Building a film press kit is a crucial step in promoting your film and attracting attention from the media and industry professionals. A well-crafted press kit serves as a comprehensive resource that provides essential information about your film and its cast and crew.
By carefully curating materials such as a synopsis, cast and crew bios, production stills, reviews or endorsements, and other relevant info, you can create a compelling press kit that that grabs attention and generates buzz around your film.
- What is a film press kit?
- Why do you need a film press kit?
- Who do you send a press kit to?
- Short films vs documentaries vs feature film press kits
- Short film press kits
- Documentary film press kits
- Feature film press kits
- How to create a film press kit
- Create a cover sheet
- Write a synopsis
- Write cast and crew bios
- Write Frequently Asked Questions
- Get publicity stills
- Include reviews and third party endorsements
- Send your electronic press kit
- Final thoughts
What is a film press kit?
A film press kit, also known as an electronic press kit (EPK) or a media kit, is a promotional package created by filmmakers or production companies to provide information and materials to journalists, reviewers, and other members of the media. It serves as a comprehensive resource for the media to learn about a particular film and its production, and it typically includes material like trailers and image stills designed to be shared and generate interest for the film.
These days, film press kits are usually provided digitally, either as downloadable files or via a password-protected online platform, making it easier for journalists to access and share the materials. These kits are essential tools for generating media coverage, building buzz, and promoting a film to a wider audience.
Why do you need a film press kit?
As a filmmaker, creating a press kit is essential for several important reasons. Firstly, a press kit provides journalists and reviewers with all the necessary information about your film. By having a well-crafted press kit readily available, you can ensure that media professionals have easy access to accurate and compelling details about your film's story, production, cast, and crew. This increases the likelihood it will receive media coverage and be promoted to a wider audience.
Secondly, a press kit allows you to control the narrative surrounding your film. By providing carefully curated materials such as press releases, production notes, and interviews, you can shape how your film is presented and discussed in the media. This enables you to emphasise the unique aspects of your work, highlight the creative process, and convey your intended messages and themes. A well-prepared press kit ensures that your film is accurately represented and that key elements are effectively communicated to the media.
Lastly, a press kit can be a valuable tool for building relationships with journalists, reviewers, and industry professionals. By providing a professional and comprehensive press kit, you demonstrate your commitment to promoting your film and make it easier for media professionals to cover your project. Including contact information in the press kit allows journalists to easily reach out for interviews, additional information, or to request screeners. Establishing these connections can lead to increased media exposure, positive reviews, and potentially open doors for future projects.
Who do you send a press kit to?
When sending a film press kit, it is important to target specific individuals and organisations within the media and film industry. Here are some key recipients to consider:
Film journalists and reviewers
Send your press kit to journalists, critics, and bloggers who specialise in film and entertainment. This could include reporters from newspapers, magazines, online publications, and film-focused websites. Target those who have covered similar genres or themes that align with your film.
Film festival programmers
If you are submitting your film to film festivals, consider including a press kit with your submission. Festival programmers often review press kits to gain a better understanding of the film's background and potential for selection.
Send your press kit to television and radio stations, including entertainment news shows, talk shows, and film review programs. They may be interested in covering your film or conducting interviews with the cast and crew.
Online influencers and content creators
Reach out to popular film vloggers, YouTube channels, and social media influencers who have a significant following in the film community. They can help promote your film through reviews, interviews, or features.
Film industry professionals
Consider sending your press kit to distributors, sales agents, producers, and industry executives who may be interested in acquiring or supporting your film. This can potentially lead to distribution deals or other collaboration opportunities.
Don't overlook local newspapers, magazines, and TV stations in the area where your film was produced or where it will be screened as they may be interested in covering local talent and productions.
Film critics' associations
Research and identify film critics' associations or guilds like BAFTA and Critics' Circle that operate in the UK. They often have members who actively review and promote films. Sending your press kit to these associations can increase the chances of receiving critical attention.
When sending your press kit, we recommend personalising your outreach by addressing recipients by name, explaining why you believe your film would be of interest to them, and offering to provide additional information or arrange interviews if needed.
Short films vs documentaries vs feature film press kits
While the fundamental purpose of press kits remains the same across different types of films, there are some notable differences between short film press kits, documentary press kits, and feature film press kits. This is because each film type has slightly different goals and some unique characteristics.
