With traditional distribution options disappearing for filmmakers it is no longer possible for independent filmmakers to think that someone else will devise their marketing strategy. Just as you create a great screenplay for your film which you then breakdown and storyboard before shooting, having a marketing plan thought out gives you a way to communicate to others the way that you will reach your audience. In this post I will outline the aspects of marketing planning that I found useful for Crackheads.
As you may, or may not be aware, I have been working on a film called ‘Crackheads’. The film can be as controversial as it sounds, which makes it a marketing dream. Well dream in the sense that a number of elements are easy to define, such as using crack, P, meth – whatever you like to call it – as a large part of the marketing activities, and that by exploiting these elements we are sure to gain some attention…
Before we get ahead of ourselves I thought I would go through some of the elements of marketing planning for films that I believe are crucial.
‘Crackheads’ the movie!!
“We’ll fix it in post” Although shooting is the most stressful part of making a movie post comes with its own complications. The best way to make it easy on yourself is to edit as you go. If your pretty much the entire shooting crew as well as the post team this can be difficult but it does make the shooting process easier in many ways as you can see what you have missed much quicker.
Spending money in production is like standing on a street corner and throwing $100 dollar bills into the wind.
Production, the actual shooting phase of filmmaking, is without a doubt the most expensive and stressful part of the process. You require so many different elements to be in the same place at the same time and you need everything to work the way it was planned to pretty much right away. All of this costs money – even when you’re not paying your cast and crew you still have to feed them and you better feed them well!
A journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it -Steinbeck, John Ernest
With two days shooting under our belts it was time to prepare for the long haul. Our first big weekend was to be Easter weekend with the idea to shoot three days over the four-day weekend. The first day was to be based out at Kelly Park Film Village and the last two in Devonport.
Of course before we could get to the actual shooting there was a large amount of prep work to finish…
“It’s go time” Detective Wade McCall
We started the shooting process with two days we basically looked at as test days. They were more than a month earlier in the schedule then the rest of the shoot and the idea was to give ourselves a taster so we could be more prepared for the rest and ensure everything was going well in post.
We, of course, decided to start with the scenes of our lead actress in chains, which did lead to a slight fear that Delaney might not come back (she did of course). Below are the production reports for your amusement.
“Good luck is a residue of preparation” Jack Youngblood
Making a film is a massive undertaking. When your not paying people you can’t expect anyone to put in the same effort that you do (or should you) but you still need people to help you realize your goal. The key is to identify the areas that your unable to do yourself and to find people to fill in those spaces.
“The best way to make a film is never to have made one before” Jean Cocteau
To me this quote sums up the naivety and blind passion that goes into making your first feature film. All the excitement, exhaustion and exhilaration will never really be the same as it is on your first outing. Of course that is because your gaining experience in a way that no book, short or teacher can…
The Richmond Family Massacre started as an idea for the Grindhouse trailer competition (much the same as the winning entry went on to become ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’). Lance one day mentioned the fact that it could actually be our first feature film. After making numerous short films we both liked the idea of creating something more challenging and started writing the script.