Marketing Isn’t Enough

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July 30, 2010

Marketing Isn’t Enough

Let’s face it, contemporary marketing strategies for independent film – on the affordable/free side of things is no longer as effective as it used to be. With everyone and their mother making films (literally, thanks a lot YouTube), there’s now a poser on every corner. Or in Los Angeles, entire districts where 80.7 percent of the filmmaking populous are posers.

So to get your work to the forefront can be quite a task. Yes, you’ve spent months and months working on your baby, writing the story, developing the characters, scouting the locations, casting and so on and so on. You’ve shot it – and went through great pains to try and meet your vision on absolutely no or little budget. The likelihood is that it was a check to check budget wasn’t it? Regardless, your film is finally finished but there’s one problem – you didn’t expect to lose hits to some stupid home movie where a cat is flushing a toilette. Don’t get me wrong, I love cats – I have three. But as far as media goes – I think professional film and video production shouldn’t have to compete with lame home movies. It’s almost as if Americans and folks all over the globe have decided they no longer care about quality.

Take these films for example:

Untitled Short Film: http://www.vimeo.com/11917212
Drive: http://www.vimeo.com/12400549
Time: http://www.vimeo.com/6239578

All three are independently produced short films from three different filmmakers. All are beautifully shot with great cinematography, aesthetics and intriguing concepts. Yet, they have a minimal viewing record compared to videos on YouTube that got put up just today – one of the videos I provided a link for has 70-odd views give or take, even though it was put up several months ago. I came across a video of two kids yelling at each other that was put up last week – it only lasts five seconds – the user had over 20,000 views on their video and over 400 subscribers to a channel with only three lame home movies.

My point is that we need to step it up and create a clause within out indie-film contracts that stipulate that all participants are to assist in promoting the movie they act or work on – whether it be by sending out links to everyone in their address book or posting links on their social networking sites. If they have a method of mass-communication, you as the filmmaker contracting them, should obligate them to be a promoter of the work – otherwise independent film will be doomed indefinitely.

I’ll see you on the next installment.