Creating and producing an independent movie is not as easy as it sounds. And then there’s the added pressure of wanting your movie to gain exposure and attract the attention of the right people.
One way to do this is to screen your own film. Film screening has always been important to a movie’s production and release cycle. There are typically many reasons for people to host film screenings. Some of these include exposure, awareness, community building, education, and many more.
But the most common reason is that it’s a great way of putting yourself out there and gaining exposure, especially as an independent movie producer.
Here are a few tips for organizing and promoting your indie movie screening:
Organizing your Indie Movie Screening
Get a license to screen your film
A screening license is always necessary if you plan on showing your movie in a public venue. It’s pretty easy to get one. You simply have to contact licensing companies that can give you single and annual event licenses for movie screenings.
It’s always important to have your license ready just in case someone questions you about your movie screening.
Choose the right venue
Next, you need to consider where you’ll be hosting your indie movie screening. If you want your film to be shown clearly, you need high-quality projection and sound equipment. You should also consider the space and size of your venue, and whether it can fit the estimated people you expect to come.
The size of your screen should also be considered. Generally, if more people are attending, then the larger your screen should be. Most people also get hungry during movies, so you need to make sure that your venue has food and drink stations on standby.
Choose a date and time
Make sure to choose a schedule where more people are able to attend. Events like this are usually better held on weekend days like on a Friday or a Saturday. You can also go choose in the date in the middle of the week, like during a Wednesday evening.
It’s important to hand out the schedule beforehand and give people more than enough time to mark their calendars and clear out any schedules they might have.
Set a budget
A budget is always the most important thing to prepare when planning any type of event. Calculate how much you would need for equipment, venue, food and drinks, staff, marketing, and securing a screening license.
Having a budget beforehand is essential so you don’t end up spending too much and leaving yourself broke.
Find an easily accessible location
The location of your venue should be somewhere your audience can easily get to. You can look for locations that are close to bus or train stations and have plenty of space for nearby parking. Once you have a specific location in mind, as well as a budget, searching for a venue becomes a lot easier.
Make your movie accessible to all audiences
If you want to reach a wider audience, make sure your film screen is accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Remember that there will always be diversity in your audience. If you want to keep them satisfied, you need to do your best to cater to any special needs they might have.
You can do this by:
- Removing any flashing lights in your movie
- Making sure your venue has wheelchair access
- Adding subtitles or sign interpreters for your audience members who are hard of hearing
- Allow for closer seating for audiences that are partially sighted
It’s also important to mention this during your promotions so those people with special needs are aware that this is one movie screening that they can still enjoy.
Promoting your Indie Movie Screening
Establish an internet presence
These days, anything you do needs a social and digital presence if you want it to attract the right audience. Since your movie isn’t owned by a big company, you need to make sure to establish and maintain your presence on all social media platforms, as well as create your own website.
Having an online presence makes it easier for you to make important announcements about your film and give your audience regular updates. You can also run a blog on your website and show some scenes during the production process.
A trailer and teasers are a given for any film. They build hype and anticipation and create a buzz about your movie way before it’s even released. If you want to hook your potential audience, you need to invest time and money into making sure your trailer and teasers can instantly grab the attention of anyone watching.
You can then post these on any social media platform or on your own website to reach more people. You can also create an eye-catching poster for your film to add to the anticipation and hype. You can find several online poster maker tools, such as PosterMyWall, that can help you grab the attention of your potential audience.
Hold a public promotional event
It’s normal and expected to see movie advertisements online or on TV. But holding a live promotional event for the public to see is far more memorable than a simple ad. If it’s within your budget, holding an event to promote your film might convince more people to attend your film screening.
Don’t ignore traditional marketing
Just because digital marketing helps you reach more audiences doesn’t mean you should disregard the traditional way of marketing too. This means magazine ads, flyers, press releases, or a movie night poster that can attract the attention of the general public. There are plenty of poster templates you can find online, such as in PosterMyWall.
You can also do interviews or be featured on the local news and radio stations to promote your indie film locally and nationally.
Build word of mouth
There are some people that won’t be convinced to see your film by trailers and ad campaigns alone. They’re more convinced when people they know and trust are the ones recommending them to go. This usually means family, friends, social media influencers, critics, bloggers, or anyone they might respect and admire.
Try and get people to talk about and discuss your film without the context of an advertisement. This way, you’re more likely to draw in audiences that you wouldn’t have been able to reach.
It can be a daunting task, at first, to organize and promote the screening of your own indie film. If you feel way out of your league, you can always ask for help from other filmmakers and pick their brains about how they made their own film screenings work. You can also show your movie to them and ask for any feedback.
It’s a lot of work but it’ll definitely be fun. The chance of getting to promote your hard work and seeing how it makes other people brings a lot of joy and makes all the work that went into the production and planning processes – from the making of the actual film to organizing the screening – worth it.
By following the tips given above, you’ll be able to hold your very own successful film screening and take that first step towards becoming a successful indie movie producer.