If you have a sales agent and/or distributor linked to your projects, they will most likely handle the marketing – but if your intention is to self distribute and handle sales yourself, you need to know and budget for all market activities that makes it possible for the movie to reach out to distributors, buyers- and in the end; The audience. Even if you don’t handle distribution and sales yourself it’s good to have some knowledge about this when you negotiate contracts – and plan for production.


Trailer editing

One of the key elements of movie marketing is the trailer. To have an experienced and skilled trailer editor take care of this editing is crucial, and probably one of the best investments you can make in your movie. Besides the trailer it’s usually good to edit a longer promo reel (approximately 8 minutes for a feature) – that will work as a brief summary of the movie (so the buyers that don’t have the time to watch the entire movie, still will be able to make a decision to buy it). Even interviews and behind the scenes footage is an important part of marketing, not only because this can be sent out to TV-stations and added as bonus features on the DVD – but also because this can be used on the screens in the sales agents booths/rooms at markets or festivals such as Cannes/Marche du Film, American Film Market, Berlin/European Film Market, Hong Kong Filmart or maybe Sundance.


Market and festivals

Second to trailer editing, presence at film markets and festivals, is likely one of the other more important elements of marketing. The producer needs to budget for the markets and festivals he or she plans to attend. Besides attendance fees, travel and lodging during the festivals the producer also needs to budget for other costs and marketing activities related to each market, such as screenings, booth rentals, office space – or hosting parties.


Layout and Design

One element that most people think of when they think of marketing is the layout and design elements, such as the poster design, ads, one sheets, catalogues and e-mail banners. This is of course also something you need to budget for – and might be able to cut cost for, by using the same supplier for several movies – so you can get better prices and even split costs for things like catalogue design and purchases of fonts and stock footage.



It’s of course not enough to budget for the design, you also need to calculate the volumes of catalogues, posters, one sheet and so on – needed to be printed and the costs associated with this. This goes for DVD: s as well, such as screeners and promo reels that needs to be sent out to journalists, distributors and buyers.



Advertising might be what most people associate with marketing – However, it’s important to distinguish exploitation costs, that are part of the production budget, targeting the producer’s prime costumers (distributors- and buyers) – from distribution costs that targeting the audience (and should be part of the distributors marketing budget). Advertising to buyers, usually is done by producer and in trade papers like Screen, Variety and the likes – While the distributor advertise directly towards the audience, through newspapers, magazines and news letterers etcetera. Apart from advertising the marketing budget also must make room for radio- and TV-spots, as well as “event marketing” like hosting premiere parties and screenings.


Public Relations

Beyond advertising the producer also must budget for public relations related costs, such as hiring a public relations firm or a publicist for issuing press releases – and creating web pages, blogs etcetera. In some cases, such as form movies that are going for success through “the festival route”, the PR can be what determines if the movie generates enough “buzz” to get hyped among those selecting and nominating movies for awards.


Shipping, handling and postage

Last, but not least the producer should not forget to budget for the management cost of marketing. Salaries and overheads for staff who will be working with dispatching screeners and other materials, freight costs to festivals and markets as well as submission fees.

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