It's never been easy to market an indie film—but in a blockbuster universe, getting people to care about a low-budget production devoid of stars and lacking the enormous, built-in fan base of The Dark Knight or The Hunger Games can seem all but impossible. One of the few experts at this stuff is Marc Schiller of BOND Strategy and Influence, a New York firm that's helped launch such films as the Napster doc Downloaded, Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop, and the forthcoming teen killer pic Violet & Daisy.
Last month, Marc—whom I've known for some time and work with on occasion—announced BOND360, a marketing, strategy, and PR consultancy designed to help indie filmmakers connect directly with their fans. He calls it the "artisanal distribution" route—"partnering with a film team to craft a distribution plan that's best for them." In a recent post on the IFP blog, he laid out some groundrules that govern how this stuff works. The short answer:
Community + Data + Content Bundling + Dynamic Pricing = $$$
Let's take them one at a time.
No, it's not about how many Twitter followers or Facebook "likes" you can claim. A Facebook campaign to collect more fans is as pointless and empty as it sounds. It's quality, not quantity, that matters:
For me, your community are those people who want your film to succeed as much as you do, and are willing to do anything and everything they can do to help it get there. They are the people who are willing to spend their Saturday afternoon putting up posters for you in their local towns. They are the ones who can’t wait to meet others who share a similar passion for your project. The real value of community is that these are the people who will tell ten others to go see your movie. And there’s nothing more powerful (and inexpensive) than leveraging the passion of your community.
Which is why a list of email addresses is the most powerful tool you can have.