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campaign real life stories - how to market niche films with triggering subjects

I have been wondering this for a few weeks but today a friend in the industry posted of a personal trauma she has just been through and decided to open up about and make public but didnt get much support as many people who hadnt been in her shoes just stated how they would 'have handled it differently' and what she 'should have done' (classic victim blaming) and it brought the question to the forefront again.

I was reading last week about marketing and a great article about an indie filmmaker who had success using targeted marketing of his films themes, cultures, locations etc... which is great in his case (a light hearted comedy film) but if you have a film that based off a real story that is very dramic, deep and traumatic (like domestic violence, mental illness, child loss, terminal illness, childhood abuse etc...) then who is your target market?

Surely logically its the people that have been through or are currently going through that but then that would seem very irrasponsible to aim marketing towards a group that could be triggered/hurt by it yet if you aim it at those it doesnt apply to they are less likely to care about the message, less likely to want to watch it or possibly may not even understand the victims actions.

I mean obviously you can alter it to try and cram it into a genre then market blindly at that group like making a romantic comedy about terminal illness or a horror about grief (both fairly common) but what if you just want to keep the story true to its source without adding cheap jokes or monsters etc...

It just seems like a minefield but maybe im just overlooking something obvious.
 

CamBlamo

Pro Member
indiePRO
IOTM Winner
I am struggling with this right now actually! I'm developing a short film that use to be a horror (due to the dark nature of isolation/depression I wanted to convey) about self isolation from society.

But as I shared the idea with people, everyone said they didn't like the horror aspect, and it felt more tied to a dark drama.... Or could relate to people feeling this way in real life.

I had to dig deeper into my own isolation and darkness, which frankly... Sucks to do sometimes... In the hopes of connecting the story to people in a more personal and intimate way than another monster movie.

I haven't gotten as far as marketing, but I don't think I will to be honest. The story is so connected and personal to my soul, that I think attempting to spin it toward marketing devices would ruin its essence.

Sometimes, we just have to make something near and dear to our hearts, and say "screw it".

However, marketing should be focused on conversion. Converting people who don't care about the issue, to people that do. That's what documentaries seem to do, and a film focusing around controversial issues should, in theory, be able to market to the same.
 
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