that question, most filmmakers, especially first time filmmakers said something like this: “Filmmaking is risky. If we are lucky, we will get into Sundance and get a distribution deal.”
Most filmmaking business plans are stupid. Why? Because most filmmakers have no idea (especially first time filmmakers) how to project a return on investment. Don’t feel bad. It’s not your fault.
YOU are now responsible for marketing, promotion and distribution of your movie. And inline with this strategy, you must view regional and second tier festivals as an opportunity to build your audience list. But instead of handing out postcards to other filmmakers, your marketing strategy will be smarter.
Do you remember when the idea of making movies seemed like a far away dream? Do you remember when you first got the idea for your movie? Do you remember Your first day of production? Do you remember your first screening and how well everyone loved your work?
After posting the following ROI marketing formula, many people have written to tell me that my numbers are unrealistic. And for the gazillionith time – I get it! Everybody agrees that recouping a 1M dollar budget based on Pay Per Visit advertising alone is an outlandish proposition.
Take a look at your trailer. Is your trailer congruent with your hook and the marketing elements we covered earlier? If not, I suggest you recut and refine your trailer to make sure your marketing message is consistent. In doing this you will have to find the balance between showing enough to sell your movie and giving away so much that you spoil the story. And since your movie trailer will be posted on various websites, you should also add a title card with a link to your movie website.