If you’re making a film with an extremely niche audience, it can make A LOT of sense to consider hosting some community screenings in place of a more traditional theatrical run. While this tactic most commonly used for documentaries that have a strong social message, it’s also a tool that can be quite effective when utilized by narrative films targeting a very well defined niche. Here’s what goes into the package you’ll be selling to anyone who might want to screen your film.
Essentially, what you’re selling is an event kit that includes pretty much everything that an event organizer will need to create an event around your film so both of you can make money.
1. The rights to publicly screen the film
2. Questions to facilitate conversations after the film
Most of the time, the goal of a community screening is not just to show the film, but to build community around it. Starting a conversation around the film when it’s over can be a great way for people to begin to understand not only the film, but the other people in the community watching it. As such, providing a list of sample questions to anyone who would be hosting the event is a great way to make sure that the community building around your film is likely to go well.
3. Art Assets for social media
Not everyone is good at social media marketing. I would recommend that you create a set of art assets that can be easily modified to include the host and location for each of the following.
If you think I missed one, leave it in the comments.
4. A Pricing Plan
If you want to attract good event hosts, they’ll need to know what they need to pay. Generally it’s best to structure this as a cost plus revenue share, with the potential to add consumables like DVDs to the list. If you do a Revenue Share, you need to insist that you host it though your Eventbrite.
Another couple add ons you could consider, is Skyping or zooming in after the screening to take questions. You could also include the ability to fly out, but that would be a MUCH higher price point that includes travel.
5. Easily printable standard page size flyers in both black and white and color
6. Easily printable quarter page size flyers
This is the same sort of concept as the full page flyers, but sized so they can be given out or left somewhere.
7. A Sample Press Release/EPK
This might be the most important item on this list. One of the biggest reasons that you want to do these screenings is to increase the profile of the film. If you get a significant amount of local press coverage, you’ll end up getting a significant boost to your SEO. You should also make sure you include a few quotes from you about the film, and a few images to make the job of the local reporter as easy as possible.
You should get some quotes about your film from any notable person you can that’s seen it. If you’re past your festival run, you should consider looking at any of the reviews you got about the project.
9. General best practices for marketing events
Not all community organizations are great at marketing events. So, an electronic file delivery of best practices for marketing a screening like this would be very useful to them. Having recently worked with a few arts organizations, I wish I had made a template with more detail to better get the word out and get a few more people to show up.
Thanks so much for reading! Next week I’ll release a blog about how to actually market this package.
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My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of Producer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.
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