PHAA – Marketing

The final part of the FMP production came in the form of marketing. My marketing campaign was formed into three areas:

  1. The DVD – This needed a box sleeve, and an image on the disc.
  2. The Poster – This needed the title and the release date.
  3. The Trailer – This needed to summarise the film.

In terms of The DVD, my first film ‘The Job Interview’ was also done as part of a university module, so I was vaguely familiar with how to create all the relevant designs. I looked up the size of a DVD box cover sheet on the internet, and then split the cover into three parts – ‘front cover’, ‘back cover’, and ‘middle strip’.

The front cover consisted of a still from the film, with a ‘gothic’ text font (Monotype Corsiva) used to advertise the genre through the words. I put ‘a short film by Adam Broome’ on the front because my name is – essentially – all over this work.

However, I have noticed that most other people have created some sort of fake company logo for their projects (‘Samantha Ryan Media’ presents, as a fictitious example). Maybe I’m just too straight-laced for this sort of thing, but unless I genuinely do have a company like Clever Lens or Prophecy Media backing me, then I treat this film as what it is – something I made myself, to demonstrate my ability and pass my degree. Maybe one day I will have a production company (or at least one sponsoring my production costs). But until then, this is simply a film made by a student. I don’t think that this fact makes it any less professional – in my eyes it’s more professional if anything, as potential contacts wont be looking on the internet for my non-existent corporate partners.

With this in mind, the back cover was equally simplistic – another still from the film (desaturated completely, because the half-and-half colour thing just looked odd on photographs), and some text under it in the same font style, explaining the story (reminiscent of the pitch and the outline I did all those months ago). I chose a black background to bring the two covers together (black for obvious reasons), and then added both covers onto my main template. All that was left was to add the title, rotate it, and space it out the middle strip. Et viola:

Note – I have since noticed a small red smudge on the front cover, on Amy’s head (no idea where that came from), that I will try and correct before the hand in.

The disc image was another production still from the final film. After playing about with the master black and white levels, I managed to create a black and white print, again using using the same font face to place some white text in the corner of the image. I chose black and white colours so it would suit the white top of my DVDs better. However, when it came to finding a printing station to actually print the image, I later found out (after a lot of footwork) that there were no printing stations in Coventry that provided those services! I have a friend who may may have to equipment to help me with this – if not, I have no choice but to hand in a blank-top DVD!

The poster was done in Photoshop on-campus. The major problem was that due to our tight schedule on the second day of the shoot, we had forgotten to get any marketing or promotional photos after the wrap had been called (plus, it was raining!) Thus, I had to make do with what I had. The final result turned out like this:

The image of Amy is actually the actress on a break from filming. She has a script in her left hand, which has been cut out of the picture. This image was graded to give it  purple hue. The text was the same as the DVD cover, and I made the text stand out more by adding a drop-shadow and making the letters glow. The text at the bottom was a little less fancy (‘Copperplate Gothic’ if I recall correctly), as the release time is quite important, and needs to be easier to read. The lettering was all made large so people could read it from a distance. The tag-line ‘Innocence Wears Many Faces’ was something I just added to make the poster look more complete – the date alone was just a little too minimalist. I avoided putting my name on the poster as well – my ego is not that big yet!  The last addition was the border at the top – taken from a Google stock image and cut out. My skills in Photoshop have never shook the Earth, but for me at least, this poster is actually pretty good!

The trailer was the final part of my marketing campaign. I simply used some of the rough cut exports to piece together some of the nicest shots and best acting featured in the film (to show off some of the best bits!). The use of the text (again, keeping the theme with the font style) was difficult for me to construct, as there wasn’t really anything to say about the events of the film. After the initial cut of the trailer, it was simply ‘A boy meets a girl for a chat, but nothing is ever that simple.’ I think that sums the film up pretty well, and still leaves a sort-of mystery to the main events of the film.

Trailers – The rough cut (above), and the final cut (below)

I decided to choose more emotive shots in the final cut (not just the biggest close-ups!). The scene where the two characters both look down to the floor worked really well, as did the scene where Amy grabs Peter. I wanted to include the flashback scenes for the same reason they were in the film – to add a little variety. And also, much like the film, I ended the trailer on a happy note, with the two first meeting and introducing each other. This almost introduced the audience to the film by setting them up up at the beginning of the story – if they want the rest of the story however, they’ll have to watch the film!

The music in the trailer is another of Free Play Music’s, used previously on a Tenerife project that didn’t make the final cut. I think the magical ‘ballroom’ style tune fitted the theme of the film very well. It was also light-hearted – something that all trailers need to be to a certain extent (heavy-handed trailers usually put me off, either down to directors trying too hard to make their film look good, or making the film look too intense). Needless to say, my trailer was more of a back-seat approach. There was not a lot to report, advertise, describe, or explain. The visuals summed up the whole thing!

There was an initial rough cut designed for feedback. During this time period, I deleted the entire bin as I cleaned out the original cuts of the film (whoops). I managed to recreate the entire trailer again, and it looked a lot better the second time around. I saw an example of a previous student’s work, which ended in the style of a hollywood blockbuster like this:

Again, I could put ‘in association with Final Cut Pro’ and things like that. But again, I think that detracted from my film if anything. Once I’m operating at that level within the industry, hopefully I will have demonstrated enough talent for employers to know that I can create a closing still like that with little fuss!

Distribution brought the marketing together, and as of current, Peter Has An Angel has successfully been entered into Roots To Shoots, a local film festival in Leamington Spa. It also has a seat at our degree show, and other entries into other showcases are still ongoing. At this stage, there is little else left to worry about other than the production folder and the actual hand-in!

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