Buzz-Building

We no longer live in a simple world. Technology has seen to that. It is not the distributor’s responsibility to do everything to hype your film. To even catch their eye, you need to build your audience before the film is distributed. The great news is that while technology landed us in this pickle in the first place, it actually makes it easier (and, best of all, free) for filmmakers to literally make their audience as they make their film.

Like the Tower of Babel, figure out your building plan early and start from the infant stages of your film—when it is still simply words on paper. Use Facebook, Twitter, and a blog to start pushing out the concept of your film for everyone to see. Make sure you get a domain name suitable to the title of your movie. Use your Twitter and Facebook as a public diary of the events unfolding as you start your movie. Make 3-D movies your guide; people want an interactive experience, not just a flat screen. Bring them into the movie-making process.

Pre-production isn’t just a time for you delve into your movie; it’s a time for your fans to delve in, too. So much of the creative process and planning happens here. Focus some of that creativity on your marketing. Use Facebook as a way to hold open auditions by having people submit videos of themselves trying out for a part.

Make videos as you cast the film for the audience at home to see what’s happening, and provide a chance for them to interact with your cast. When looking for locations to film, write about what they are like or take pictures. Ask your fans to “like” locations or offer suggestions of other locations to film. Create photo montages of costumes, props, or actors dressed for their scenes. Taking simple, resourceful steps like these will up your movie’s appeal before it is even made.

Don’t let the video shorts and still photos die during production. Post an extra camera up to record moments or take photos during important scenes. Posting these to Facebook and other social media accounts helps the rest of the art community see what you are doing with your projects. Make “behind-the-scenes” videos so they feel like they are on the set with you.

After the film is made, you can really start building the hype as the release of your movie draws near.  Keep creating video shorts, like “behind-the-scenes” or “director’s commentary” videos. Make polls and encourage your fans to vote. Post several versions of your trailer and see which ones people like best.

Also, encourage your cast to make their own social media sites to help spread the word of your film. Start with your friends and family as a base and ask them to share links to your blog or Facebook, or post pictures on their own sites. Spend just a few hours a week and you’ll already have a fan base for the movie by the time you start distribution. the Tower of Babel fell, and was devastating in its demise.