By lance weiler, May 7th, 2007

Cutting through the static
by Lance Weiler

Last November the internet hit a major milestone, over a 100 million sites with registered domain names and active content. The web is considered to be the great equalizer for filmmakers, one which promises cost effective promotion and distribution. But where do you start and what’s the best way to design a cost effective online promotional campaign that can help you build an audience for your work? Here are few suggestions to help you get started.

It is never too early – There’s an old adage, don’t seek publicity too early for a project because the press won’t cover it twice. For some reason people apply the same theory to their online strategies and often wait until the last minute to create a site for their work. By waiting until the last minute they loose valuable time that could have been used to build their audience. For instance I used the audience that I cultivated for HEAD TRAUMA to help me promote the movie at my festival showings, during my theatrical runs across the country and most recently with the Cinema ARG screenings.

Identify your audience – This might sound simple but you’d be amazed how often filmmakers say “I made the film for people like me.” Maybe this is true, but you need to take some time to identify your audience. Who are they and what will attract them to your work? Once you know who the audience is you can start to figure out the best way to reach them online. In some cases you will also be able to find partners to help you amplify your reach.

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lance weiler is the founder of the WorkBook Project and also a story architect of film, tv and games. He's written and directed two feature films THE LAST BROADCAST and HEAD TRAUMA. He's currently developing a number of transmedia projects

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