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Marketing & Publicity Basics for Filmmakers


  1. Creating a Press Kit (paper or electronic)
  1. Developing Marketing Campaign Materials (key art, printed materials)
  1. Press Materials (what formats do you need and how many?)


  1. Discussion of appropriate formats for your materials from photos, to clips, etc.
  1. Do-It-Yourself Publicity vs hiring a publicist at a festival.

- Using the Internet/Social Networking Sites to your best advantage. Why, to some extent, this is more important in this day and age than traditional press.

- Creative Marketing campaigns. Does your project present possibilities?

  1. Questions and Answer period

As time allows, a critique of student materials brought to class. Please note that we will not be able to screen trailers or pull anything up on the internet. But bring your printed copies of your poster/postcard art and press kits.


Publicity & Marketing Seminar for Filmmakers

You made it through production and post and you have a finished film in hand. You’ve been accepted to your first film festival (or have applied) and maybe you’ve even hired a film rep. You think that the rest of the process will be easy – it will practically take care of itself. WRONG! Independent filmmakers spend an average of two years with their films on the festival/market circuit and those that succeed work just as hard marketing their film, as they did making it. Some will even tell you that the filmmaking process was the easy part!

Now is the time to take this crash course in developing your press kit and promotional materials, to be ready for the early winter film festivals. Some of you will even be rushing to finish post to meet festival deadlines – so get a jump on the second phase of the filmmaking process and arm yourself with a captivating press kit and ingenious marketing materials and concepts before you hit the circuit.

Through samples, lecture and individual assessment of projects, in this seminar, you will learn what goes into a press kit and how to create one, as well as what you should emphasize about your film and how to develop an appealing marketing campaign (posters, postcards, etc.). You will gain exposure to publicity and marketing terminology and get tips on when to hire a publicist (and when not to), and how to make sure you get your money’s worth. You will leave with information about how to prepare for and how to navigate film festival publicity, as well as determining what is good and bad press, when to get reviewed and when to hold and when and where to show your film to press. Plus glean tips for professionally approaching film festival publicity offices, journalists and distributors – and how to utilize cast crew, family and other people you already know to promote your film. Practical information about printing inexpensively and intelligently will also be covered.

If you want your specific materials discussed in class, you can bring your film stills, finished or in-progress press kits, poster concepts and anything else you have, to share with the group -- and we’ll determine the effectiveness of what you’ve got so far. You do not need materials of your own to participate.


Instructor: Margot Gerber has been working in publicity and marketing for film since 1991, with a specialization in art house and micro-budget independent cinema. She has represented films at film festivals including Cannes, Toronto and Sundance and was the in house publicist for the Slamdance Film Festival for eight years. In addition to her work at the American Cinematheque, she is the head of Marketing & Publicity for distributor/distribution consultant Vitagraph Films, LLC. For Vitagraph she worked on campaigns for films such as Larry Clark’s WASSUP ROCKERS, Alex de Iglesia’s EL CRIMEN PERFECTO and Guy Maddin’s BRAND UPON THE BRAIN, CHAPTER 27, WHAT WE DO IS SECRET, JCVD and countless others. Margot was the creative director on The Hollywood Reporter 2006 Key Art Award nominated campaign for EL CRIMEN PERFECTO.