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The Film Festival

The Film Festival

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The Film Festival

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  1. The Film Festival

  2. The Film Festival Before submitting your film to a festival… Create high quality ‘key art.’ This is the visual composition that includes your title treatment, which becomes the basis for posters, ads, T-shirts, whatever. Many filmmakers try to save money by doing it themselves. Don’t, unless you’re a trained graphics artist. If your marketing materials are crappy, strangers will assume your film is, too. There’s a real science to film key art. Make sure your website doesn’t look homemade.Remember, this will be the first exposure most filmgoers and acquisition types will have of your film. Instead of a webmaster, hire a professional web designer. Make sure your trailer is truly compelling. And, of course, post it on the home page of your site. Good press kits properly position a film. Make sure yours is well-written and hype-free. Include production notes, bios, a synopsis, and full credits, and post in a “newsroom” on your website. Put together a handful of the most dramatic images from the film. These need to be 300 dpi JPEGs with a file size of not less than one megabyte each. Finally, create a dynamite press release. Samples are also posted at

  3. The Film Festival You’ve been accepted… Hire a publicist, if you can afford it. Ideally, you want someone local who specializes in film campaigns. Unfortunately, there may be only one in town and the festival has already nabbed them. As an alternative, hire a national film publicist with grassroots experience. If you have decided to do your own publicity, ask the festival for a list of the media who have registered to attend. Be sure it includes email addresses, so you can get out the press release at least two weeks in advance. Also, ask if there’s a pressroom on site and arrange to drop off your press materials on opening day. Reach outside the festival to fill seats. Find the local non-profits and special interest groups in each market that might be interested in your subject matter or genre, and email them the press release. Be sure to follow up. If possible, avoid giving them a DVD, as it may simply get passed around among their members—or worse, posted on the internet. Don’t hesitate to play the empathy card: we really need your help to prove there is an audience for this film. If we don’t sell out this screening, it may never get shown in theaters. Turn your T-shirts into walking billboards.On one side, feature your film’s artwork. On the other, advertise the day/time/place of your screening. And get an army of folks to wear them on-site and around town.

  4. The Film Festival You’ve been accepted… Find a local vendor to get your posters up around town. Be sure the screening information is prominently displayed. Offer a free gift to everyone who buys a ticket to your screening.It could be something as simple as a button or T-shirt. Raffle something at your screening. If you have “names” in your film, maybe it’s an autographed picture from the set. If not, maybe it’s a prop or costume from the film, or coffee or lunch with the director or producer while you’re in town. Be sure to announce this in your press release. Survey your cast and crew for possible ties to the area.Media thrive on local angles. If anyone who worked on your film has ever lived in the area or has a close relative who resides there, you may be able to score a feature story or news interview. Be sure to pitch this several weeks in advance. Become a key festival sponsor, if you can afford it. It costs a pretty penny, but may be worth it in terms of gaining exposure on a par with the opening and closing night selections.

  5. The Film Festival Three types of Festivals: Local/Regional Showcase Corporate

  6. The Film Festival Local/Regional What’s real, what’s a scam and what’s worth it? The Film Festival Scam walk-thru……

  7. The Film Festival Showcase Festivals Slamdance Other “Dances” New York Film Festival and more

  8. The Film Festival Corporate Sundance Telluride AFI Berlin Cannes

  9. The Film Festival What to do… Screenings Seminars Social Events

  10. The Film Festival Screening Be careful, could waste time and opportunities

  11. The Film Festival Seminars Great places to network, learn and schmooze.

  12. The Film Festival Social Events Research Local clubs, bars, taverns and contact in regards to the “event tonight”

  13. The Film Festival Social Events Always Getting in….. The VIP The Producer’s Assistant

  14. The Film Festival You Getting in….. The Preparer The front door The back door The VIP area

  15. The Film Festival Finally… Chris Gore advised in his indispensable book, the Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, “You must think beyond simply slapping the logo for your movie onto a baseball cap or a T-shirt. I know it’s a cliché, but you have to think ‘out of the box.’ And since everyone is thinking out of the same freaking box, you have to take a sledgehammer, a bazooka, and a flamethrower to the box! Get creative when it comes to getting your film the attention it deserves”

  16. The Film Festival Festivals and more I suggest…