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Marketing a Short Film

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Tyler GrutschMarketing a Short Film
by on Jun 11, 2011 at 3:03:56 pm

I have been Producer project called The Life and Times of an American Playboy with director Ryan Rundle for over a year now. We just finishing up on post production and now are looking to send it several festivals.

Does anyone have any pointers or tips for marketing a short film? Getting distribution? Or having a sucessful fundraising campaign using kickstarter or indie-go-go?

Here's the trailer:

http://www.thelifeandtimesmovie.com/trailer.htm


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John DavidsonRe: Marketing a Short Film
by on Jun 11, 2011 at 8:22:49 pm

You need a non-cursing/urinating version of the trailer. You also need a better trailer - it looks like it was edited by the same people that cut the film, which tends to result in favorite shots/scenes being used even when they don't add anything to the presentation. The mix of the trailer sounds weak. It needs whooshes, bangs, hits, etc. Spend a little time making the trailer better and you'll get better results in all your marketing endeavors. It's all over the place. If you're having issues where there are no summary lines to weave the storyline into the trailer in a more clear fashion, have the talent record a line or two in ADR and fake it. The text should never be fullscreen like that, fyi. It's terribly difficult to read.

On the bright side, it seems like the production quality of the elements you have to work with are great.

Spend a little money on good library music, too. I personally love the Killer Tracks / Atmospheres music libraries, it's just good.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Tyler GrutschRe: Marketing a Short Film
by on Jun 11, 2011 at 10:43:25 pm

That's all great advice. I suggested having a 'clean' version of the trailer, though the director wanted it to keep it gritty and without censorship.

It was edited by the same people that cut the film. I think it's awesome that you could point that out just by watching it. Clearly you've been doing this for awhile it, so I will welcome any advice.

Given the content of the film is not exacrtly family friendly and appeals more to the 'South Park' generation. How would you suggest we market it to make sure we reach the right auidence and don't offend anyone?


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John DavidsonRe: Marketing a Short Film
by on Jun 12, 2011 at 9:23:15 am

I like to get ideas from watching other trailers from similar genres. Comedy trailers are difficult, especially ones with blue material. Movies like Superbad, Bridesmaids, etc were all fantastic, but the trailers just didn't sell them well in my opinion. There are ways to get the implication of profanity without feeling censored - if the line ends in a curse, have the it play out all the way up to the curse with a reverse cymbal washing into a hit - then have the hit cover the offending word. That's just one trick - watch lots of trailers for more ideas.
The director needs to understand that marketing is censorship. You're editing out all the crappy or dull parts in a production to elicit the largest audience. When putting blue material in a trailer, you run the risk of offending the viewer with out-of-context material that would otherwise be accepted.
I personally don't know how money is made from short films, but if you have any marketing budget at all I suggest consulting a professional agency to get the best possible trailer. The production crew may have done a fantastic job with the film, but often they're too close to the project to make the best trailer - that is a bit of a universal constant.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Mick HaenslerRe: Marketing a Short Film
by on Jun 13, 2011 at 2:30:45 pm

I wanna party with you guys...I liked the trailer in that it made me want to watch the film. Technically I found the music distracting, something about the mix didn't sit with me. The soundtrack was competing with the dialogue which gave me ear fatigue after 10 seconds. Try bringing the level back and scoop out some mids which will give the dialogue room without pumping it up to much. Also, try slapping a compressor on all the dialogue, some was hot, some not.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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Richard HerdRe: Marketing a Short Film
by on Jun 13, 2011 at 6:07:43 pm

Do you know about https://withoutabox.com/ ?


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Tyler GrutschRe: Marketing a Short Film
by on Jun 14, 2011 at 12:56:59 am

Mick, I'm glad you want to 'party with us' and you would actually want to watch this movie. After you mention that the audio is competing with the dialogue, I watched it again and you're right.

Richard, yes we are using without a box. Our ultimate goal is to develop this short film into a feature. If we got distribution that would be a plus, though there doesn't seem to be a huge market for short films.

Does anyone have any film festival or dealing with short film distribution advice?


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Richard HerdRe: Marketing a Short Film
by on Jun 14, 2011 at 6:04:07 pm

Noah Kadner has some good info, but he rarely posts in here. He hangs out over there --> http://forums.creativecow.net/indiefilmdocumentary


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Jeff BreuerRe: Marketing a Short Film
by on Jun 16, 2011 at 4:16:22 pm

Tyler,

I recently did a small push for a short film of ours before we developed it into a web series. I really liked the advice I got from "The Ultimate Film Festival Survivor Guide" http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Film-Festival-Survival-Guide/dp/1580650570/r....

You really want to do your research on the festivals and make calculated moves on your strategy for which festivals to hit. The money really starts to add up once you start submitting. Also, I would suggest definitely going for the Palm Springs Int'l Short Festival. It's a top player and even if you aren't accepted they put you into a sort of "Market" that they show off to people interested in picking up talent. Not sure what kind of deals you would get, but it's a start. And you are on the right track with Withoutabox. Love em. Good luck!

Jeff


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