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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Top 5 things I've discovered about promoting a low budget children's film

The teaser trailer for my forthcoming family feature film, Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg, went live recently. Have a look below. I've made the film alongside my podcast colleague Danny Stack as well as many great acting and crew professionals who happen to live locally. Here's the full IMDB info.

Currently we are deep in post-production. But it is important that the film continues to be seen out there in the big wide world and remains visible. When you have your head down, buried in the edit, it is easy to go silent, to disappear into a black hole. This can be a mistake. In many ways the industry determines a film's value by how many people would want to see it and how easy it will be to convince 'normal punters' to check it out. Being silent about your film could actually lessen its chances of being seen.

Some things we want to achieve when we release things like the teaser are:

  • let film goers know about the film and begin to build an audience
  • keep the film visible and in the mind of the industry so they are considering it and thinking about it
  • experiment a little - try some things out in terms of different ways of explaining the film to see what works and what doesn't

It is going quite well and when we are out and about it seems many people in the children's film and TV world have heard of it somehow. This is great, as this project has grown from a standing start. It is a debut feature, not based on a book and existing property and we are doing in all in a low budget way.

Here's five lessons I've learnt while trying out many different promo ideas. These may work for you too. Of course, the best way to build interest is to make a film that is good and that people want to see. But even then, that actually isn't enough these days.

One: Keep things coming

Keeping a drip feed of info and material has to be the number one recommendation. Some say it should be a regular, fixed time every week. I'm not so sure about that. But definitely having new things appearing on a weekly / fortnightly basis is both a good idea and achievable. That way, if people come back after a month or two they will see lots of new things. This makes the film seem alive and vibrant. It feels like a living entity, not a dull product.

Two: Realise its a long haul

Almost the opposite of above. Not everyone is online all the time. It can be tempting to keep slamming new things up all the time. Make sure that all the avenues of communication (twitter, Facebook etc) are accessible for new visitors. It is easy to forget that for some people you new post will be the first thing they read about your film. Does it make sense for these noobs?

Three: Variety of material

Some people like images, some people like clips, some like behind the scenes info. Keep mixing up the material you are uploading.

Four: Go direct

In the social age it can be easy to think that simply uploading stuff is enough. And sometimes, it can be, but often it isn't. Take your message out there yourself. Send it to Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, SubReddits and so on. And don't forget about forums and other publications. As we have Bonnie Wright in our film (Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter films) we've been in touch with some of the online groups that love those films. They've featured us, helping us reach a new but loyal audience.

Five: REALLY understand your audience and who they are

This can be harder than you think. We took a step back to refocus our online activity this year. Who is our audience? Well the film is aimed at 6-10 year olds. And most of our materials should appeal to this age group. But are we currently aiming our materials at this age group? No, we are not. This age range is a tricky group to reach as they are limited in their online exposure and advertising directly would be costly. In fact, our target audience is the industry - sales people and distributors. We need them to be aware of the film. Now, that may mean a lot of our posts are designed for an age group of 6-10. That is to show how we are reaching out to this group and the film's potential to do so. We don't expect many 6-10 year olds on Facebook (as it is for 13+ officially anyway). In short - we make kids stuff to show to grown ups!

So, what's next:

I'm thinking of mixing things up again and doing a technical behind the scenes piece about the edit workflow! Keep an eye out for it!

1 comment:

Equisite Forest said...
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