The following is an excerpt from an article from filmmaker Ed Burns and Shohawk.com.
We start at the digital concentration, step #24. The link to the entire article entitled “30 Tips: Making and Releasing Microbudget films!” is below.
Embrace Your Strategy
We would not make excuses for our nontheatrical release. We would embrace it.”
Don’t treat your “small” release strategy as the equivalent of having a movie go straight to video in the 1990s. The climate is different now.
Embrace your means, use them to your advantage in promotion, and own your path to the audience. This will maximize productivity by focusing on what can work best for your film, not someone else’s.
Festivals Are The Indie-Theatrical
I realized I could also have a theatrical release. It was called the festival circuit.”
The vast majority of films and filmmakers cannot afford a traditional theatrical run. But theatrical runs don’t conventionally serve to make a profit.
They are a means of promoting your film across the country or world in hopes that word will spread, people will later buy or rent the movie, and it will live on for a long time after.
Using festivals as your film’s theatrical run is a fairly inexpensive way to gain that exposure and propagate your film’s reputation in multiple markets. Instead of focusing on awards, use the festival circuit to create and connect with fans.
This point was heavily driven home in Jon Reiss’ game changing indie film distribution handbook, Think Outside The Box Office. Michael bought me this book for my birthday in 2011 and it changed my life.
Utilize The Whole Internet
Marc and his team target tech bloggers, hip websites, tastemakers, and connectors to help create buzz on films lacking bigger marketing budgets and resources.”
There are companies dedicated to this, and you can do it with your small team. There’s more to promoting a film than posting on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Think of your movie’s key characters, plot-points, themes, and overall genre. What kinds of audiences are generally interested in such material? Where else do they spend their time? Are there specific blogs, forums, Reddit threads, or social groups they congregate at?
Using these online spaces to promote your film is a low-cost way to spread word; much like casting hungry young actors, these promotions are a mutually beneficial relationship: blogs, forums, and groups subsist on regular content. Make your film a part of that content stream.
Find the entire article here: http://shohawk.com/microbudgettips/
— Dean Lachiusa (curator for Movies Plus, a free Indie Film/TV distribution and broadcast channel on Amazon Fire TV and other connected TV platforms.)