The other day I was out to lunch with a film sales agent. He told me that it is getting really tough to negotiate an awesome deal for a movie. Having worked in distribution for the greater part of my career, this echoed my experience as well. So I flat out asked him the obvious:
“What types of movies are selling in the marketplace?”
“Movies that have a sharp hook and social media awareness,” he said.
What’s Your Hook?
Go to any film festival and you will meet filmmakers who simply can’t get a traditional film distribution deal. The reason for this is simple. The market is saturated with small, character driven independent movies. In order to get your movie noticed, you’ll need the following:
1. Name talent.
2. A strong hook.
Whenever you think of name talent, you probably picture movie stars like Tom Cruse. And while attaching Tom to your movie would be awesome, you probably don’t have the budget for him. I have good news. You do not need a mega movie star to have a successful movie.
A few years back I worked on the promotion behind Camp Takota. It’s a campy camp comedy starring three famed YouTubers. When the movie launched, the YouTubers were able to engage directly with their audiences. This resulted in a successful release (and textbook case study.)
If you can’t attach a movie star or social media star to your movie, you’ll need to sharpen your hook. What makes your movie memorable and interesting? What makes it different from the gazillion other movies being made each year?
If you find this exercise challenging, then I suggest you merely focus on any controversy in your story. It has been my experience that controversy creates commerce. Add a little controversy to sharpen your hook.
If you like this sort of stuff, I recommend you grab a copy of The Filmmaker Action Pack. In it, I provide a script to screen overview of the entire entrepreneurial filmmaking process.