Saturday, March 19, 2005

Film Publicity?

One of the aspects of filmmaking I am not spectacular at is the publicity side... I am trying ot figure out how to get good PR for the film I'm shooting this summer. It's a pretty interesting situation -- we've raised a little bit of money, so we can hire some pros at key positions, and we're offering the film as a summer class, so students in the program can enroll and work on the film for credit.

And the department is letting me use its HD equipment (I would shoot 16mm or 35mm if we had the money, but we don't, and so many films are shooting HD now, it just doesn't bother me).

Maybe the situation isn't that unique, but it's just one angle. See -- I'm just not good at this. If anyone has any ideas on how to leverage publicity for this, I'm listening. Maybe using the internet? I don't know -- I'm so wrapped up in just getting it made that I'm worried I'm missing out on opportunities to promote it in advance.

4 Comments:

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous chuck said...

This might sound silly, but I've heard of a few film bloggers who are generating publicity for their film using blogs. Zach Braff blogged "Garden State" and David Duchovny is apparently blogging teh ilm he's directing. Morgan Spurlock also had a blog he used to promote "Supersize Me," which I linked to 3-4 times, etc.

Probably the most interesting example is Chuck Olsen's "Blogumentary," though I haven't followed what he's doing as closely as I should. I'd say use any kind of grassroots, ground-up approach you can. Not to sound cynical, but I think grassroots "sells," especially if you can give people a sense that they are participating in the success of your film.

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Kristen said...

Blogging is of course a good idea. You can always go with a unique angle and encourage a P.A. to make a blog on your behalf.

I'd also suggest putting an edited trailer on a web site so you can create advanced buzz.

Contact a) your alumni magazine for undergrad; and b) for your grad school. Contact your hometown newspaper. Contact a) the college newspaper, to make sure everyone on campus knows; and b) the local paper(s) where your university is located. If you need a cast of extras, it's wise to make sure the entire campus and surrounding town know what you're doing; that can make the local news. (I'm thinking of all these stories I've read about local hometown productions... thousands of people willing to sacrifice 18 hours of their time to play zombies for free.)

Put out press releases via free PR services on the 'net on a pretty regular basis. With Google News Alerts, folks can monitor almost anything. I'm sure there are agents, publicists, and most importantly entertainment journalists out there monitoring the keywords "HD" or "Hi-Def filmmaking." They'll catch wind of your production as long as you keep putting digital press releases out there. That should help w/grassroots.

You might want to consider booking yourself in interviews on entertainment/movie blogs and online magazines... sort of the indie film version of the Virtual Book Tour.

I have a few contacts at magazines, including a really nice guy who writes articles for Scr(i)pt and Filmmakers.com. When the time is right, contact me and I'll put you in touch with him. He does good work, and he does it pretty quickly.

 
At 6:58 AM, Blogger TerminalMFA said...

Wow -- thorough coverage of the topic, Kristen -- thanks. Some great ideas here... I'll get on it and get my producer working on some of these angles.

And big thanks for the offer via Scr(i)pt and Filmmakers.com... I'll definitely put contact you regarding that, because I know no one at the mags and really want to get the word out in that way...

 
At 7:02 AM, Blogger TerminalMFA said...

Chuck -- the grassroots thing is a selling point. I want to tap into that if I can. Of course, Zach Braff was also a pseudo-star on an offbeat TV show, so he had a fan base, albeit not a HUGE one. But I did think about starting a blog for the film... and I have a student-producer who would do a good job at running it for me...

 

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