Marketing Your Indie Film: A Few Key Tips to Wrap Your Brain Around
So, let’s say you’re about to make your movie. Congratulations! You’ve probably spent, in the indie world, years working to get to this point, and there are so many details that go into making a feature film that I couldn’t even begin to think about enumerating them all here; suffice it to say, producing or directing a film involves a series of hundred or thousands of decisions, each with consequences that you might not be aware of for quite some time. And in the pressure cooker that is indie filmmaking, it can be difficult sometimes to see the forest for the trees (to use a totally original phrase that I just thought up, like right now).
At IFP Week, in a panel moderated by Jarod Neece, Producer and Senior programmer at SXSW, and featuring RJ Millard from Obscured Pictures, Ryan Werner, Senior Executive at Cinetic Media, and Gary Hustwit, director of, among others, the documentary Helvetica, the subject was “Wrapping Your Brain Around Marketing,” and it addressed some of the issues that indie filmmakers need to think about.
A carefully prepared marketing campaign can often serve as the difference maker between successful hit and financial disappointment — it takes a particular dynamic presence to garner attention.
Stay on Topic
Your film, like it or not, is a brand, and when you present it to the world, it’s important that you have a unity in terms of what you show the world. Because it’s “so hard to get attention, get people to remember [your film],” you want to make sure you have the most memorable aesthetic possible so when audiences look at your posters and production material, they immediately associate it with your film. According to Millard, who supervised the distribution of the blockbuster documentary Super Size Me, the image of director Morgan Spurlock that was featured so prominently in the now iconic poster helped to artfully convey the film’s theme in a simple, visual manner, and was vitally important to building buzz around the film.