Any rookie indie filmmaker will let you know that they would do anything to be able to land a big publicity firm to handle their project especially when it comes to present their film in festivals.
The truth is; newbies would be gaining more if they take on boutique publicists who will actually be more hands on with the project and task at hand. The guide below will help you in deciding who to pick and work with for your first festival debut:
1. Look around and get recommendations.
Make sure to research extensively and do your homework and seek out recommendations or referrals. The bottom line is you are a consumer. Seek out other filmmakers who have made similar films to you of not topic wise then films of the similar range, those who have been through the experience already.
Talk to the filmmakers who have worked with the publicists so they can reveal their experiences, strengths and weaknesses of the publicist. Just because the agency is well known or the publicist is sought after; it does mean they are a right fit for you and your film.
2. Someone who truly and fully understand you and your film.
It’s a process much like matchmaking and relationships – so take the time to talk to them and get to know them. There will be many publicists that you can then easily and quickly eliminate as soon as they indicate that they do not understand your film.
The one you choose should have a connection to your film and not just say whether they like or love it. Sure it shows enthusiasm but it doesn’t signify that they understand it, because understanding means they can better relay the strengths and appeal of your film to others. The connection will be able to help inspire assurance and to be able to articulately and proficiently position the film to the press in the way that you want.
3. Match your movie to the right firm.
The person you hire from a smaller boutique firm will be able to be more involved in your film and that is important for those filmmakers who need constant care, attention and encouragement. Most especially during festivals as opposed to during a premier because more focus is given to the filmmaker during this time. Larger agencies however may agree to the sign on the work due to reputation but later on the job may be passed on to a junior staff and delegate it throughout a department.
When handling of certain areas of the campaign gets passed around, there’s a probability that the filmmaker make get lost in the festival shuffle. Large agencies are better however in handling a large cast and crew, where there’s large scheduling and logistics to cover that a smaller boutique person may not be able to handle. In this case larger means practical.