Step-by-step plan marketing for film

This step-by-step plan contains the minimal conditions that a marketing plan has to satisfy if a film is to be sold in the right sequence to distributors, film houses and the public.

1. Pre-production

You make the marketing and distribution plan during the initial stage of your film. A distributor and sales agent participate in a film from the very first and thus share responsibility for the development of that plan during the production process. The marketing expenses must also be included in the budget before the film goes into production.

Serious negotiations take place between the producer, the distributor and in some cases the sales agent concerning the release of a film. Determining the platforms on which the film is screened is also a question of copyright.

The marketing plan
The marketing plan equips you for pitching the idea of the film, soliciting funds, raising interest for distribution and interest among the media for the director, the cast, etc. Your plan has to include traditional techniques for marketing and distribution and online strategies. Use all media to contact your target group. Visibility on several platform is important: create followers and you and your audience will find each other.

An advance press release should be part of the plan, and you can launch the website at the same time. The plan must be in order before production begins. The marketing plan indicates:

  • What the target market is: at which target group the film is aimed, see for example Mentality model by Motivaction.
  • SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat).
  • What marketing resources are necessary to reach this audience (social media, press releases, pictures, posters, media attention, special events, website, etc.).
  • What the basic requirements are in regard to distribution, in order to break even.
  • Who will be involved with the marketing and publicity (for instance who writes press releases and who shoots the stills).

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2. During production

All the marketing tools should be prepared while the film is in production:

  • The shooting script must be analysed to determine which elements of the story are most useful for marketing the film.
  • Key scenes should be covered by the stills photographer. A variety of compositions (horizontal, vertical, etc.) with space on the negative is important for designing posters, fliers, press folders, ads, etc.
  • Extra film material should be used for the key scenes (again with various framing, space on the negative for titles and credits). This will be hugely important when creating trailers, commercials and the EPK (Electronic Press Kit) which contains the trailer, a “making of”, etc. Using outtakes for trailers can save money as well.
  • There should be a “making of” which includes interviews with director and cast, background stories, etc.

3. Post production

The minimum requirements are:

  • Stories about the making of the production,
  • Short description of the plot, a short and a long synopsis,
  • Special matters like human interest stories about the cast, intended for the target group,
  • Production photographs in black & white and colour,
  • A website,
  • Posts on social media,
  • The press folder,
  • The Electronic Press Kit,
  • Trailer and any television commercial(s),
  • Flyers and sales sheets for festivals, film markets, mailings, etc.