Short Film Press Kits
Press kits for short films are typically concise and focused due to the shorter duration and limited scope of the film. They include a brief synopsis that provides a short overview of the film's story and often a director's statement offering a short explanation of the filmmaker's intention behind the film.
Key cast and crew profiles are usually included to showcase the talent involved and other information about the production could include its budget, shooting locations, and notable achievements. High-resolution stills are important to capture the film's visual style plus highlighting any festival selections or awards received.
Documentary Press Kits
Press kits for documentaries focus on the subject matter, research, and impact of the film. They provide a detailed synopsis to add more context to the issue explored in the documentary. They also include a filmmaker's statement to explain their motivation, perspective, or personal connection to the documentary's subject. Expert interviews or endorsements from notable individuals relevant to the subject matter are also often included.
The press kit often provides information about the research methods, interviews conducted, and challenges faced during production and are often supported with statistics or studies to provide further insight. Additionally, the press kit highlights the potential impact of the documentary and any plans for community engagement or outreach.
Feature Film Press Kits
Press kits for feature films are usually more extensive due to the larger scale and production value. In addition to a short synopsis they often include a detailed synopsis offering a comprehensive overview of the film's story, providing in-depth information about the plot, characters, and themes. The director's statement is important and often discusses their artistic vision and challenges faced during production.
It also offers profiles of all the principal cast and crew, detailing their skills and experience. The press kit also includes visuals like high-resolution photos, posters, and promotional artwork, as well as the official trailers and scene clips.
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How to create a film press kit
Create a cover sheet
Most importantly the cover sheet needs to prominently display your film's title. If you have a film logo or branding, you can include it alongside or below the title too. Think about using colours that align with the tone of your film, a simple design works well to enhance the text. Also consider featuring a captivating still image or artwork from the film and a tagline to create intrigue and make a memorable first impression.
The cover sheet should also include essential information such as the director's name, production company, and the type of film, using a font style and size that is clear and legible. You can also mention the release year or any notable accolades or awards received. Your contact details like your name, email address, phone number, and website, are also useful so that recipients can easily reach out for further information.
Maintain consistency with the overall branding and design elements used on the cover sheet throughout the press kit to create a cohesive and professional presentation. Remember, the cover sheet serves as the first impression for the recipients, setting the tone for the entire press kit. So you want to ensure that it accurately represents your film, entices the reader to explore further, and showcases the professionalism and creativity of your project.
Write a synopsis
Often feature film press kits feature both a short and a detailed synopsis. Keep your short synopsis within 100 to 200 words to ensure it is concise and to the point. It should highlight the main elements of your film, such as the central plot, key characters, and core themes. Highlight the most compelling aspects that will grab the reader's attention.
Consider starting with a captivating hook or an intriguing question, just avoid revealing too much. Try to maintain a balance between providing enough information to spark interest and leaving room for the viewer to discover more while watching the film.
Lastly, you want the synopsis to convey the tone and genre of your film. Whether it's a drama, comedy, or thriller, provide hints about the emotional experience to help give the reader a sense of what to expect.
After writing the initial synopsis, carefully review and revise it. You want to ensure that every word counts and that the synopsis effectively represents your film's story. It's always a good idea to seek feedback from people you trust who can provide valuable insights and help you make necessary adjustments to ensure your synopsis shines.
Write cast and crew bios
Start by collecting essential details about each cast and crew member like their full name, professional background, notable achievements, and any relevant training or education. You can also gather a couple of interesting personal details to add some more personality to their bios.
Begin each bio with a brief introduction that establishes the individual's professional background and expertise. Then, highlight key accomplishments, awards, or notable projects that demonstrate their talent and dedication. Include specific details about their role in your film and how their skills or experiences align with the project's vision and goals.
You can even tailor the bios to the target audience, for example if your film targets a specific demographic, emphasise relevant experiences or projects that resonate with that audience. But overall, keep the bios concise and focused, maintain a consistent writing style and highlight the most important aspects of each individual's career.
Write Frequently Asked Questions
Creating frequently asked questions (FAQs) for your press kit helps address common inquiries and provides valuable information to journalists and reviewers.
Start by considering the key elements of your film that people may have questions about. These can include the story, production process, cast and crew, themes, and distribution. Then brainstorm a list of potential questions that journalists or reviewers might ask.
Review your list and select the most relevant and engaging questions that cover a range of topics. Ensure the questions provide valuable information and generate interest in your film. Write each question in a clear and concise way, using straightforward language to make it easy for readers to skim quickly.
