marketing Best way to get exposure for my film?

I have one short film out now and a trailer for my next project but I'm having trouble creating buzz. I don't know where to start, really. They've gotten a lot of shares on Facebook but YouTube seems dead. Are there any sure-fire ways to get the word out?
 
Getting buz for short films seems really hard... Especially since so much content comes out each minute.

Try submitting to sites that also have vimeo/youtube channels. Stuff like shortoftheweek, filmshortage, and DirectorsNotes all have their own sites and channels. One way to be seen is through channels/people that are already established.

The other way is festivals. You can browse multiple at filmfreeway.com.

Outside of that, its really a word of mouth marketing style thing. You got to get it to the right audience, and they need to spread it and love it.

* And by no means am I an expert on getting followers. I also have the same problem, but I have long since decided to go with the mentality "if its my time, its my time". I realized regardless of whether I get thousands of views, each film I make is an experience I will never forget. Looking at it that way helps me keep going, even if I may not be swimming in thumbs and followers. I also try to do a scratch back style thing, were I sub to someone's channel if they sub to mine. That way, it could be a win/win.

Hope that helps a little.
 
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The other way is festivals. You can browse multiple at filmfreeway.com.

Read careully on festival submissions, though... many film festivals require that the film not be published in order to submit. Since you already have it out there, you may not be able to submit to those festivals.

Trying to catch an audience online is more chance than strategy, unfortunately. If I knew the magic, sure-fire formula, I’d be a millionaire by now. But there is still some strategy. Use multiple social media platforms, but I’d recommend YouTube as a central viewing platform that you link on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram. Cut a :30 teaser that you can post to the other platforms.

Use hastags. Lots of them. Tag the broad subjects like #shortfilm and #indiefilm and anything that has to do with the genre, but tag things that seem more specific or obscure. The more tags you have, the more visibility you have for people who browse by hashtag. Look at hashtags that are popular/trending... those are the ones that more people use because more people follow. That will attract attention.
 
Read careully on festival submissions, though... many film festivals require that the film not be published in order to submit. Since you already have it out there, you may not be able to submit to those festivals.

That is very true, but lately more and more fests are waiving that requirement due to all that is happening. Some are even making major submission discounts due to the virus.
 
Getting buz for short films seems really hard... Especially since so much content comes out each minute.

Try submitting to sites that also have vimeo/youtube channels. Stuff like shortoftheweek, filmshortage, and DirectorsNotes all have their own sites and channels. One way to be seen is through channels/people that are already established.

The other way is festivals. You can browse multiple at filmfreeway.com.

Outside of that, its really a word of mouth marketing style thing. You got to get it to the right audience, and they need to spread it and love it.

* And by no means am I an expert on getting followers. I also have the same problem, but I have long since decided to go with the mentality "if its my time, its my time". I realized regardless of whether I get thousands of views, each film I make is an experience I will never forget. Looking at it that way helps me keep going, even if I may not be swimming in thumbs and followers. I also try to do a scratch back style thing, were I sub to someone's channel if they sub to mine. That way, it could be a win/win.

Hope that helps a little.

I just submitted my trailer to FilmShortage so hopefully that pans out. Once I finish that short I'll look into paying $30 to post it on other websites lol
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
It's really a crap shoot. I had a conversation with another filmmaker yesterday, and even though we were talking about the feature he wants to make, the point is the same: no one cares as much about your movie as you do.

That's just reality, and there's no simple fix. So keep putting it out there. Keeping in mind what others have said re film festivals (and I definitely think they can serve a purpose), get it out on YouTube, Vimeo, and anywhere else you can. Then share it here, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every place else. Then re-share it again in a few days/weeks.

You can also look at sites like FilmHub that may (not will, may) get it on other streaming sites without a fee. And consider putting it on Amazon via Video Direct, which is free as well (but you need close captions).

Good luck!
 
I've also noticed that features are definetly the way to go for distribution if that's the goal. I've only done shorts so far, so I'm not 100% sure about that, but people have said they won't watch something cinematic for longer than 5 minutes. Features though, I think people know to sit down and relax for the long haul.
 
I've been in the same boat many times. I LOVE making short films (mostly documentary) but I've learned to have very specific goals about distribution and exposure - because, as Mlesemann pointed out, nobody cares as much as you. I made one short just because I needed some car and action content on my reel. I made another one just to try and win an award, ANY award (since, unfortunately, that's the most surefire way to get any attention) just so I could say I was an "award-winning" filmmakers. We just made another show, a docu-series pilot/travel show, that we just wanted to get ANY distribution (so far, FAIL) so we literally, I shit you not, said to ourselves "what kind of content sells the easiest" and we decided it was a travel show. My point is, you'll drive yourself insane if you don't set specific goals for yourself. Because what is "buzz" and when will you know you have it? I mean, we're talking about your film right now and we haven't even seen it. Ha!
 
