Most filmmakers only think about festivals when they’re getting ready to market their film. There are lots of reasons that this line of thinking is flawed, however it would take far more than a 600-800 word blog to even begin to touch on them. However, if you’re going to have ANY level of success from your festival run, you’re going to need some bomb printed materials. This blog outlines a couple of examples I’ve used personally and had success with.
Why you need Good Printed Materials
Just getting into a festival is no guarantee people will see your movie. Generally you have to spend a good amount of time and energy driving people to your screening. Once of the most effective ways to do that is by having them a tangible piece of paper that has all the information they’ll need on it.
Generally, the cheapest thing you can hand them is a postcard, however for festivals I strongly prefer a Tri-Fold Brochure. The Tri-Fold Brochure has more space for everything a reporter or reviewer may need to know about your project, all put into a piece of paper that can be easily turned and segmented to group relevant pieces of information.
The point of getting into a film festival is less about getting people to see your movie, and more about validating your film and giving it a chance to get meaningful press coverage. Both of these things are significantly more likely to happen if you can make a reporters job easier by giving them all the information they need in one compact piece of paper.
Generally, you’ll want the promotional art for your project to take up the front of your postcard. If you don’t want it to take up the entire front of your film, you could leave a space for screening times towards the bottom. If you want to get more use out of these cards, you could also leave a space that can be covered with a return address mailing label on the bottom that you can put the time and locations of screenings at this festival.
On the back, I’d put a synopsis, information about the director, and maybe a little bit about how the film was shot. You probably won’t have space for much else.
I’ve added a template for this in my resources section, but I’ll outline what I mean here.
On the front panel, you’ll want to put the key art, where the film is screening (The mailing address label works well here too) and maybe your social media links or where they can purchase the film.
When they open the brochure, on one of the two panels you reveal you’ll want to put some stills from he film to add visual interest. On the other panel they’ll see when they open your brochure, you’ll want to outline your production company, including your creed/mission statement and other projects you’ve made.
Then they open the other panel, you’ll want them to see photos and bios of your key cast and crew.
On the back panel, you’ll want a bit more art, a bit about what you’re working on next, the next steps for the film, and then a press contact and a link to download your EPK. If your film is available for sale anywhere, you’ll also want to include that there.
I know that’s not the easiest thing to visualize, so I’d really encourage you to check out my resources section for a handy template on this, as well as a lot of other FREE resources. You’ll also get monthly digests of articles just like this one, segmented by topic.
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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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