Being a great filmmaker is meaningless in 2015 without these skills

No longer can filmmakers simply rely on talent and wait to be discovered in order to attain success in the film industry.

For the majority of filmmakers who are not closely connected to the studio system or financiers, it is close to impossible to get success without digital marketing and PR skills. However that doesn’t mean there is less opportunity, in fact there is more than ever, but many are not capitalizing on it.

The traditional model of a theatrical release is slowly shifting towards VOD premieres first. That means, for the first time filmmakers can produce their films and deliver them to the audience directly without depending on close to impossible distribution deals and getting them to play in cinemas.

VOD is a huge game changer for all filmmakers no matter what genre of film they specialize in but in order to get films seen they have to be promoted from day 1. In the mind of a filmmaker, the art comes first, but it’s just not enough.

Filmmakers in 2015 have to be great at the art, but even greater at the marketing. This applies to short filmmakers too who are creating shorter features in order to get recognition. Simply sending films to festivals and hoping to get that magic deal from a distributor, or million dollar offer to make a feature is not realistic.

However what is realistic is building up a fan base for your films from the day you begin conceiving them. There are many online courses available to filmmakers that help them market and make money from their own art. Some have even shared how they got millions of dollars in crowdfunding money via Kickstarter. Who needs to wait to find a distributor?

Of course film festivals and screenings are important in establishing industry reputation but without understanding the basics of marketing or PR, those opportunities are often wasted and don’t bring back a financial return.

For most of us, it is very difficult to make a profit on an independently produced film without financial backing or investment, but there are ways to build audiences for your films with the right approach if you are willing to put in the work, learn the skills and get the experience. Up and coming filmmakers can learn a lot about the inner workings of the business by applying for paid film internships and other marketing roles at film companies.

You can check out some of the most popular online film courses taken by filmmakers and also these Black Friday deals available to get you discounts on education. If you want to find more success stories, discover filmmakers making an impact in the industry over in our interviews section.

Good luck with your career!

film industry network members