-Make a spreadsheet with potential sales agents.

-Make a budget with a cap on how much you are willing to spend on dinners, advertising, travel, lodging, promotional materials, entry fees, and other expenses needed to package and present you and your project in the best light.

-Write a list of strong features that make your film potentially popular (great location, great actor, music, famous name, adaptation, political, relevant, event based, dangerous).

-Start thinking really hard about the graphic design for print materials and about how to do everything possible to promote the film offline, online, on social channels, and through an email list.

-See if the sales agent will invest 10k in a wonderful dinner, Variety & Hollywood Reporter ads, Deadline Hollywood, or online media outlets such as Apple iTunes, and AVClub, Frontrunner Magazine, etc.

-Outreach coordinators are everything.  This person keeps the car on the road and ensures screening success.  Make a calendar of deadlines, potential screenings, actual screenings, interview opportunities, press kits. This will keep you organized and primed for success.

-Hire a P.R. team or local publicist that can help get you and your film in front of the programmers at big festival.  SXSW, Berlin, Toronto, IDFA, Venice, and Cannes have buyers. This is a good place to put your efforts. 

-If you have a cause, look for a barter or a leg up from the NGO or non-profit groups that work in or around the same issues.  These are your advocates and they can help you in convincing a sales agent and a buyer to come on board. Having already thought about this before approaching a sales agent, is a big win for everyone.

-Take great production stills and call a graphic designer who will design a nice, visible, legible title that supports your film and the intention of your story

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