Putting Together a Great Press Kit for Your Film

What’s the point of making a film if nobody will watch it? It will simply drift into obscurity – or not, since it was born into obscurity and never escaped from its confines – and nobody will ever know of its existence. It will entertain no one, inspire no one, and provide valuable takeaways for absolutely nobody on this planet. Aliens might intercept it, which would be welcome news, albeit a bit of a stretch.

To avoid this kind of unfortunate situation, mankind invented *drumroll* marketing. This process is as simple or complicated as you make it, and its final objective is getting word about something out there, into the whole wide world. In your case, word about the film you just made. While social media marketing is definitely a must, you should also look to get press about your work.

I’ll go on a limb here and assume that you’ve just spent your last penny on producing the awesome film that you’ve just finished, so let’s look into a non-financially demanding checklist for a perfect press kit.

Synopsis

Make sure to nail this one, for it can make or break the whole deal. Be sure to keep it short, make it snappy, provide enough detail, but not too much, and make sure that you test it beforehand and enough people tell you they find it interesting as opposed to obnoxiously boring. Alternatively, you can offer more than one synopsis, and let journalists choose what’s most appropriate for them – in this case, include a short one consisting of a few sentences, a medium-length one of about half a page and a long one.

Cover Sheet

Very important as well, as it’s a definite attention grabber. Think about this as a mini-poster: mix your film artwork with the title, some credits, and any laurels or review quotes that you might have obtained. Do a little research, there’s tons of inspiration material out there, and make the design work for your particular project.

Images

Again, you should know what best describes your film, so go ahead and make a nice selection of relevant pictures which showcase the essence of the project as well as possible, without giving away spoilers. Very important note – use only high-res images. Don’t even think about including a photo if its size is 10 KB. Production stills are undoubtedly the safest bet: you can arrange such special photo shoots during filming, in-between takes, and you’ll have some memorable, relevant and high-quality material ready to use.

Videos

A collection of fantastic stills is great, but since you’ve just made a motion picture, you should consider including, you know, moving images as well. The trailer is a must, whatever type of film it is that you’re marketing. Additionally, you can shoot some interviews with yourself, as well as key cast and crew members, and include it alongside everything else in the pack.

Cast and Crew

Write small bios of the main cast and crew involved in the making of your film. Don’t put in too much detail, or else it will never get read. Whether or not you keep it straight to the point, veer of a little bit or slot in some humour is entirely up to you. Things you may want to include for each person are past projects, as well as any other relevant, work-related experience.

Reviews and Quotes

You just got an extremely favourable review, and you’ve been practically swooning over a particularly glorious quote ever since? This is where you want it – it has to go in your press kit. It’s good to keep everything short and sweet, so you can, of course, quote it out of context – it’s a very, very widespread practice. Just as well, you can go for it and post whole reviews in – it can be the most positive one you got, or it can be a balanced one, thus showing that you’re not shying away from a little constructive criticism.

FAQs

What better way to tell something about your film than to ask a question yourself, and have all the time in the world to prepare a great answer for it? Go for perhaps 5 FAQs for a short project and around 10 for a longer one.

Got it? So, if you find yourself wanting to get good press, you should lay all the right foundations, starting with creating the killer press kit – and I hope that the above will help you at least a little bit in sorting everything out. Pack everything together, upload it where it is needed, send via Dropbox or WeTransfer and, naturally, keep your fingers crossed!

Article written by Julian A. Leu for The Monthly Film Festival
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30.6.2017
 

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