The most important part of your budget for a film is THE POSTER!
I am telling you the truth; there is no reason or excuse to skimp on a professional poster. Key Art is the calling card for your movie. It is the first thing the distribution company and your audience will see; it’s what grabs their attention. Next comes the trailer. If you hook them with a great poster, then you will get the opportunity to show your trailer, and LAST they will watch your movie. So your poster is the most important part of your film.
I’ve had many conversations about this with other filmmakers and I’ve been surprised to learn that indie filmmakers are not aware of this extremely important part of the process of making a movie. Nor do they want to spend the money on it. Industry professionals know the difference between a poster made by professionals and those made by your friends.
I’m sure your friend is a good artist. They can paint, they can draw, but they can’t make you the movie poster your film deserves. If you wanted to build a house you probably wouldn’t have your friend come over and do it just because they built a birdhouse once. You would hire the person who knows how to do the job right. A professional. And don’t even get me started on saying you can do it yourself . . . unless you run a professional and successful poster company.
A professional company knows what’s selling in the market place and educated in what distribution companies are looking for and what box stores want. A professional poster company will help you create a poster that is not only sleek and catching, but that delivers your film at a glance. That is what you are paying for. It’s worth it.
After completing my first feature film, “Home Sweet Home”, I met “Dog & Pony Creative” run by Bridget Jurgens and Jen Sparks. I explained to them that numerous film festivals had rejected us and I was at a loss for where to go next with our movie. They encouraged me to make a killer poster to grab people’s attention. After perusing their website, and getting to know them, I knew they were the company to team up with. I hired them.
The result is now an award winning poster. A poster that hooked us our sales agents and caught the attention of our future distributor.
At the American Film Market our agents were sitting with Image Entertainment as the rep flipped through their book of films for sale. They stopped at our poster and said “That one, do we get this poster if we buy this film?” Our sales reps confirmed that we owned the rights to the key art. That is when Image Entertainment requested a copy of our screener. If our poster hadn’t been so well put together, the company would have looked right past it, and never given our film a second glance.
The movie went on to do extremely well in the market place, and I know a huge factor is how eye catching the poster is. In fact, I visited a local video store in California one day to see how our film was doing, and the man behind the counter said we were checked out non-stop. “Your cover grabs people, and that’s why it’s still in the new release section a month after its arrival.”
In the entertainment world today most films go straight to VOD or streaming. The only thing your audience has a chance to see is your poster. All that stands between your film and an audience is a PICTURE! Whether you are self-distributing or want to get picked up by a distribution company, you’d better have the best poster that money and talent can buy.
poster by Dog and Pony Creative for my second feature film “Catching Faith“
The moment you have a budget to make a film, the first thing you need to do is set aside money to hire a professional poster company. Your movie won’t miss those dollars, but your poster will.
You can have the most amazing movie in the world, but if your poster isn’t high quality, than it doesn’t matter cause chances are no one will ever see it.
All posters by Dog and Pony Creative