It’s no surprise that most filmmakers cringe at the thought of marketing their film. They don’t like having to deal with sleazy distributors trying to squeeze every last dime out of everyone. However, the fact is, if you want your film to be a success (in whatever form you might envisioned it) you need to know how to market your film and this starts with knowing the elements that make your film marketable.
But wait, what is marketability?
Marketability in films simply means being able to convince a complete stranger to watch the film within just minutes of hearing about it. It means they won’t have to think twice whether they should or shouldn’t watch it. Now, marketability is different from quality. You can have a great quality film but if it’s not marketable, only your friends or family will end up enjoying it because they’re the only ones you could convince to actually watch it.
Of course, making your film marketable doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the quality or your artistic style to please the masses. Find the right balance between the two and you’ll instantly up your chances of delivering a quality film you are happy with and people would love to see.
So how do you convince people or strangers to watch your film?
Hire Recognizable Actors
These don’t have to be expensive or super famous actors. You just need actors that are recognizable. When you see a movie or DVD cover with an actor you’ve seen somewhere before (even if you have no clue what their name is) it instantly gives the film some bit of credibility.
Include a Great High Stakes Narrative
This should be a given for most films but there are a lot that fall short. Most independent films don’t include any high stakes narrative into their story. It’s usually about something mundane or the delivery just isn’t well done. Why do you think people become so engrossed in a film when a character has so much to lose over the course of his or her decisions or actions? It’s compelling to watch and it’s something people love to see.
Pick the Right Genre
Let’s face it, if you want wide distribution and audience, there are certain types of films that are easier to market compared to others. The top three marketable films include Romance or Teen Comedies, Horror and Action or Adventure films. Meanwhile, the most challenging to market are film noir, psychological thrillers and mostly drama. Remember, marketability doesn’t equate quality of the film. You may create fantastic films in all of these genres but if it’s not enough to convince a person to watch it within just 60 seconds, then your film isn’t marketable.
Another thing you need to remember is your story. Keep it simple and easy to understand. You should be able to capture your film’s essence in just one or two sentences, hence most films and adverts have a blurb. This will help people capture the gist of the film the fastest way possible.
Remember, this doesn’t mean you have to sell out and create only films that are marketable. Be flexible. Remember, quality is independent of marketability. Quality should be present in each film you create while marketability determines whether a viewer will give it a chance in the first place. Knowing the difference between the two is important to your film’s success.