I have one short film out now and a trailer for my next project but I'm having trouble creating buzz. I don't know where to start, really. They've gotten a lot of shares on Facebook but YouTube seems dead. Are there any sure-fire ways to get the word out?
Indie Tube is a good source, as well as Film Freeway. Indie Tube is newer but they allow you to sell your content as well.
 
I have one short film out now and a trailer for my next project but I'm having trouble creating buzz. I don't know where to start, really. They've gotten a lot of shares on Facebook but YouTube seems dead. Are there any sure-fire ways to get the word out?
Getting the word about your indie movie into the world can be a real struggle, I don’t think there's a silver bullet for the task so your best chance is at trying as many different things as you can. In other words, you miss 100% of shots you don’t take, so why not take all of them (or at least a half) :)

This article can give you several ideas:

How to Market Your Indie Movie in a Covid-Shaken World
 
I hope the guy who's considering going into debt to go to film school will read this thread. Ever since affordable equipment (cameras, editing software, etc) and the Internet came along, the film business has become fragmented. There's too much content out there. You're a need in a haystack.

Maybe you have a slightly better chance at getting a few more views on Rumble.com. Film festivals are mostly a money-making racket.
 
I doubt that this will help anyone here, but there is absolutely a silver bullet, and no one is mentioning it. It's incredibly obvious, and everybody that is winning is doing it all the time. You pay for advertising. It doesn't have to be large scale, you can scale it down as much as you like. It absolutely works, and I've done it many times.

Here is how you can get a million people to watch your short film. First, do your research about the cost effectiveness of the various major avenues as they relate to your target demographic. Then create custom trailers tailored to the respective attention spans of those particular outlets. Those stats can be found during research. Take care to design your trailer to grip fast, within the first few seconds. Don't overstay your welcome with viewers. Be aware of percentages of mobile audiences per platform, those stats are available, and it does make a difference. Design accordingly.

It can be somewhat affordable depending on the result you feel like you need. I spent a measly $1100 dollars on ads for my last film, and called a few tv stations to suggest that they interview me, which they did. The result was about 330,000 views of the trailer, which in turn resulted in enough sales of the film to break even.

Conventional Hollywood rule of thumb is that about half of your budget for a film goes to advertising, maybe 30 or 40 percent in some cases. If the studio wants to tank a film for some reason, to make sure it fails, they will spend about 15% budget on advertising or less, which basically guarantees failure. I would have spent the correct 7k on ads, but I ran out of money, and was lucky to recoup expenses as a result. I should add that my results were unusually good, because I had a solid strategy, based on hyper targeted advertising in a small geographic region where the film was especially relevant. Storefronts that carried the film frequently told me that many customers outright told them that they were hoping to see their house in a movie, and were mainly excited because it was filmed in their home town.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
My last movie was a crime thiller mixed with comedy, so i tried to facebook target people who "liked" the film Game Night.
The algoritm would not let me target those people so i didnt pay for any advertising. thats as far as i got lol.

I don't think i even care if people watch my next movie. if 330,000 people watched it i dont think it would even have a small impact on my life.
it would just be a number on a screen
 
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My last movie was a crime thiller mixed with comedy, so i tried to facebook target people who "liked" the film Game Night.
The algoritm would not let me target those people so i didnt pay for any advertising. thats as far as i got lol.

I don't think i even care if people watch my next movie. if 330,000 people watched it i dont think it would even have a small impact on my life.
it would just be a number on a screen
I'm not bragging, it's not a good number, but I will say that it felt ok to see the numbers on the trailer constantly climbing for a couple of months. Just knowing that I didn't toss 5 months of my life down a well.

You can custom target people who like a particular phrase using AdWords, but Facebook ads can be so much cheaper that lower resolution advertising is sometimes worth it. It all depends on your target demo and strategy. I ran a campaign for a real estate guy once, and paying $25 per click wasn't a deal breaker. He was netting around 15k per conversion, so loosing 5 grand per sale was a win.

You're basically correct, it won't have much impact on your life. The reason I did that was just business. I borrowed money to make the film, and getting copies sold via advertising was how I paid it back, simple as that.
 
I have one short film out now and a trailer for my next project but I'm having trouble creating buzz. I don't know where to start, really. They've gotten a lot of shares on Facebook but YouTube seems dead. Are there any sure-fire ways to get the word out?
What is your overall goal. If you want buzz you need to hire a PR agency. However before making that type of financial investment you need to know what you would like to achieve . Then you need to ask yourself are you ready when the opportunity presents itself.
 
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