3 Tips to Get Your Film Noticed

By Margherita Pellegrino

So you are an independent director. You have made a film, or maybe more than one, maybe even a bunch of them and all you want now is for people to see them, notice your talent and maybe even spread the word about how good you are.

However, it won’t happen by itself and you know it. None will know who you are and what you do, unless you put yourself out there. Whether you have dreams of Hollywood stardom, or you just want your low budget short to be seen by more than just your family members during Christmas dinner, you have to get your hands dirty and work for it, like Raindance teaches.

Recently, while researching for an article about Italian independent directors, I made a list of some interesting new names in Italian indie cinema but I had to drop quite a few of them because I just couldn’t find enough information about them and their career (who they were, what films they’d done), let alone if they were any good! A shame, because, who knows, their work could have been really good.

So how to avoid missing the chance to have your hard work noticed and, hopefully, appreciated? Here are my three basic, start-from-scratch tips for filmmakers around the world:

1 - Put yourself out there

This is obviously very important. Setting up your own website is probably the best idea - you want your films to be seen, and having a website about your work means people will be able to google you. For this reason, try not to give your site an obscure name: ‘Blue Bananas’ won’t work, unless you make sure to put your name next to it or somewhere that will make it come up should someone try to look you up on the net (unless of course you want to keep your identity hidden).

Your website should say something about who you are, where you are from and what your career has been so far, and it also and most importantly should have examples of your work if possible – even links to your youtube channel will do.

There are quite a few resources on the net that could help in this sense – you could even start with setting up a blog, if you don’t want to pay for a domain for your site. Follow the Raindance advice on building a filmmaker's website.

It seems obvious, but it’s worth saying: the more professional and/or interesting your website/blog is, the better chances you have to attract the viewers’ attention.

2 - Speak the language 

Indie films come from all around the world. Good independent cinema can spring up from anywhere (but mostly outside the Hollywood hills). This tip is for indie directors whose first language is not English, and it’s offered purely on grounds of practicality and not meant to be rude or discriminating in any way (I myself am Italian and English is not my mother tongue): if you want to get yourself known abroad, you have to be able to speak English (or alternatively French, in some cases) in order to communicate with people from different countries.

While it is good to be proud of your nationality/country/language, and by all means you should be, you do need a ‘common language’ to communicate with possible audiences and peers, and English is certainly the most useful in the business world. If anyone has noticed your film and wants to contact you, but you can’t reply because you don’t understand them, there goes another chance for your career. And let’s not mention how dull it would be if you’re invited at a festival or event abroad and you can’t speak to anyone…

My advice, as somebody who has learnt English: learn English, as much as you can.

3 - Make and keep connections

This is linked to putting yourself out there: if and when people contact you, or when you network, make sure you pay attention to them. Value all the contacts you can make (except for time wasters of course). Facebook, twitter and emails are important in this sense, as they allow you to keep in touch with people you don’t see every day. Be polite and respectful, and most of all, be humble. You might think of yourself as an undiscovered Tarantino, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re above the unknown film critic from that small unpretentious website who just emailed you asking about your work. You never know how the other person might be able to help you!

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About The Author

Margherita Pellegrino moved to the UK from Italy five years ago, studied Sociology and is now about to finish a Masters Degree in United States Studies.

She is obsessed with cinema and the United States (especially New York) and loves to write (and talk) incessantly about both.

She would like to work as a reviewer/film critic, or maybe in casting because she has a sixth sense about people.

Margherita is presently intening at Raindance.

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3 Ways To Get Your Film Noticed