We in Polygon Ink wanted of course to promote our movie a bit. Let people out there know that they should pay attention to this movie and wait for it. Make them interested in what we are making. After trying to promote our film and doing some marketing for our movie, I got really interested in the whole idea of marketing. So here comes a post of my thoughts around how to market a movie, and some different methods to get people interested in exactly what you are doing.

The movie business used tons of money to promote their release. The most common thing they all do is to make a trailer. For some years back, the trailer where only shown in the cinemas and at the TV. That means that they had to buy advertisement place and use some money at it. But we are now in a whole new generation. The internet generation. So now, they can just make a website and put their trailer up there.

Take a look at http://www.transformersmovie.com. The site is very clean and easy to read. The release date is clearly stated.

When sites like youtube and vimeo was online, things got really easy for people who want to promote a movie. Every trailer is being snapped up and put on youtube or sites like this, or they just simply put it up by themselves.

For example at youtube, the trailer for Twilight: New Moon got incredible 32 millions views. You know some of them will go pay and watch the whole move. At this moment, they got a $709,711,008 in gross revenue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_new_moon). So they have done something right.

So a good trailer is important. I think a trailer needs to tell some of the story, but not revealing how it will end. Just show that much that people will stay curious and really want more. When people want to watch the tailer over and over again, you got a really successful trailer.

I really like the Ironman 2 trailer. I have watched it many times, and think that this is an awesome trailer. Why? First of all, its starts with some humor, and some cheesy lines.  That’s one way of getting my attention. And then you get a brief hearing of a soundtrack you know you have heard before. Then it swaps over to a character you start wondering about who is, and what he is doing. So now you start to see where the story is going. Then the soundtrack is turned back on and you get see small parts of the movie, action shots, hot babes, awesome effects and famous actors. Its perfect put together and really makes me want to watch the movie again and again.

And I was not disappointed when I saw the movie, it was exactly as I thought it would be, and a bit more. But it is not always the trailer is that honest with you. If a movie is not that good, you can always get people to come see it by making a good trailer. Take for an example GI Joe. The trailer got much of the same as the Iron man, nice effects, good editing and awesome action, but the movie itself was a letdown.

The soundtrack is also very important. If you get a really good soundtrack from a popular band or artist, you will get a big load of free marketing. A deal between the production company for the movie and the artist/band that says that the music video should contain parts from the movie can be a golden mine for both of the parts. If the song gets popular enough, you get parts from the movie shown at all of the big music TV stations like MTV or VH1. That’s awesome promotion for the movie.

At youtube, Linkin Parks “New Divided” got about 47 millions views. It was used as a soundtrack for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Or you can take Paramores “Decode”, which was Twilights soundtrack. It got 17 millions views.

I mentioned that the internet can be used to promote movies, Blair Witch Project did exactly that back in 1999. The movie is filmed in a hand held camera, so its looks real. They just release some shots from it, and the buzz hit the roof. Some thought it was real and just had to see the movie. A really creative way to do things.

A much more recent movie, called Paranormal Activity did something similar. A movie that also is filmed with a handheld camera, and gives the impression of being real. This is a low budget movie ($11 000), and was seen at many festivals. It ended up in the hands of Steven Spielberg. And a legend was created. It was said that Stevens’s bathroom door suddenly opened itself while he had the movie. The film was haunted. True or not, a little story like that creates buzz.

The published a website where you had to vote to get the movie to the cinemas. It had to reach 1 million before they would release it.  http://www.paranormalmovie.com/theaters.php

This is some of the ways the big movies do it, but if you don’t have the money, you should think creative. Let your fantasy go wild.

When it comes to promoting a student short, you are at a whole new level of things. You don’t have money at all. I have seen trailers for student shorts, but often the student movies are so short in length that you have a hard time to get a good trailer.

We chose to make “Work In Progress” post at 3dhue.com. A Norwegian 3d forum. Here we posted some concept and renders. Things like this will make people interested and we get feedback. I made movie poster too, so it looked a bit professional. That’s important, things that look professional will be taken appreciated much more than something that is messy.

I will end this post now, and make a whole new post about the movie poster and my thoughts around it.

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