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Indie Entrepreneurs: Award-worthy Marketing Tips for Filmmakers

Learn how to market your independent film and make it stand out amongst a sea of reels.

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Contributed by Sam Chambers, BEC Agency

“One of the biggest things about filmmaking is marketing yourself,” according to Oregon filmmaker, Tim Cash.

However many aspiring filmmakers, even those with ample film experience, have never considered or been taught how to advertising their own films. With the insane number of films online nowadays ranging from grainy webcam videos on YouTube to crystal-clear grandeur of the full-length narrative film, filmmakers should consider the importance of making their film stand out amongst a sea of reels.

Seventy-two hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube every minute, making the task of building awareness for your film even more daunting and exponentially more vital.

One of the biggest problems is this: everyone uses the same poor excuse for marketing tactics every time. They upload a video to the Internet, create a Facebook brand page and add a link. Upload, Facebook, link. Lather, rinse, repeat. Unfortunately, this doesn’t cut it for advertising.

I have some bad news for filmmakers out there looking for the golden rule to marketing their latest creations. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all marketing plan for the film world. While films may essentially be made up of the same essential ‘ingredients’, every film created has to have a different marketing tactic.

Marketing Films in a Crowded Marketplace

For example, there is a marked difference between marketing breakfast cereal, play doh, and firework sparklers. While these products all consist of similar chemical ingredients, you would never sell a sparkler for human consumption or light your Cheerios on fire. Each product is as unique as the business who makes it and has its own unique set of needs.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Create a Website.

And, “No!”, I don’t mean make a preformatted Weebly profile or a Tumblr page. Take the time to create your film a website that is just as creative as the film itself. WordPress or similar content management platforms are great for creating websites, but be sure to customize your site and make it your own instead of using the same format that everyone else is using.

Next, spend the $17 per year it takes to own your own domain name (i.e. mycoolfilm.com). It looks more professional to potential investors or film festival judges. Be sure to include character bios, filmmaker profiles, production photos, and contact information as well as a well-edited trailer of the film.

If the film is short enough and you’re not concerned about making money on the film itself, post the entire film for viewing pleasure. Another great aspect of creating a dedicated film website is the online store. Create an online storefront to sell film paraphernalia and merchandise.

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