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 sentiments as well. So I flat out asked him the obvious: “What types of films are selling in the marketplace?”
“Movies that have a sharp promotional hook and social media awareness,” he said.
What’s The Promotional Hook (For Your Film)?
Go to any film festival and you will meet filmmakers having trouble getting 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 promotional hook.
Whenever you think of name talent, you probably picture movie stars like Tom Cruse. While attaching Tom to your movie would be awesome, you probably don’t have the budget. The good news is, you don’t need a mega movie star to have a successful film.
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.
In the event you cannot attach a movie star or social media star to your film, you’ll need to sharpen your promotional hook. What makes your movie memorable and interesting? What makes it different from the gazillion other movies being made each year? And most importantly, why should someone care?
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. And this can go a long way in sharpening your promotional 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.