Promoting your film

I spoke about some of the ways to promote your film in my last blog post, and some of the ways they promoted Twelve Monkeys. This post is going to go a little bit more into detail on the specifics of promoting your film and look at the different ways you can do that.

I chose the OBEY image for this post because it was an image created by a guy called Shepard Fairey who would post it up around Rhode Island in 1989. The image resonated with some people, skateboarders for example, and ultimately the image made its way around the world. It did that without a huge company marketing it and making that happen. It made it around the world because of regular people sharing the image. This might be because of what they thought it represented, this sort of counter-culture feeling that the image evoked, and ultimately that made it popular.

“The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker”.

Humans are curious. They like to know what things are and why they are, so when presented with something new they want to find out the deal. The obey stickers are a great example of curious humans spreading something around without being asked to do so, just because they wanted to find out what it was about. An important part of marketing on the cheap! [0]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepard_Fairey

 

Film Festivals

Festivals are a great way to get audiences to see your film and promote it even if you don’t end up winning. They are also important opportunities to network with other animators, film makers and relevant industry people so take business cards. There are a lot, and deadlines are constantly coming and going, but they are a great way to get your work out there!

Festivals like:

  • 18th international VFX & computer graphics conference

VIEW CONFERENCE is the premiere International event in Italy on Computer Graphics, Interactive Techniques, Digital Cinema, 2D/3D Animation, VR/AR, gaming, VFX and storytelling. [1]

  • Anilogue International Animation Festival 2017

The deadline is 15 August for this short film competition which is open for European short animations and comes with a main prize of EUR 2000. There is no entry fee. [2]

  • AninetFest

International ONLINE Festival Of Short Animated Films – AninetFest is an international competition and online platform that serves to support the animated short films and their creators.

The festival will take place from 20th February to 12th March 2018 on the web http://www.aninetfest.com [3]

 

There’s actually way too many to post really so here:

Coming Up in 2017

  • EL FESTIVAL BY PIXELATL (September)
  • 3D WIRE (October)
  • ANIM’EST (October)
  • BUCHEON INT’L ANIMATION FESTIVAL (October)
  • VIEW CONFERENCE (October)
  • TOFUZI (October)
  • KLIK! AMSTERDAM ANIMATION FESTIVAL (November)
  • CUTOUT FEST (November)
  • LES SOMMETS DU CINEMA D’ANIMATION (November)
  • FREDRIKSTAD ANIMATION FESTIVAL (November)
  • ETIUDA & ANIMA (November)
  • ANIMATED DREAMS (November)
  • NEW CHITOSE AIRPORT INT’L ANIMATION FESTIVAL (November)
  • ANIMATEKA (December)
  • KROK INT’L ANIMATED FILM FESTIVAL (TBA)
  • REANIMANIA (TBA)
  • MANCHESTER ANIMATION FESTIVAL (TBA)
  • ANIMAGE INT’L ANIMATION FESTIVAL OF PERNAMBUCO (TBA)
  • PUNTO Y RAYA FESTIVAL (TBA)
  • PRIMANIMA WORLD FESTIVAL OF FIRST ANIMATIONS (TBA)
  • ANIMAE CARIBE (TBA)
  • SEOUL INT’L CARTOON & ANIMATION FESTIVAL (TBA) [4]

 

[1] https://festhome.com/f/776

[2] https://www.awn.com/blog/call-entries-anilogue-international-animation-festival-2017

[3] http://www.animation-festivals.com/festivals/aninetfest/

[4] http://www.cartoonbrew.com/animation-festival-guide

 

The press and social media

You can of course take out adverts in newspapers and on the television, but that all costs money, which you don’t have. Paying for ads is not the only way to get your film into a newspaper or entertainment website, which are always looking for relevant content for their readers. There are a few things you need to make sure you have before contacting any relevant media outlets.

  • A trailer (and other short promotional videos snippets of the final film)
  • High quality images (action screenshots from the film and also promotional shots of the characters from the film)
  • A film poster (maybe more than one)
  • Well written concise information about your film and its release

Competitions run through the press can get you a lot of attention for not much money. There are radio competitions held daily for music tickets – relevant prize on a relevant media. Offering promotional material or tickets to your films screening, or merchandise to promote the film.

Social media is another avenue that you should use. Instagram and Twitter are great ways to promote your media to a more niche audience by using hashtags. Making a website is a really good idea as well, setting up a free blog website is a great option, and you can link all you social media to the site. You would also want to create an official video hosting site (vimeo or youtube) to host your videos from.

