Can you boil your film’s central premise down to two sentences? Can you say it backwards and forwards until the cow low home? Can you drop it at practically any time of the day or night, the instant you wake up, after a good diddle, while doing push-ups, or skipping down the road, tra-la-la?
That’s the true barometer of whether what you think you know has truly sunk in, boss. If you can do this particular thing with your movie, then you really know what you’re talking about.
If you can assist someone else – a completely uninvolved person — get the gist of the yarn you’re trying to spin, you’ve succeeded as a storyteller. If you can’t, your film is likely destined for the commercial failure trash heap. Besides, if you have trouble actually explaining what you’re on about to an audience, what the hell’s an audience supposed to do?! How are they supposed to explain it onward to others, to share it with their friends?! Like…duh?!
If you don’t know your story by rote, practice the hell out of it until you can. Say it when you’re shopping for groceries or skipping rope. Say it when hopping stairs on the subway or drinking your afternoon java. Think about how you’d introduce your story to a complete stranger standing in line at the supermarket the next time you’re chowing down lustily on those California rolls at your favorite sushi place.
It’s time to make this process as easy as possible for an audience…and here’s how, bub.
Just like you provide media types with a ready-made EPK or press kit full of easy to access interviews, key art, and supporting materials surrounding your film, do this with your story.
- a 2-sentence.
- short, and
…version of your narrative and link all these to sites like Click To Tweet so stakeholders they can push it onwards with just the single click.
Make everything cuttable and pastable (you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t!).
Ensure that all embedded links actually work and are clickable, rather than having people cut and paste text (what’s the point of a link if it’s not actually clickable?!).
Memorize what you want to say and figure out how to explain it at differing levels of complexity. Have different versions for all of this material and categorize it in one depot so you can compare at a glance how they all stack up against each other. Keep practicing until you can know this things from the inside out.
And until you do, don’t share it with a soul! Don’t make a peep. Don’t boast. And don’t be a braggart. You’ll have less to unpack later and far less damage control to contend with.
Adam Daniel Mezei, PMD | Producer of Marketing and Distribution
Indie Audience Engagement Services for Independent Feature Films and Documentaries
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