Video Marketing Ideas for Indie Filmmakers

Published On December 26, 2009 | By admin | film, film distribution, film marketing, film production, filmmaking

Like a drumbeat getting louder every day, indie filmmakers keep hearing how the old school model for marketing and distribution is shifting, changing or is downright broken and that now a certain amount of promotional savvy is required in order to get your projects out there.  I’ve personally been reading and viewing as much info on this subject as I can find.  For Christmas I treated myself to Jon Reiss’s new book Think Outside the Box Office, I sit in on as many virtual seminars and conference calls as I can from Film Specific and I’ve joined Marc Rosenbush’s Internet Marketing Club in order to receive his terrific videos and input.  However, the number of filmmakers embracing these new types of game plans continues to grow slowly and I believe there are still many buying into the dream of going to Sundance and being “discovered”.  I’m not saying that this scenerio is impossible.  The stars will align for a lucky few, who will walk away with distribution deals, but they won’t be the same offers that were extended a few years ago either monetarily or support wise. 

Taking all of this into account , I’m posting a couple of videos I think you’ll find interesting.  Both were made by independent filmmakers promoting themselves and their projects.  The first is an interview with Aaliyah Miller whose first script “After the Headlines”, which is about a mother dealing with her young daughter’s murder, received raves at the Action on Film (AOF) Festival.  What I enjoyed about her interview, is the enthusiasm she shows when talking about how she conceived her script and arrived at this point in her life.  Here is a writer, who is at ease speaking about herself and marketing her story to others.  

Aaliyah also speaks about the prospect of turning her short into a feature, shifting the perspective from the mother’s story to the daughter’s.  She is a woman equally able to impress with her work and  her ability to “work a room” if the opportunity presents itself.  While she may not be as polished as more experienced professionals, Aaliyah handles the role of promoter.  I think filmmakers, who have not attempted to use video as a medium in which to call attention to their projects, can learn a lot from her.  I’ve been developing cast and crew question and answer sessions and other promotional ideas for “Accused” and I’m working with the producer and director of “Running 4 President” in order to do the same for that film.  Being able to champion your project helps  you find and build your audience and puts you one step closer to selling downloads and DVDs and cementing your filmmaking career.

The other video is of actress Jeanette Steiner, who plays Cindy in the film “Delivered”, being interviewed by director Michael Madison.  After talking about her background and her initial involvement with acting , the conversation turns to how Jeanette was cast in the film after participating in a video audition process utilizing Facebook and she explains the benefits this method gave her.  After that, she discusses the filming of the movie and the excitement of being cast in an independent production. Details about the film are embroidered into the interview including the casting process, shooting locations, the 67 Mustang that she got to drive and her favorite scene.,  We get to know Jeanette, learn her story and find out what the demands of indie filmmaking are from her perspective.  As potential audience members we become curious about her and “Delivered”.  The interview is informative and entertaining  and I would invite filmmakers to put together promotional pieces like this one for their projects.  These types of videos can be used on You Tube, a Facebook page, a website or as part of a DVD bonus feature.

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