At Film Sprites PR over the years we have had the great pleasure of working with a lot of filmmakers who wanted publicity and digital marketing for their short films. As a result, it’s safe to say we’ve developed a huge affinity for short films. There’s something very special about the short film format, and the filmmakers who are able to weave their vision into a shorter time space than a regular film. While it’s tempting to file away a juicy script and wait for the opportunity to turn it into a feature, there are some definite advantages to short films when it comes to cementing your place as a filmmaker. And if you’ve made (or are thinking about making) a short film, it has advantages beyond screenings. Here’s some of the advantages of making short films.
Recently, I wrote about the optimal times for publicity and digital marketing of independent films (in that post I give filmmakers a handy timeline), but I wanted to discuss getting prepped in pre-production through to filming even further, because these are the key points when you can grow your audience in anticipation of your film’s release. It’s also a great period when you can gather materials that are going to be a huge asset when you submit your film to film festivals, look for a distributor and release your film.
Whether you hire a publicity and digital marketing consultancy for your film or not, it’s vital to have materials available that can be used for press kits, posters, promotional materials, DVD/VOD extras and further social media content. While it’s entirely possible to do publicity and digital marketing of your film solely in post-production and/or release, you have a better chance of succeeding in having people watching your film and your film securing media attention if you have a solid social media presence and materials available that media outlets can use. Investing additional time in pre-production and filming to ensure that you have these materials will save you a lot of time in post-production and release.
At Film Sprites PR we receive a lot of requests to assist with the social media side of film marketing. It’s something we’ve assisted with for 3 years and it’s also something we definitely enjoy doing! You might have read the previous post about how the digital age is assisting filmmakers with their indie films and connecting to their audiences, and the rise in the breadth of social media available is invaluable to the independent filmmaker.
So many indie filmmakers are incredibly social media-savvy (I think it comes from the resourcefulness, creativity and initiative independent filmmakers have!), but if you’re not- fear not! Here, we’re answering some of the frequently asked questions we receive, so you can hit the ground running with social media for your film (and, more importantly, growing your audience).
Recently on the blog I wrote about whether or not independent films really needed publicity. There’s still a perception that publicity for independent films is on the list of things that would be nice to have, but aren’t essential. That as may be, if you’re looking to gain significant coverage of your film and build your audience then it’s completely doable- especially as I’m about to give you a good timeline of when and how to generate publicity and social media coverage for your film even if you don’t have your own publicist on board.
Our world is built on stories. Everyone has one! And as a filmmaker you know the power of stories because you weave powerful stories into visual magic with your films. This gives you something very special to work with when it comes to social media marketing of your film. Too often I see people relying on the kinds of annoying social media tactics I wrote about earlier, when they could be utilizing the potential of social media to tell a story. Yes, even Twitter with its character limit!
As natural creatives and storytellers filmmakers are well-placed to use the power of storytelling to connect with the audience. Here’s a few ideas of how to use the power of storytelling via social media.
At Film Sprites PR we have a particular fondness for Twitter. After all, it’s how we got started. We’ve seen how incredibly powerful it can be to convey a message, bring people together and grow a film’s audience.
It can also be a powerhouse when it comes to spreading the word about your film during a crowdfunding campaign. In 140 characters you can spread the word, share your vision and have contributors helping to back your creation. We’ve assisted with many crowdfunding campaigns for films, both in pre-production and post-production, and we’ve seen how well Twitter can work for crowdfunding. Most recently we assisted with the successful Kickstarter for Daphne Fisher’s Enough, helping to not only secure the $6K goal but also helping to raise an additional $945.
So how can you, as a filmmaker, harness the little blue bird to help secure the funds you need for your film? Here’s a few tips to help you make the best of Twitter during your crowdfunding campaign.
When you’re fully engaged and enthusiastic about what you’re doing (especially via social media), it shows. You’re more likely to get more engagement from followers, more shares and amplify your signal.
This holds true even when you’re setting up social media automation. It’s not time-contingent. What matters is your authenticity and your “voice”.
On April 14 this year Film Sprites PR will turn 3 years old. Yes, my humble little PR and digital marketing consultancy for film will become a rambunctious threenager. Part of the reason Film Sprites PR became a reality was because I could see that there were amazing filmmakers out there who deserved sparkling publicity and social media marketing…and I wanted to be of service.
But if it wasn’t for the spirit of these filmmakers themselves I wouldn’t have reached out. I might have waited pointlessly for my ship to come in instead of making my own opportunities. But interacting with indie filmmakers on Twitter and seeing the way they were making their own opportunities encouraged me to step out and do the same.
If you’re an entrepreneur you can learn so much from the world of indie film. Indie filmmakers are creative, resilient, self-starting, motivated and flexible- all the qualities that a lot of entrepreneurs embody or would like to embody.
Social media has come a long way in such a short space of time, and Facebook is constantly changing to keep up with the times. One of its newer features is the ability for anyone to live stream content via Facebook Live. Last year Facebook began to roll this new feature out to public figures, before extending this to verified accounts, and now it’s available to anyone.
So what does this mean when it comes to promoting your film, and how can you capitalize on this feature?
This live option gives you another exciting, real-time way of bringing your audience into your world. It’s a great option if you want to bring more people to your Facebook page and it can also be exceptionally useful for crowdfunding campaigns. It means you can connect with your audience in a really intimate and authentic way.
I’m going to give you some ideas for using Facebook Live when promoting your film. If you use them, let me know what your experience was like!
Here at Film Sprites PR we are huge advocates of bloggers and podcasters. In the digital age one thing is certain: if you have an interest, there’s a blog or podcast for you. No matter whether you’re an avid hockey fan, a Whovian or love Himalayan cats, there’s content on the Internet that’s sure to be of interest.
If you’re a filmmaker you can probably tell me straight away which mainstream publications you’d want to see coverage about your film to appear in. But it’s worth remembering that film blogs and podcasts are just as valuable in terms of gaining exposure and reaching your audience.