Student Handbook

Marketing Your Project

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There are many avenues available to filmmakers in the day and age of DIY / social marketing. If you plan on your film having a life beyond CalArts, it is important to plan your marketing before you go into production. The following examples represent some of the tools you will need to market your film with a DIY approach.

Production Stills

This is perhaps the most important aspect of DIY marketing. Any film festival, publicist, distribution company or buyer will need these. You should plan on stills of your crew (especially the director), cast and stills from the set of scenes. You can never have too many pictures from your production, so shoot away.

Press Kit

This is also vital as it will contain information of the entire production in a condensed presentation. The following are title headings of what your press kit should have in it.

Poster Cover

  • Logline
    One to two sentences that tells the reader what your film is about
  • Short Synopsis
    No more than one paragraph
  • Long Synopsis
    No more than two pages
  • Key Crew Bios
    Director, producers, writer, production designer, DP, editor
  • Cast Bios
    Make sure you have approval from them
  • Production Stills Production Story
    What is unique about your project that might appeal to a buyer/press
  • Director’s Statement
    Why this movie had to be made, personal
  • End Credits
    Electronic Press Kit (EPK)

This should be shot during pre-production, production and post-production. This is another important tool to have. Interview as many people as possible while in production. At the very least, the director and lead actors. The EPK will appear on your website and is a video sales tool that can easily be emailed. These clips can also be used for your behind the scenes extras on your Blu-ray.

Website

This goes without saying. This is where your project will live and provide the tools for people to visit and learn about your project. It should contain everything mentioned above and include a trailer and contact information. It is also a great tool to sell your project directly to your audience. Learn how to use WordPress.

Trailer

Your trailer is also another important part of your marketing. It should be no more than 50 seconds long and contain the best element of your project that will entice people to want to see more. Many projects are sold on trailers alone.

One Sheet

This is a tool that every student should have. It is one sheet of paper with all your important info. For an example of a one sheet, please see the contract section of this handbook.

Social Media

This is the cheapest and fastest way to build your audience and awareness about your project. The following are examples of sites and tools you should be using:

  • Facebook
    Stories, pictures, clips, check in and updates from all phases of production
  • Twitter
    Send out two to three tweets a day, link with like minded students and project themes
  • Instagram
    Post pictures with blurbs
  • Tumblr
    Write blogs of experiences
  • Indiegogo/Kickstarter
    Crowd sourcing/funding. This is a great way to build your audience early and get them involved in the project
  • Vimeo
    Users can upload, share and view videos

Every one of these social media tools should be linked to your Facebook site. So you post on Instagram, it posts on Facebook. There are many other social marketing tools. For help or advice with your DIY marketing campaigns, please make an appointment with Production Services.