Film marketing: knowing your audience
'Quick Tip Friday' by Mat Levy, Senior Director of Sales and Acquisitions
You have spent months-years working on your project and understandably, you are excited to be finished and move on to the next steps.
Before you do so, however, I do want you to please take yourself out of the picture and see your film from an audience standpoint before you lay out your sales and marketing points to the distributor (or consumer).
This is probably the hardest thing a filmmaker can do, but it is imperative to get the proper grasp of how your film will properly fit in the world of distribution.
Example: You could make a documentary focused on the art and history of soccer and interview a gay subject and an African American subject in two fantastic brief segments along with twelve other interviews with women, white men, straight men, Latino Men, etc.
By doing this, you may feel that someone out there will see that the movie could be important for LGBTQ or African American studies and try to reach hard out to those groups or convince your distributor that those are areas that the film should be marketed.
In the end, once again, please look at the big picture and know that unless LGBTQ or African American studies is your primary subject, then the film will not work with the audiences you are imagining as there are hundreds of documentaries that fit this exact profile on a better level.
Know that your film should fit to the main subject matter you are highlighting, which in this case would be the targeted audience for the general sports or soccer community.
Another example would be having a major "star" in your film that has been in a distinguished TV show or movie.
You may continue to think the guy that had 4 lines in 30 Rock or Avatar might be a pretty prominent sell point because he is in a movie or TV show that people know, but did people really go see the movie because of him? If not, why is this a sell point for someone to pick up or see your movie?
In short, don't get caught up in the sales-y minutia that you think you can pull over a consumer or distributor's head and get to the core of what your movie is actually about and what makes it special.
After this, it is your job to prove that your movie is so special that audiences around the world will want to watch it and spread great word of mouth, which is the best kind of film marketing you could ever hope for as it represents the true value of what your movie was meant to do in the first place.
Stay classy filmmakers!
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