Questions that address common concerns or misconceptions about your film are helpful to allow you to clarify any potential misunderstandings and provide accurate information. You can also use some of the FAQs to highlight the unique and compelling aspects of your film, for example innovative storytelling techniques, remarkable performances, or groundbreaking themes.
It's also a good idea to incorporate questions about the film's distribution plans, release dates, and any notable festivals or screenings it has been selected for.
After drafting the FAQs and answers, review and revise them for clarity and effectiveness so you can avoid overly long explanations that may lose the reader's interest. Finally, double check the information provided is up-to-date and aligns with the overall messaging of your press kit.
Get publicity stills
Firstly, ask your production team whether they have high-resolution images captured during the filming process that can be used for promotional purposes. You may need to coordinate with them to obtain the necessary permissions and releases for using the images.
Secondly, consider engaging a stills photographer for a dedicated photoshoot. Collaborate with the photographer to discuss the desired aesthetic and identify key scenes or moments that would make captivating stills. Make sure to get high-quality images suitable for both print and online use.
Lastly, curate a diverse selection of stills that represent different characters, settings, and moods from your film, and that compliment the information in your press kit. Once you've finalised your images, organise and label the stills with captions or descriptions to make it easy for journalists and reviewers to identify and utilise them.
Include reviews and third party endorsements
Obtaining reviews and third-party endorsements for your press kit helps establish credibility and generate interest in your film. Here are several sources to consider when seeking reviews and endorsements:
Film festivals: If your film has been screened at film festivals, reach out to the festival organisers or reviewers who attended the screenings. Request their feedback and inquire if they would be willing to provide a review or endorsement for your press kit.
Film critics and reviewers: Research film critics and reviewers who specialise in your film's genre or target audience. Reach out to them and offer to provide a screening of your film for review purposes.
Industry professionals: Seek endorsements from industry professionals who have seen your film or are familiar with your work. This can include directors, producers, or actors who have a respected reputation within the film industry.
Online platforms: Approach blogs and publications that focus on film reviews and industry news. Offer to provide a screening link or arrange an interview to generate reviews or endorsements.
Influencers: Identify influencers or social media personalities who align with your film's target audience or thematic elements. Reach out to them and propose collaborations, such as hosting screenings or providing exclusive content.
Audience feedback: Conduct test screenings of your film and gather feedback from audience members. Positive testimonials or quotes from audience reactions can serve as endorsements for your press kit. You could also reach out to online film communities or forums to engage with potential viewers and gather their feedback.
Remember to obtain written permission and clearance to use any reviews or endorsements in your press kit and include excerpts or quotes that showcase its appeal to your potential audience.
Send your electronic press kit
Choose a file sharing method that suits your needs and the preferences of the recipients. Common options include email attachments, cloud storage services (such as Dropbox or Google Drive), or dedicated EPK hosting platforms.
When you're sending an EPK, make sure to craft a concise and engaging email message to accompany it. Introduce yourself and provide a brief overview of the film, highlighting its unique aspects or any recent achievements. Clearly state the purpose of the email and mention that you're attaching or providing a link to the EPK.
Personalise your email by addressing each recipient by name and including specific points of interest relevant to their area of expertise. Tailor the content to make it clear why your film would be of interest to them.
If you're sending the EPK as an email attachment, ensure that the file size is reasonable and won't cause issues with email delivery. If the EPK is too large, consider compressing the files or using a cloud storage link instead. Alternatively, provide a link in your email for recipients to access the EPK from a website.
Use a concise and descriptive subject line for your email, such as "Electronic Press Kit for [Film Title] - Press Inquiry" so the recipient can quickly identify the purpose of the email and increases the chances of it being opened.
After sending the EPK, consider following up with a polite and professional email to ensure the recipients received it and to inquire if they have any questions or require additional materials. However, avoid excessive follow-ups so you don't appear too pushy. Keep track of the responses you receive and promptly reply to any inquiries or requests for more information.
If there are significant updates or changes to your film, such as new accolades or additional promotional materials, consider sending an updated version of the EPK to recipients who have shown interest or requested further information.
A well-crafted press kit serves as a powerful tool to capture attention, build credibility, and generate opportunities for your film to reach a wider audience. With thoughtful planning, curating, and distribution, your film press kit can make a lasting impression and help propel your film project towards success.
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