Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Don't be a martyr. Learn to sell and buy yourself a sandwich. [3 Must-read articles on DIY marketing]


  1. The standard for crowd-funding has raised.
  2. You have to plan for pre and post production with the same level of focus as production.
  3. Observing VHX landing pages can give you insight on design and functionality.
  4. Think of your movie in in terms of videos, and pictures. Use everything (and create more).
  5. The deliverables coincide with everything you get on a standard blu-ray.  Think ahead.
  6. Professional set photography is key.
  7. Most importantly, you need a long term holistic approach to storytelling to maximize your chances of success.  There are no shortcuts but if you hit most of these points with due diligence you'll be head and shoulders above the rest. You gotta be obsessive to tame DIY.
Holy Bejeezus.

What in the golden throne have I gotten myself into?!  Seriously, among my many concerns over starting a family and supporting a home I'm pretty sure I was caught up in the vision of a private room filled with shelves of comics and Warhammer 40k figurines, a sizable Magic the Gathering card deck collection, a projector screen (or two) with enough recliners and tray tables for long Destiny gaming sessions, horror movie nights and loads of tacos, buffalo wings and beer . . . 

But I'm in film school ya know.  And my other major is creative writing.  And I'm in NYC, an aggressive movie town with much competition and too far in the red to be nearly as mobile as I think I need to be.  I'm in banana-nut town. When I started talking to people about marketing and distribution out of our school by packaging our collective thesis content for low-budget pitching, I had no idea the industry-sized effort we'd have to break down into something manageable.  

The rabbit hole is quite deep.  In the articles above they discuss website creation, marketing strategy, the long list of deliverables and, at a glance, the shit is scary.  But here we are.  So get your maniac face on.  Read the articles and create a list for yourself of the things you feel are appropriate to gather during your development and all stages of production that might have more to do with the marketing needs than the production itself.  There are also great books you can order on the topic.  Find someone to handle this stuff and attach them to your producing team and call them the PMD.

I think the initial headache comes from having to know which questions to ask ourselves and which things to focus on.  But just like you're an emerging artist still developing world experience, you'll likely have access to someone who's an emerging campaigner and you'll have to delegate these concerns to keep yourself sane.  Having someone else focus on the list and prioritize the work they need from you is one huge step in the right direction.  DIY doesn't really mean do-it-your singular self.  It just means that your community needs to have the brass balls to go to work without permission.

Don't fear a life full of adventure chasing your dreams.  Not now - not ever.  Don't hide from it.  Don't dismiss it.  New programs to learn don't require pounds of your flesh, just time.  Web design is primarily a creative process like everything else you and I are trying to do.  Good marketing will prove real conviction and you should have every reason to show that off.  There are no words to describe what will await you at the end when your faith is redeemed to one end or another.  But not getting there at all has to be the cruelest fate.  So fight hard and with abandon.

May the film gods bless.