Many of the independent films that our team has successfully represented often had limited budgets. So how can you get the media to notice you without spending thousands of dollars each month on public relations?
Tell your story. Whether your movie is a documentary, sci-fi, romance, thriller, or action movie, your movie synopsis should grab the attention and ears of the media.
Find your hook! The hook could be the reason you made the movie, any challenges you’ve experienced, or maybe the main character or producers have a great backstory. If it is a documentary, why will this film change thinking or enlighten the audience? If it is fiction, who inspired it or if it is based on a real ‘event’. The twist is the story behind your movie.
Each person involved in the making of your film has a story and an angle that they can pursue with the media.
Create an electronic press kit
(EPK) Your electronic press kit includes photos and videos, as well as short interviews, you are your main cast and crew.
While filming, you want to do off-set interviews with the cast, director, and producers that can be edited for the EPK.
Ask them to answer the main questions that the media may ask about the film.
If your movie includes special effects, interview the artists, or if you are filming in a unique location, highlight that in the footage. These are future “selling points” for media and film festival presentations. You can also include a short trailer in the EPK.
Important: Make sure the music used in the EPK is enabled for streaming. You don’t want to have to go back and ask the media not to use the soundtrack.
Your movie synopsis: you can choose the duration
The long synopsis
This will include a single page that will need to be double spaced. You can tell the story in about 3/4 of the page. The latter can include anecdotes about the making of your movie and why it will stand out from other movies.
The synopsis of the medium
Again, it should be ¾ page long where you summarize the movie, but keep it concise and to the point. The last lines may refer to the making of the movie and why your movie is unique.
The format of the short synopsis should not exceed half the page. Again, ¾ is your concise story about the movie, highlight the points that will draw interest, with the last lines about the production and why the movie will stand out.
Cast and crew bios
Your EPK includes biographies of all the key actors involved in the film, from the producers, writers, composer, director, cinematographer, actors, and production designer. Include past work experience, for example any known movies the team has been a part of in the past. Anything unique that gets media attention is valuable.
Your EPK needs great photos, include the following:
Producer on set
Director with the cast
Fabulous photos of movie scenes (have the photographer on set days when important scenes are shot)
Highlight the equipment used in the making of the film.
All key players must be included
Remember, that perfect image can be used on t-shirts, hats, posters, and other promotional materials.
It is vital to your promotion that you provide submissions for film festivals, journalists and studios that may be considering distributing your film that you develop a Frequently Asked Questions area in the EPK. Include everything that explains the movie, its mission, its audience, and the ultimate success of the movie.
Usually it involves 10 questions. Often times, the media interviewing you will follow this message, so all parties interviewed will be prepared.
Every filmmaker wants national attention on his film, but you may have to build for that, step by step. Start with the local press, movie blogs, YouTube videos, and social media. Make your own buzz, the media will call you!
If you submit your film and it is accepted, try to get a press list of who will be attending. Start following key journalists on social media, then email your EPK and offer interviews with your key actors, directors, and producers at the festival. Offer them a unique twist that grabs their attention. Always be courteous, even if the reporter declines an initial interview with you. If the film is having a lot of success at the festival, contact the reporter again, you may get the interview.
If your movie gets commercial sale, Netflix, HBO, DVD sales, then you want to reach out to entertainment movie critics / writers. Email or email the movie screening and follow up on a review. Gather as many friends as you can to watch the movie and post reviews online. Reach out to local and national journalists, as well as bloggers, both large and small, as long as the audience is in your niche.
Find a “twist” in your movie that stands out. Independent films that our agency represented we succeeded with twists that brought filmmakers to national talk shows and entertainment as well as national print. Therefore, it is possible that a smaller independent film will get the national press!