How to market yourself as a Film-maker

Today, we are all interested in movies. The magic of movies, whether it is Bollywood or Hollywood – is all around us.

Are you a “filmophile” or a movie buff? Do you have a passionate interest in cinema, which extends to film theory and even film criticism. Do you find yourself looking for market trends and analyzing audience preferences? If your answer is ‘yes’ then you can think of a career in films – as a film-maker.

In the world of movies, being a filmmaker is tough. Your success will rely greatly on your ability to market yourself as a filmmaker. Effective marketing campaigns require a range of skills and knowledge. To successfully market your products and services, you may need to upgrade your skills. You must bear in mind that film-making, while totally creative, is also a business. You’ve got to keep the finances rolling in and this is critical. Then only can you hope to have a future in this business!
Move ahead and help make this happen by effectively marketing your film-making skills as well as yourself. So, here are some tips on how to get your work, your skills and ultimately highlight yourself so that you can be noticed:

• Brand yourself

Successful businesses know that branding is incredibly vital. Filmmakers in Bollywood have worked out this balance very efficiently. Consider Karan Johar and his production house – Dharma Productions, Amir Khan and Amir Khan Productions, ShahRukh Khan and Red Chillies Entertainment, Yash Raj Films, Vinod Chopra Productions, Rajshri Productions, Bhansali Productions, and so on. In Hollywood, there are film personalities like Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams who have branded their production studios like – Scott Free, Amblin Entertainment, Bad Robot etc. What is significant is that these brands have become synonymous with their founders, and for audiences, these brands represent superior quality, and it also keeps the cash registers ringing!

And, when a film is released from one of these big names, expectations are high. Film publicity is 80% tried and tested and 20% innovation, says a film maker, who is a friend. That’s because our mass cinema viewing population can grasp tried and tested easily. It’s just the younger lot and some industry folks that would like to see new ideas, he adds.

• Sync your film together carefully

Your production reel is the most important element when marketing yourself and your filmmaking skills. When cutting a reel together, there are some things that you need to keep in mind, such as making multiple reels, spreading quality content through the entire reel.

Again, a quality reel can go a long way. They will showcase your skills, and that’s what matters. Take your time producing the reel, taking all production angles into account, as the better the quality, the more appeal will it have for the audience who will be interested to stick around till the end.

Pay proper attention to the music too, as this is vital to attract viewers. We know the impact of music in Bollywood!

• Engage your audience

After your website is up, you have to ensure that your social media game is visible! Remember, you have to engage your audience. In fact, if your engagement is focused and clear, your audience will connect with you and they may also like to be involved in your creative process.

If you connect with these users and allow them to feel like they’re a part of your process, then be assured that you have the biggest marketing advantage – word-of-mouth.

• Create an effective website

Websites can be the official launch pad for your brand. The main thing you want to keep in mind when developing your website is – make it easy to use and clean too.

You have to keep in mind that your website translates well to mobile devices as well, as majority of users will be viewing it from those platforms. Here, you may need the help of a web designer, which may increase your budget.

• Apply Social Media

Social media is so prominent in the film industry now. So, utilizing it is a must for filmmakers, who want to market themselves to a wider audience. We see film-makers using Facebook, Twitter and so on. You can create FB pages to market yourself as an artist or for the film – to market the brand from your production house. Try to get followers and track the growth of followers. With a massive following, you will see that it’s a great resource to utilize.

Even Pinterest, Instagram and even Snapchat can be utilized to connect with other filmmakers and cross-promote yourself and your work. As each of these social media platforms operate differently, use it creatively. Your terms of engagement must be vastly different while using any platform.

• Network with the fraternity of filmmakers

One thing to keep in mind is that the film industry is all about relationships. So, while the audience for your film is very important, you cannot ignore the industry. Networking is the key to collaborating – it’s the secret to gaining access to a perfect location, creating the best sets, costumes and so on.

Ultimately, networking is the key to each film production being more successful than the last. And, that is what every film-maker wants to achieve!