Here at the New York Screenwriting Academy, we help people get their scripts in order, not necessarily the “what comes next.” So what do you do when you have a finished film that has already been produced? Most filmmakers don’t have the support of a big distribution house, or don’t have the capital to afford a big marketing push to get the word out about their film. Instead, they have to think strategically and work with very limited funds.
Last year, many of us were in some way touched by the marketing phenomenon that was “Paranormal Activity.” The movie supposedly cost about $15,000 to produce and ended up grossing over $200 million in box office and DVD sales. Not a bad way to make some cash on what looked like an overnight success! But what was the real story behind the success of this movie? The community that supported it. Last year, the marketing minds behind “Paranormal Activity” used the site Eventful to promote the movie by getting 1 million fans to “demand” the movie reach a box office near them.
This year, MTV is looking to make a similar success following the same formula. Their movie, “Savage County” was originally supposed to be released as a web series by the television mogul. Now, it looks like MTV is looking to follow in the footsteps of its scary predecessor by launching a similar campaign on the community site. As reported by Reuters, the company will use Eventful’s “Demand It” feature to allow its fans to decide if the movie will be played on MTV2 this October. If 100,00 fans “demand” it to be so, the network will provide a cable spotlight for its otherwise indie web slasher. You can be one of those fans by voting here.
So it begs the question–if the big boys see online community sites like Eventful as a useful tool to market their films, why can’t the little guys join the fight? Also, we want your feedback. Should the New York Screenwriting Academy offer a class on using social media to promote your produced film? Let us know your thoughts. If even people are interested, that might be one of our classes we offer this winter.