On Naming Your Film

Movie titles are fascinating – and sometimes the most artistically fulfilling or narrative-appropriate title for your film isn’t the right choice.  It’s important to find the sweet spot between what makes sense for your movie and what will make people actually want to see it.

When trying to elaborate on this principle, I often go back to the title “Minority Report.” Literarily, it’s a solid title:  this elaborate sci-fi mystery hinges on the fact that every now and then a pre-crime prophecy is known to be reported inaccurately from a minority of prediction sources. So, yeah, the title makes technical sense, sounds like a sci-fi short story, and the moment in-film when the viewer comes to realize the title’s importance is effective because of the “ah-ha!” factor.

But outside the context of this being a Philip K. Dick story being retold by Stephen Spielberg starring Tom Cruise, it’s actually a crap title! I mean, what the hell is a “Minority Report” and why should I care!? If I do decide to see the film, I’m going to expect some sort of exposé on prejudice, or underage student essay. This is a movie about a police force that can see the future… Sure, titles like “Prophet Cops” or “Future Crime” don’t have quite the same ring of profundity to them, but you can bet they’d get more butts in seats than “Minority Report” if the film didn’t have well-respected names already attached. Note how Cruise’s name is as prominent as the title on the poster to the right.

So if you’re an independent filmmaker trying to establish a presence, hooking an audience with your title alone can be an important step in the right marketing direction.

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On Perfecting Your Poster

If you intend to sell your film, your artwork is possibly the single most important creative decision you’ll make. Sure, there are plenty of other crucial creative decisions to be made — particularly if you’re trying to make a good movie! — but the simple truth is that people DO judge a book by its cover. And several rounds of people are going to have to judge yours before journey’s end.

Before the movie’s production has even begun, media sources will be far more likely to pick up your story if they dig your artwork. Similarly, distributors you hope to court may pass on your film or put it in their ‘has potential’ pile based solely on the first thing they see: your cover image. And, of course, each and every would-be audience member could dismiss you outright if they perceive your poster to be uninteresting, vague, off-putting, or amateur.

So with that in mind: Behold(!) the journey of a grassroots movie’s poster art from wishful thinking to distributed DVD cover — and beyond!

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On Finding An Audience

‘And You Films’  promoting and screening Flashback at
Magic City Comic Con in Miami, FL (January, 2016)

So you’ve made a movie! Or you’ve made ten! Or you’re sitting around thinking about writing the catchy tagline to a rough-draft outline that may one day become a screenplay that may sometime eventually be turned into a movie!

Any which way, possibly the most important thing you’re going to need (in addition to everything else that’s of immense importance) is an audience. See, here’s the thing: you could have made the best movie of all time, but if no one knows (or worse: if no one cares) then it simply won’t matter. It won’t win you applause or accolades; it won’t gain you attention or fame; it won’t make you money, and it might not even bring you satisfaction – because, like most things in this world, what’s the damn point if you don’t have anyone to share it with?

So how do you find an audience? There’s no simple answer – but there are some frames of reference to help get you on the right track.
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And You Films offers Video Production services throughout Central Florida and beyond. We most frequently operate in Volusia, Orange, Flagler, Seminole, and Duvall Counties - including Orlando, Daytona, Ormond Beach, Winter Park, Sanford, Port Orange, Jacksonville, DeLand, DeBary, Orange City and Deltona.