- As a filmmaker, how do you get the audience to see your movie?
- Usually your focus, of course, is on making the film.
- However, movie making is a commercial enterprise – you’re creating a PRODUCT for an END USER.
- Sure, it isn’t artistic to think of it this way – but overall we want people to see & enjoy our movies.
- So … how to get the audience to see your movie?
- STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
- According to the Stephen Fellows report, thousands of movies are made each year – many of them never get a distribution deal. Of those that do, in the US 736 movies were released in cinemas in 2016 (of which 93 were studio films). In the UK, 821 movies were released in cinemas e.g. 16 movies per week! However, the report states that admissions are FLAT – meaning filmmakers are over supplying.
What does this mean to you –
- It means your movie will get lost in the ‘noise’ unless you have a great marketing plan.
- What is the route for your movie to distribution?
- Why should the audience go and see your movie?
- People are busy; there a lot of choices open to them; going out costs money and takes time – what does your movie offer them in order to trade that time / effort?
- If your script / package attracts the attention of a distributor, you can be sure that they will want to know the answers to the above question.
Who is the target audience for your movie?
- If you understand this, it’s easier to get to the audience to see your movie.
- note: “everyone” is usually the wrong answer unless you have a four quadrant studio movie.
- Be clear, break it down:
- Is my movie a horror genre appealing to an 18-25 year old audience?
- OR does this period romantic drama skew older female.
Why is this important?
Because the distributor wants to know that you are on the same page:
- The distributor will SPEND money to get the movie out there – to create ‘audience awareness’.
- An audience needs to know your movie exists.
- The audience wants to know why they should spend money and time on your movie (vs the 15 others opening that week).
- Nowadays, the distributor can directly target your audience via social media – a much better use of spend than a poster on the underground.
- The distributor wants a marketable story – you will hear phrases like “what’s the USP ? What’s your hook?”
- A distributor will spend according to how they think the movie will do i.e. they won’t spend $1m if it’s only going out on a few screens.
- SO … getting back to how to get the audience to see your movie – YOU have to think from the beginning about who that audience is.
- Is your film ‘comparable’ to another – if so, try BoxOfficeMojo website to see how they describe that movie (& other similar movies).
Of course, you must always pay attention to the story and characters or why would anyone want to see your film! Equally, however, be realistic about the business side of getting the audience to see your movie.
Next time we will look at the route to self-distribution.
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