Making the right EPK

The right EPK can help promote my short film, so getting it right is important. According to FilmSourcing It is good to start early, to plane which stills, Interviews will be included in EPK. The basic use of a EPK is for good marketing.

the diagram shows the most important EPK features.


PMD for Hire is a really good site to explain what should go into a EPK. All this research will help my make a better EPK with all the right information to help boost my film.

A damn good synopsis: I can’t stress this enough! Too many indie film synopses are written using arcane language in what I refer to as a “Euro-trashy style.” Don’t lose your potential audience from the get-go by describing your film in terms which don’t register on the radar of the average filmgoing joe. So filmmakers take note: you’ve got all the time in the world to parse out the more esoteric aspects of your film during your future magazine or website interviews and guest blog posts. If you feel yourself waxing philosophical, save it for the more high-brow publications, not the EPK. The key at this stage is to not alienate people. If you attempt to sound more pretentious than what’s good for you, there’s a surefire way to lose folks’ interests.

Filmmaker’s personal statement: Again, this is something which personalizes the picture and stamps the filmmaker’s “personality” on the minds of his/her potential audience. For a brief few moments, this takes readers’ attentions away from the story and casts all the attention on the filmmaker, which — if skillfully done — succeeds in doing exactly that.

Phenomenal production stills: It’s a rare breed of independent who appreciates the unfathomable value and potential of stellar stills. To the majority of indies, though, production stills are typically an afterthought. A trifling expense. An annoyance even. Hardly realizing that it can be something that accurately documents a filmmakers’ journey of taking their story from script-to-screen to cements their relationship with an eventual loyal audience. In other words: the major value-add for these fans and followers. So don’t scrimp on stills!

Off-set stills: Make a habit today of documenting practically everything connected to your film! Keep a diary during the scripting process, another diary during pre-production, and never let a stills camera, an audio device, or a Flip Cam (for video) stray too far from the action or your thoughts. You never know when history might be in the making. You don’t want to reach the Rubicon with no boat to cross it with, know what I mean?

Cast & crew bios (in their own words): I’m tending to the side of originality here. Do you keep the copy industry standard: spartan, curt, punchy, or do you innovate a tad by having the cast and crew members write their copy in their own words? If EPKs are becoming something like business cards, then everything counts in the effort to stand out from the clutter.

Links to all popular social media tools: The key is to have inventory and options for visitors. Let journalists and critics make their own choices, so it’s important to serve it up to them the way they’re expecting it. You don’t want to lose out a chance at gratis publicity because you’re not offering up industry standard clickable soc-med links off your page and within your press kit. That EPK of yours should be a real link smorgasbord, so organize it properly. List them using industry-standard icons for instant identification. The bare minimums are a Twitter handle, a Facebook personal page, a FB Fan Page, and a LinkedIn profile, the latter for your more straight-laced financier types who are coming at your film from a more business-y angle.

All relevant contact details: If it wasn’t omitted as often as I’ve been seeing it, I wouldn’t emphasize this: ensure to include as many contact details as possible! Remember, it’s not about you! Some people are more telephone-based, others are more email-friendly. Permit your potential contacts to choose how to best reach you and make sure to be available at all of these places so man those phones (or get your PMD to do so)! And for all those indies who use contact forms on their site as opposed to real email addresses, test those forms before going live to ensure they work! That one email you’ll miss might be the one attempt that particular distributor makes to reach your office — not to mention how sloppy contact forms cheese people right off.


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