Adventures of a First Time Feature Filmmaker

[su_heading size=”20″]Sagging Pants & Attracting an Audience[/su_heading] ManySaggyPants2 While I’m not a fan of the style of sagging pants I have to admit that after talking with two young men as to why it is such a “thing” they do, I was reminded of the most fundamental concept of economics and marketing. In other words, why some businesses are successful at reaching their audience and others are not? So………..I had just witnessed some kid who without exaggeration had his pants down so low that I questioned if he should be wearing any pants at all. Then I saw a young man from my neighborhood and I asked about the trend; the conversation went a bit like this:

Me: Why do guys wear their pants so low?

Him: I do it because (blah blah blah).

Then his friend chimes in:

Friend: Some do it because it’s the style.

Me: So, that’s why? No other reason?

Friend: Well, if I walk by a group of girls and if I can get a number, then…

Me: So girls like it?

Friend: Not all, but enough.

Me: I guess that makes sense, because if you didn’t get attention you wouldn’t do it.

Friend: Right.

Me: (Feeling like “oh no, this style could go on for years!”) …Okay…

Friend: (As the car is pulling away) But, if a guy wants a girl who’s kinda more upper class like, if she don’t like it, he’ll come back with a suit on.

WHOA!!!!!

Which brings me to the question stated earlier – Why are some businesses successful at reaching their audience and others are not? (All things being equal: time, money, talent, etc.).

Drum roll: [su_animate type=”flash” duration=”7″]BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEIR AUDIENCE & HOW TO REACH THEM[/su_animate]

 

[su_pullquote]BECAUSE FILMMAKING IS AS MUCH OF A BUSINESS AS IT IS AN ART.[/su_pullquote] Because filmmaking is as much of a business as it is an art. Consequently, filmmakers must begin thinking more like entrepreneurs rather than just artists. And it reinforces the necessity of knowing who your audience is, what drives them, what interests them and what they care about.

There are 3 things I took away from this experience and I’d like to share:

1.WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE 

  • [su_spoiler title=”Read Here…” style=”simple” icon=”plus-circle”]This keeps coming up and I am definitely growing in my conviction that this is so important that to miss it is to PUT YOUR FILM AT RISK FOR FAILURE. Because most independent filmmakers can rarely afford to make a film intended for the general public, it’s important to know whom the film is intended for. If you are creating a film without knowing your audience you could be unintentionally creating a film for the wrong audience. For example, if your film is for young women who like men in suits but all your characters are wearing sagging pants YOU WILL FAIL TO REACH YOUR AUDIENCE. There is an audience for all kinds of people and if the filmmaker knows her audience and you give them what they want, you can TAP INTO A FAN BASE that you can engage and grow.[/su_spoiler]

TIP [su_label type=”info”] Write down things from your script that targets a specific group. [/su_label]

2. YOUR FILM ALONE WILL NOT REACH THEM

  • [su_spoiler title=”Read Here…” style=”simple” icon=”plus-circle”]If by the time your film hits the theaters or streaming (hopefully) and you’ve done nothing to make your audience aware of it. YOU’VE MADE A FILM THAT NO ONE WILL SEE. If your target audience is young women who like guys who wear sagging pants, then you’ve GOT TO RESEARCH on where they live, how they view their entertainment, and most of all, how to reach them and their friends.[/su_spoiler]

TIP  [su_label type=”info”] Start talking about your film before you begin to shoot.[/su_label]

3. IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME

[su_spoiler title=”Read Here…” style=”simple” icon=”plus-circle”]The cold hard facts are that even if you have a distribution deal, (and most will not) you still have to do some marketing. Whether its social media, traditional advertising, or word of mouth, YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING THAT WILL GET THE PEOPLE IN THE SEATS. (Unless of course Brad Pitt is in your movie, but even then there is no guarantee).[/su_spoiler]

TIP [su_label type=”info”]Build awareness and a fan base (before the film is even made). [/su_label]

 

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Thanks!

Crystal Barnes