One of the most challenging aspects of being an independent filmmaker is promoting your film. Standing out amongst your peers is an enormous challenge, even for seasoned indie filmmakers. You could have an award winning film, but without a viewing audience your movie is worthless. Therefore, advertising and marketing are extremely important elements in promoting your independent film. However, public relations is also a very important step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Knowing how to build up excitement and awareness around your indie film will greatly increase your chances of success.
Some independent filmmakers confuse advertising and public relations and mistakenly identify the two as being the same thing. However, the differences between the two are quite distinctive. With advertising you, as an indie filmmaker, can:
- Control what is said
- How it is said
- The frequency of its use
- And to some extent the placement of your ad in the publication or on air.
In public relations there is no “sure thing” about how your film or the news surrounding it will be interpreted by the media and how it will be presented to the public. Although this may seem uncomforting, public relations does have two practical advantages over advertising.
- It’s cost effective
- It often has more credibility since an outside, “objective” source has deemed your activity to be newsworthy
Public Relations, when used correctly, can be one of the most important weapons in your arsenal. With all of this in mind here are some simple and effective tips on writing a great press release.
Being able to correctly format a press release for a film will not only show your competence in public relations, but it will also make your release look much more legitimate. As a result, the event or news story you wish to promote is less likely to be ignored by the journalist.
- You should first start off by typing the name, address and phone number of your company at the top left hand corner of the page as if you were addressing a letter. Once this is completed skip a line and enter your contact information or your publicist’s information (provided you have a publicist). In the event that you do not have a company name then your name will suffice. Obviously you would not put down your name twice; once as your company name and the other as your contact name. Below is an example of what this heading should look like (a full example of a finished press release is presented at the bottom of this article.) *If you really want your press release to stand out you should consider putting your company or personal logo in the upper right hand corner of the document.*
Raindance Film Festival (Company Logo)