The EPK can be your best friend or your largest foe – prepare it well and use it wisely.
Jeez, sounds time consuming. How long is this thing going to take me? I already gave 6 years of my life to this movie . . . .
A good EPK can be built with a little help from your friends, apps, and outsourcing websites in around 72 hours. You have all the info you need already; it’s just a matter of collating it.
So what do you find in the usual EPK?
- Movie trailer
- Clips & stills
- Press release
- Film synopsis
- Director’s statement
- Cast/crew bios
- Online screener
- Contact lists
It surprises us everyday how some indie directors create an amazing movie, but don’t bother to produce a trailer. I’m only going to say it once, so listen up:
A trailer is the most vital marketing tool you can have for any film.
Your trailer is make-or-break for your movie sales, reception, and next gig. Make sure you treat it with the respect it deserves. If you only do one thing on this list, create an amazing trailer!
Clips, stills, and candid shots
This one is easy, right? You probably had someone on crew who was wandering around with a Canon 7D in their spare time. Now go grab that person and plunder those personal archives. The press and the people want to see your juicy, salacious, borderline mundane behind-the-scenes shots.
Filmmaking is all about film magic, and the people want to see how you made that magic happen. Grab 10 to 15 of your juiciest candid shots explaining your journey on location, capturing the essence of your cast members off-screen, and speaking of the dynamic vibe on the shoot. Presto: you now have behind-the-scenes content, perfect for your press kit, and Snapchat & Instagram profiles.
Stills are just as important as candid shots. Again, you want to be looking at 10 to 15 – but really you want quality over quantity. Select your strongest shots that show:
- The art of the cinematography
- Your star power inhabiting their roles
- The costumes, the details, the makeup
- Your lighting & set design
- The narrative arc of your piece (without giving anything away)
Aim for three ultra-solid clips of no more than three minutes in length. The clips shouldn’t give away core plot points, but illustrate central themes along with the power of your actors, cinematography, and direction style.