You should be in the press…
How to get press exposure for your film.. What can you bring to the table besides your film?
“When we look at submissions, we always get two or three excellent films fighting it out for, annoyingly, just one slot. How do we choose? We take a look at what that filmmaker is doing outside of their festival submissions — are they generating a buzz about their work? Would they be a great advocate for their screening and also for us?“ …
Ben Pohlman – Lift-Off Film Festival Network Co-Founder.
How to get press exposure for your film.. Angle’s and targets everywhere!
What do you feel you will bring to a directors agent, a creative production company, a freelance producer, a maverick film investor, a blogger, your local press, a newspaper, an international news agency?
Ask yourself, are your struggles, and successes as a filmmaker newsworthy? Is your content and output of benefit to others? Do you have a message to share?
It isn’t just laurels from film festivals that not many people have ever heard of, placed on your film poster, which will open doors for you. Yes it helps – of course it does – but like anything if your film is of a particular standard, it can still come down to timing, programming restrictions, and other matters of chaos outside your control.
If you believe that you have a story surrounding you as an artist, your work in general or a specific project, you have absolutely no excuse and every reason to share it with everyone – and you can do no wrong by submitting a press release out to everybody everywhere – starting with the relevant and then getting creative!
How to get press exposure for your film.. Is there an angle? Who do you target?
Indie filmmakers always have an angle. Of course you do. Targeting can be an extremely fun and rewarding creative process.
The first place I would start to look would be my local newspapers, locally based bloggers and I’d try to widen my search outside of the arts and culture sections. We were all born somewhere, and you bet your bottom dollar that there is a journalist bored of writing about the county fair, the local teams win in the cup final and the mayor attending a particular bridge opening.
The bottom line is indie film is cool, and local newspapers have young cool journalists, vapid of content, desperate for something new, all you have to do is pick up the phone, write an introduction, and email it over to them.
Bloggers are all over Twitter. Find them, what you will notice more and more is that these bloggers really want to engage, but they get spammed quite a lot so it makes sense taking a more personal approach first. Follow the blogger, and link up with them online, don’t go hard ball and start pitching your press release, take it slow, build an army of bloggers that you follow and when the time is right during your discussions on their content and tweets, mention what you are up to and send over some information for them, they usually run with it, because you have supported them and, if your message is relevant, your content is for them.
Once you have built up some inches, you will know what many writers and journalists are looking for, and the momentum you’ll have built will give you so much more confidence to go for the big guys. Here’s a great example from one of our filmmakers…
This is the director Paul Griffin who won Best Documentary @ London Lift-Off 2014 with his film Francis B. Griffin. Paul wrote to his local press in Birmingham, got print and then decided that he’d contact Sky News International. They took the story on because it had something different for their millions of viewers world wide. You can see the VT here: Paul Griffin on Sky News.
This is industrious filmmaking, pushing the boundaries and going for the big guys. We absolutely love this kind of bravery and forward thinking and we feel that Paul is going to have a very successful career because of this attitude.
How to get press exposure for your film. PR 101, it’s effective, it builds momentum, people take notice, it works, and it’s free.
Click here to our new page dedicated to ‘Our Filmmakers in the Press’. Remember that once you have started this sort of horizontal way of working, the sky becomes the limit. As a filmmaker it is so important to branch out, build momentum and keep working.
If you do all of the above correctly, you stand a good chance in building a great reputation among festival programmers, producers and anyone else looking to give your career a boost. You can also start by submitting your work to us today and telling us what you’re up to.