Producing independent short films is fun.
Marketing them yourself without any training at all can be stressful.
Honestly, I don’t know a lot of the fundamentals of graphic design. I’m not a trained Photoshop expert. I don’t have a degree in marketing with a large list of clients who depend on me to sell their products.
I’m neither of those things.
But I work for free and when you have a production company that’s just beginning to pick up steam, you have to do the best with what you have. Producing low budget short films is challenging enough. There aren’t many budgets that allow for marketing expenses when you are just starting out.
I’ve been teaching myself design and Photoshop for years so I at least know a little. I’ve gone through countless books, websites and tutorials picking up as many techniques as I can. So far, I’ve designed 4 websites and a lot of promotional material for our films.
With our latest short film still in post production, it’s time to start thinking about the best way to sell it to the masses.
It started with a poster:
The poster is fairly straight forward. 2 unhappy main characters in a less than inviting environment. A title that stands out. No doubt there are probably issues with the overall composition but I quite like this poster.
We shot the film in May and I’m still trying to free up as much time as possible to get it edited and ready to be seen. It’ll take a while yet but the process is as fun as ever.
I’m a huge fan of launching Final Cut Pro and losing track of time editing a movie.
Still, I wanted to make sure to start promoting the film so it doesn’t appear that I’m lazy.
After a few months, I decided to start messing around with a different style of poster. Just to see what I could come up with.
Does this poster sell my short film? Do either of them?
These are the questions of uncertainty I’m forced to deal with on a daily basis. It’s been the same way for each and every poster I’ve designed over the years.
My goal at first was to produce material that didn’t suck. I think I can confidently state that neither of these posters are terrible but will they do the job?
Do these posters encapsulate The Climb?
The beauty of handling the post in house is I have all the time in the world to produce posters, ads and trailers. I can keep going until I’m 100% confident in what I produce.
First and foremost, the movie has to be good.
The next step is to convince other people.
At the end of the day, it’s all about creativity and inspiration.
In other words: Fun.