The Movie Waffler Five Simple Tips For Promoting Your Low Budget Movie! | The Movie Waffler

Five Simple Tips For Promoting Your Low Budget Movie!

Here at TMW we love to promote indie films by reviewing them on equal terms alongside Hollywood's latest blockbusters. In our dealings with first time film-makers, however, we often notice a few mistakes when it comes to promoting their product. Here are five tips to help get your film noticed.

Take lots of stills
You're working in a visual medium so promote your film through visual means. When you submit your screener to sites like TMW for review, send along a ton of high quality images that they can use to illustrate the review. No website editor enjoys having to take screengrabs off an online screener, plus they never look as good as well taken still shots. Your film may revolve around some pivotal moments (eg. a special effects sequence) and using stills allows you to highlight these.

Embrace the web
It's 2013, the web is here to stay, use it to your advantage. Not having a website for your movie is inexcusable at this point. But don't just set up a site and leave it to rot. Keep it updated with a production diary, videos and stills. From the pre-production stage you should be making contact through twitter with the websites you plan on sending screeners to once the film is complete.

Make your trailer embeddable
If you've cut a trailer, surely you want that trailer to be seen by as many viewers as possible? It always baffles me why some indie film-makers upload their trailer to YouTube, only to disallow embedding on other sites. If you're contacting a site in the hopes of having them review your film, make sure they can embed the trailer alongside the review. (Unless you're ashamed of how it looks, in which case you're in the wrong business.)

Use Skype for interviews
Your $1000 budget movie isn't going to be reviewed in the New York Times or Empire magazine. You'll be relying on bloggers who do this out of love and don't make any money in the process. If you arrange an interview, don't expect them to fork out for an expensive trunk call to your cellphone. Either conduct the interview through Skype or make sure you're the one covering the costs.

Make friends, not enemies
When you submit a screener for review, you run the risk of getting a negative review. If this happens, don't take it personally. No matter how angry you feel, don't take to Twitter and attempt to discredit the reviewer; they may have a lot more followers than you do and could end up damaging your reputation among the blogging community you'll rely on. If you think a certain reviewer couldn't tell a good movie if it spat in their face, don't send them a screener. Research reviewers and send your film to those whose opinions you respect. But always remember: there's no such thing as bad publicity. Three bad reviews are still better than no reviews.

These tips won't make your film-making skills any better but they should help you get a bit more notice.

Eric Hillis