The previous article on ‘A Simple Guide for a Student Production House: The Internal Aspect’ focused on how to internally market a student production house – in the easiest and best way possible. Let’s now take a look at how the external aspect can support your production house.
Consolidate Your Position
Being student-run production house makes you small fish in a big pond, there are no two words about it. That is why consolidating your position, amongst your level of competition, and striving to be better everyday is extremely important.
In this modern business environment, credibility has become everything. It is easily the hardest characteristic to build and the easiest to lose – which is why it’s imperative to everyone who engages with your brand. As a production house, you need to prove your worth, prove your potential and prove your capabilities. The best way to give your audience this proof is to highlight your top material produced as a team.
This does not necessarily mean only your best films. Films are indeed the main focus, however, investors, viewers and film enthusiasts are interested in so much more. Each individual member of your team plays an important role in contributing to the successful production of a film. This implies that each member possesses a certain value and skill that is needed for production. Therefore, by highlighting the top material produced from each member, you are putting your team up on a pedestal.
For example, the Art Director could showcase the best costume designs where they may have won awards in the past, not necessarily related to film. The Sound Engineer could have uploaded a soundtrack that went viral and could have even been played on a radio station.
These act as a platform for your audience to see not only your capability, but your passion, dedication and enthusiasm.
Connect With People
With us living in the digital age, putting yourself out there and engaging with individuals is a much easier task in comparison to a few years ago.
Going back to the month of Valentines, I remember witnessing my good ol’ high-school friend performing at the Hilton. Upon watching him fiercely strum his red-coated Gibson guitar, I wondered how he secured a placement to play at this quite prestigious hotel – him being only 19 years of age. So after his final act, I called him over and curiously asked him. He leaned over and pointed at the bar. He said, “Over there, that lady in the blue dress. She asked me to play for her last week and so we collaborated for this performance, it was the best thing ever!”. He then showed me her website where I saw such great content, it got me hooked on from the start. It ranged from multiple interviews she had conducted with popular local talents and experts in the music industry, to even credits to collaboration work – where my friend scrolled down and quickly showed me his profile. All these posts and sections had so many comments, likes and shares. She was quite the popular artist!
The secret to her popularity was her level of engagement and how she connected with the relevant people in the music industry. I learned of her talent and music as an emerging artist through her collaborative work with my friend, which is precisely how networking works. This similar approach can be strategically utilized by your production house as well.
Not only does your audience want to see your potential, they also want to see your level of engagement in the film industry. Engagement with external entities would help you create awareness, build your credibility and would improve your knowledge. It will add value to your ‘identity’ as an emerging production house – which is why networking is such a crucial practice in the film industry.
Start by focusing on connecting with individuals in these areas:
- Professionals – Connect with film experts to gain first-hand knowledge to produce a better film.
- Collaborations – Get top quality work from external sources that you can’t find in your team.
- Partnerships – Build relationships with individuals you trust for mutual benefit.
- Social Media – Engage with your audience through social media.
Networking is not about collecting contacts. Networking is about planting relationships.
The relationship you have with these external entities highlights your level of involvement and makes you also learn a lot in the process too. You gain skill and insight knowledge that gives you a competitive advantage over other student production houses.
Publicise Your Progress
When you go for an interview, a document that you would always carry along is your Curriculum Vitae (CV). Your CV shows your progress, achievements and goals starting from the very beginning. Your interviewer would be interested in how you started out, what you did, how well you did it and what you intend to do in the future – which is all highlighted in your CV.
Similarly, your audience would love to see your progress towards the making of a film, your story as a production house and your achievements subsequent to the effort and progress you’ve made. It may not seem like a huge marketing gimmick or strategy, however, the fact that it brings ‘life’ to your production house goes a long way. This acts as a way for people to see your commitment, consistency, competence and empathize with your production house as well.
For example, the Behind the Scenes to your filmmaking process would seem very fascinating to an audience who don’t usually know what happens behind the camera.
In addition, if your Sound Engineer collaborated with a group of DJs to develop some great music for your film, and if you were both satisfied with the project, there is no harm in asking to them to share their experiences about how easy it was when working with your production house.
So when you are building something remarkable like a film, it is vital to capture the story of its creation from start to finish and to make it public from there. Over the years, you would see your progress, how your production house has changed, the new practices implemented – and so would your audience.
Externally marketing your production house shows the world what you can do as a production house. They would see your capability as a team, your networking ability and the level of reach you have in the industry, and finally see the vision of your production house through your progress and story. Marketing your production house is not an easy task, especially in this highly competitive world, nevertheless I hope this simple guide helped you understand that the simple marketing approaches can go a long way too.
See you soon,