October 17, 2014 at 11:47PM

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Where are some of the best places to go for free press for microbudgets?

We just wrapped our first feature, a microbudget modern western/drama. What are some of the places (other than social media) that filmmakers have gone to get the word out on their movie?

Here's the trailer to my film, 12 Til Dusk:

https://vimeo.com/108954102

8 Comments

You can try with distributors, online and physics. But today media online places are very importante. Building your audience is the best way.

October 21, 2014 at 8:47AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7554

True - and I will always be working on cultivating my audience. Thanks Raguel!

Jake the film guy Keenum

October 21, 2014 at 10:55AM

I'd be interested to know this too, as we're heading into a similar stage with our microbudget feature (www.dontstoprunning.co.uk)

Jake - Really like the voiceover on your trailer, and there's some really dynamic footage in it too... But (and hope this is alright to say) it didn't entirely make sense to me - lots of strands, almost too much going on. From the look of it, you've got some quality material - can't help thinking that you could actually get more from it by simplifying the story of the trailer, and showing us less rather than more. Again - know it can be a ballache when someone offers an opinion on something (and you're very welcome to do so on my teaser!) - but it's intended with good will (I genuinely think you've got some good looking stuff there, both visually, and performance-wise).

Alex.

January 13, 2015 at 11:04AM

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Alex Richardson
Director
3124

What you are looking for is "PR" ie. press relations. It's a dedicated profession (that is pretty well-paid) with persons/agencies that specialize in particular industries and even more specifically within (theatrical, home ent, television, festivals, oscars/awards, etc). From what I know and have been told by them (I'm no PR expert), what they do is a combination of accessing their established press contacts, giving guidance on your press materials, and plain ol' elbow grease / diligent followthrough.

But if you can't afford one, then your best bet is to research "press release" and "press kit". Create the best of those for your film that you possibly can, and send it out according to advice you'll find online. Essentially a press release & press kit is a shortcut for journalists & bloggers to getting their jobs done. They need content that's relevant to their publication/blog, and a press release & kit are designed to make it as easy as possible for them to pop out a blurb or short article (ie. copy>pasting with rearranging of words—realtalk) to help them fill page/web space and/or make their quotas. It's really that simple.

The hard part is accumulating a huge list of relevant publications and/or writers' email addresses, and having them actually read your email / press release (again, that's why an established PR person costs money). If your press release looks weird or unprofessional, you're probably not going to have much luck, so make sure it's great.

January 14, 2015 at 8:45PM, Edited January 14, 8:45PM

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Jaan Shenberger
designer/animator & live-action director/DP
1279

Btw, as a pro watching your trailer, this is what I was thinking: wow, they have great material that could make a dynamite trailer, but they for some reason made one that is quite flawed and neither art house nor broad audience. I say that with no venom at all, I genuinely only mean to be helpful.

Really, you could have a trailer that to the average viewer's eye would be on par with a medium budget studio crime action/thriller… like they're expecting to see Jason Stratham appear in any shot. For VOD, the thumbnail key art (aka. poster/box art) and the trailer are the two things that matter most for sales (assuming it's on a perusing-oriented service like iTunes or Vimeo On Demand). I think your trailer is alienating to people who like action/suspense.

I would recommend asking a talented editor to cut a rough trailer with no regard whatsoever for your present one (with the intent of broad appeal), then seeing what they came up with what you can incorporate into your present trailer.

A couple specific things: ask multiple people to watch it and hit a buzzer or something whenever they see/feel flawed acting and cut it all out. That is the number one thing that audiences backpedal from. Also, more energetic music at some point in the trailer would likely help make it more appealing.

Also, to be clear, I'm not critiquing your film at all (I'm genuinely impressed and it looks very promising), just critiquing your trailer… which keep in mind is not at all a micro-representative of your film, it's merely just a commercial for your film. Hope this somehow helps. And again, kudos, it looks very impressive.

January 14, 2015 at 9:05PM

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Jaan Shenberger
designer/animator & live-action director/DP
1279

If you have an event, like a theatrical screening even just at a small art house theater, that might get you some local press. If you get into any film festivals, research the press in that area and send them your press kit and a DVD that they can watch at their convenience.

Even through it's not free and currently closed you might try: http://www.filmthreat.com/submit-film-for-review/

Here are some other links to free online reviewers:
https://lownobudgetreviews.wordpress.com/submit-your-film-for-review/
http://www.roguecinema.com/how-to-submit-your-film-for-review.html
http://movieboozer.com
http://www.moviesmademe.com/submit-a-movie

January 16, 2015 at 4:04PM, Edited January 16, 4:04PM

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Katie Damien
Writer, Director, Producer
106

No expert at cutting trailers myself, but it seems too story-heavy and should concentrate on the expressionistic elements more. Voice over is good. I would simplify it and make introduce the guns much later. Build a mysterious character first.

But, it looks like you have good film there judging by the footage and congrats on pulling that together!

I have a low-budget feature of my own being cut and a trailer is a complete mystery. Good outside eyes are always important.

January 21, 2015 at 2:42AM, Edited January 21, 2:42AM

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Mike Retter
Video shop owner/filmmaker
234

In this age of social media people tend to forget the local newspapers. They are always looking for news. Just emphasise the local aspect and make sure it is 'newsy'. And when you used some fancy or onortodox technique or gear you can send press releases to blogs about film techniques and gear. (NFS seems sensitive to thatsubject as well ;-) )

I am one of 5 directors working together on the same short, that being shot at 5 different places around the world. When I shot my part in The Netherlands I did get local press from my hometown (filmmaker from ... works on international project) and local press from the location (this building wa a set for an international short film).

Know where you are sending your press release to and tailor it to their audience. Keep it truthfull, but focus on the elements that fit the platform best. And while you are at it: send it to larger newspapers as well :-p

March 3, 2015 at 10:31AM, Edited March 3, 10:31AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
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