Think Outside the Box Office
Macauley and Fougner both recommended “Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing for the Digital Era” by Jon Reiss. It provides an inside look at the new windows available for indie filmmakers and looks beyond obvious formats such as Hulu, Amazon, and iTunes. This book is available both in paperback and electronically on Reiss’ website.
Don’t Always Be Selling
Fenkel noted that consumers feel smothered when they are constantly barraged with product. The best way to use new media is to create a regular community, not just a sales community. Vidal Sassoon already had a base of 8,000 fans on Facebook, so when the movie “Vidal Sassoon” came out, it was easy to exploit that fan base. Fenkel also pointed out that the dialogue needs to begin long before a film’s release; three months is not enough.
“Create a signal out of the static.”
That came from PreScreen’s Shawn Bercuson, who pointed out that distribution means not only identifying a target audience but also finding a way to communicate with them. Social media platforms should be used to listen to fans as well as talk to them. That engagement makes fans involved in the process and furthers their commitment to a film. And with deeper insight, you’re in a better position exploit the target audience.
Social Media Means More Box Office
Fougner said an aggressive Facebook marketing campaign for the two weeks leading up to the release of Warner Brothers’ “Dark Knight” created roughly $4 million in additional box office revenue.
You Have Many Windows, But One Shot
While the panelists differed on their views of how to best use “windows” for a film’s release (theatrical and/or VOD), League pointed out that a film has one shot. That makes it important to push on all monetized platforms, including (but not limited to) a standard theatrical release, VOD, Amazon, iTunes and Hulu.