We Are Excited To Screen Your Film Next Month, Please Send Me A Link To The Trailer So That I Can Share It.
This is usually the email message that I send, when we accept a film for a festival, but there isn't a trailer linked to the FilmFreeway submission form. Do you really want to be one of the few films selected, that does not benefit from a Film Festival's social media and marketing campaigns? Film Festivals love to receive submissions that are "complete" with all of the marketing materials that we need without having to ask. Film Festivals are trying to fill the venue with viewers, but it's hard to do that, without a trailer. This should be a basic step in your marketing process, even for short films. I recently wrote a short book, filled with advice for filmmakers that are submitting their creative work to the Film Festival Circuit. A small investment, goes a long way. Do yourself a favor. Download this book and avoid common mistakes that filmmakers make every day when submitting to Film Festivals. Strengthen your submission and get ahead of thousands of filmmakers that are submitting their work on FilmFreeway. Below, is the first paragraph of Chapter 8.
Chapter 8: Without A Trailer, Your Film Might Become An Afterthought (First Paragraph)
"In my experience as Film Festival Director for 10+ years, I strongly recommend that you create a trailer for any Film, TV Pilot, or Web Series before you start submitting to film festivals. Trailers are not a requirement for acceptance at our Film Festival Circuit events. However, having a trailer associated with your submission, is valuable to our judging and marketing efforts. I can’t speak for all film festivals in the world, but our judges watch 100% of each and every video submitted to us. The judges watch the trailers as well. When our judges watch 100’s of films over a long period of time, watching the trailer can help them recall details about your submission. Trailers are a helpful memory refreshing tool. Especially after weeks have passed since watching and rating a submission for the first time. Whether it is in the selection phase or the award nomination phase, the judges are always referencing, rewatching, comparing and spot checking films over time before making a final rating. Also, if your submission is accepted, Film Festival attendees want to get an idea of what the films are about, before deciding which sessions to attend." - Would you like to read more? Download the Film Festival Submitter's Handbook now!
Six Examples Of Independent Short Film Trailers
1) Accepted Trailer For "Food Cart" - Suspense / Drama Horror (60 Seconds)
2) Accepted Movie Trailer For "Dog Years" - Drama Film (25 Seconds)
3) Short Film Trailer for "EVOKE" - Drama / Romance Film (90 Seconds)
4) Screened at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival and the Trailer Film Festival. "The Joy Block" - Documentary Film - (35 Seconds)
5) Trailer for "Violent Rain" Science Fiction / Action Film (35 Seconds)
6) Trailer for "Krisis" International Comedy / Science Fiction Film (30 Seconds)
Four Tips For Creating An Effective Film Trailer
1) Include the Title, Director and Star(s) Somewhere In The Video File.
Today, users post thousands of video files on YouTube and Vimeo every minute. Often times, the video file doesn't have any text, because users depend on the Text Title and Description to explain what the viewer is watching. Big mistake, do both! I learned a valuable lesson at a film festival recently. I integrated three different video files of film trailers into the program of the festival on day one, so that I could promote the screenings on day 2. I noticed, that the trailers were cool, but the three I picked, didn't have the title of the film in the video file! I felt a bit silly and one person even asked me, "Hey, what was that last movie with the blonde girl, when does that screen?" The moral of the story is, you don't always know, in what context your trailer will be used. Therefore, but the important text in the video file, to help the user remember the name of your film.
2) Add a "Call To Action" at the end of the trailer for 4-5 seconds.
This can be a website or social media link. When I look around the room at our film festivals, while people are watching films, they are always checking their phones. Festival attendees want to learn more about your film, share it with others and possibly get in touch with you. Including a CTA in the video of your trailer is very important, don't miss this opportunity.
3) Don't be afraid to "give away the story."
Some filmmakers get very nervous about these 4 words. They are so afraid and indecisive, that they never end up making a trailer at all. My father used to call this, "Paralysis by Analysis." Even if you're showing just a few images and some music from your film, don't be afraid to create something, no matter how short your film is. Why? Because viewers want to have some incentive to watch your film. A few still photos won't give away your story. You don't have to show the big "reveal" at the end. Just show the viewer something.
4) Have a "clean" version of your trailer, available on a public website like YouTube or Vimeo.
This can sometimes be difficult for profanity filled comedies or bloody creature eating horror films. You really need to have a version of your trailer available that is "clean" so that it will make it through the sensors and not get banned on social media. Horrifying images and F-Bombs will get you (and us) reported, which is all bad. It hurts the marketing effort, which is the opposite of what you're trying to accomplish. You can have a mature version of your trailer too, just don't expect us to market it on our social media channels.
This eBook Is Out Now!
My name is Mikel Fair and I have written this 30 page ebook to help filmmakers strengthen their submission when submitting to Film Festivals. This guide is based on my experience, starting in 2008 as a Film Festival Director that has watched, rated and reviewed more than 5000+ submissions of all genres from over 100 countries. There are several mistakes that filmmakers are making on a daily basis that I can help you avoid. I explain in detail, about how the packaging and editing of your submission can have a direct effect on how many festivals that your film is accepted to. Priced under $10 US, I have made this book affordable for everyone and will email you any new versions that we release until January 2021. Please read the first chapter for free! ( LINK )