Steps for social medianess:

  • Make Official Facebook account for my film.
  • Add promotional images and relevant info (when they can see the movie, what its about, a little bit about the characters and the world they inhabit)
  • Make Official Twitter and Instagram accounts for my film
  • Keep a consistent design theme and link all accounts
  • Use hashtags when posting images to Instagram to reach niche audiences (genres, keywords, etc)
  • Tag collaborators social media accounts in relevant posts
  • Don’t clutter with useless mumbo jumbo posts that aren’t relevant. Also don’t alienate or offend your audience.
  • Run competitions on social media. Instagram competitions often require your audience to share the post to their friends for a chance to enter, which gets your audience to promote your movie for you, and they may win something in return, so everybody wins!
  • Post regularly. You don’t want your audience to forget about you or lose interest, but you also don’t want them to get annoyed because your posting too much.

Guerrilla Marketing 

In my last post i wrote about the promotional material for firefly and cloverfield. They released videos that were not made clear what they were for, which made people share them to ask their friend and contacts if anyone could explain them.

The idea as always is to compel your audience to promote your movie for you by somehow capturing their interest – but not fully explaining what they are seeing or why. This can be achieved with videos, but also through any other media. Releasing a video online is free, whereas running some cryptic adverts in a newspaper would cost money. So you would have to have something really specific to make that happen. If your film was set in a specific location you could take out an advert in the local newspaper just in that location. Only local residents would see it, so it would be localised, but could expand onto social media and go viral – but that all depends on the content your using to promote the film. You would have to make it interesting enough to compel that audience. This would only work if the target audience for the film were exposed to the advert.

Guerrilla marketing campaigns from the past:

  • The Blair witch project. They made a website and started an urban legend about a witch snapping up local kids. People believed it and had to see the film for themselves. People talked about it because the film portrayed itself as found footage, that was just edited together when found – so was it real or fake? Obviously fake, but it created the necessary buzz to get people into audiences.
  • In 2002, Acclaim announced its plans to promote “Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance” using something called “bloodvertising.” Touting it as the bloodiest game of all time, Acclaim said it was developing bus shelter ads that would seep a red, blood-like substance onto city sidewalks throughout the course of seven days. Officials thought that might not be in the best taste, so the campaign was aborted, as the world looked on.

Acclaim (video game company) has been doing it for a long time, making headlines for crazy promotional campaigns that never actually happen. But they were announced and planned, so people talked about them and they got attention. They were almost certainly never going to actually go through with half their crazy ideas.

  • Aqua teen hunger force got in a lot of trouble for promoting their film with a device that lit up with a character flipping off the audience. Commuters rang police who came and destroyed at least one of the devices in a controlled explosion. Arrests came and eventually the company responsible owned up and over 1 million dollars was paid. Something to definitely consider as guerrilla campaigns can go VERY WRONG!

bomb-scare

So if my film was a:

Sci-fi black-comedy animation –  (mature audience) Teenagers and adults

I would want to target sci-fi media and animation media outlets and blogs – relevant similar media. From the small to the biggest, I should be trying to promote my film everywhere, but also aiming at specific niche audiences.

A small selection of the websites and places that i would want to contact:

Animation:

  • cartoonbrew.com
  • onanimation.com/
  • speakingofanimation.com/
  • awn.com/ (animation world network)

Sci-fi:

 

Local stuff

That means the Nottingham area. Utilising Nottingham media and film festivals and all that glorious stuff!

  • The Nottingham International Film festival is a yearly festival promoting local talent. Its on the 6th-8th Oct 2017. [1a]
  • The United Kingdom emerging Talent Festival (held in Nottingham)
  • The Beeston film festival

Local cinemas or the Notts Tv channel may also screen my films trailer, who knows. Notts tv would certainly be somewhere i would contact to see if we could get a tv spot interview or something. Getting onto the local channel in some form would be amazing to reach a local audience. The LeftLion is a local nottingham newspaper that features entertainment news and articles on local artists, film makers, etc. Getting something in print would be great, but they also have a prominent online website and reach a decently wide local audience. [4a] Also the Nottingham post and actual news media would be worth contacting as well (BBC) as they do have entertainment and local branches and will reach the largest audience. Even if your film is really niche, it can still appeal to a wide audience (and should really be considered of course if you are trying to make something commercial).

[1a] http://www.nottiff.com/

[2a] http://www.nottinghampost.com/nottingham-to-host-new-film-festival-and-there-s-a-record-breaking-cash-prize-for-the-best-one/story-30088928-detail/story.html

[3a] http://festival.beestonfilm.com/

[4a] https://www.leftlion.co.uk/latest

 

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