IFH 213: How to Find an Audience for Your Indie Film with Media Circus

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Today on the show we have Adam Bowman and Paul Koshlap from Media Circus PR. These guys specialize in marketing for indie films and filmmakers. They handle digital marketing, public relations, digital advertising and much more.

We discuss the state of indie film marketing, how to find an audience for your film and tips and tricks to get you film and yourself out there.

media circus, adam bowman, Paul Koshlap, Media Circus PR, Glen Reynolds, Circus Road Films

Enjoy my interview with Adam and Paul from Media Circus.

Alex Ferrari 2:58
Now today on the show. We have Adam Bowman and Paul Koshlap from media circus. These guys are going to be my partners this year. at Sundance, we're going to be doing all our interviews and stuff together. But the guy these guys are insane marketing geniuses, that that use that I used on this as mag to get the word out on this is Meg. And what they do is help independent filmmakers get the word out on their films by using social media and all sorts of other marketing strategies. And I wanted to have them on the show to see if they can kind of shine a light on how to really find an audience for your independent film. And these guys have been doing this for a while. And they've seen the good, the bad and the ugly in this space. So this episode is full of amazing knowledge bombs in regards to how to find an audience, how to market your film, how to use social media properly, what to do, what not to do on Facebook, and on Twitter and on YouTube and all the other social media platforms, and how that is not the only thing you can do to get the word out on your film. So sit back, relax and enjoy my conversation with media circus. I'd like to welcome to the show, Adam Bowman and Paul Koshlap How you doing brother?

Adam Bowman 4:14
We're doing well. How are you doing Alex?

Alex Ferrari 4:15
Good, good. You guys are from media circus, who we're going to be doing a whole lot of insane stuff over at Sundance this year. So always, always, always. And I wanted to bring you guys on to talk about the state of film marketing. Yeah. Yes, because indie film or indie film marketing no less. And I think it's something that our audience, my audience, specifically the tribe, you know, loves to hear about because it's one of those mystery things that it's kind of something they don't teach at school, and they don't know what to do. And it's a it's such an important part of the process. So he talked a little bit first of all, what is the difference between a PR firm and marketing or do they overlap? What can we talk like, how does that work?

Adam Bowman 4:59
Well, it's so interesting. In film, people often just talk about PR. But you know, I have a master's in Mass Communications and Marketing. And marketing actually includes all of it, like PR is a piece of marketing advertising is a piece of marketing. In a really good way to think about it is, you know, advertising is you're telling other people how good your product is, but PR is getting somebody else to tell other people how good your product is. And realistically, in a perfect marketing ecosystem, you want both of those things to be happening. And that, that's the biggest difference for PR is getting other people to advocate for you. And marketing is sort of talking directly to

Alex Ferrari 5:43
So let's talk about when a filmmaker needs PR versus marketing, depending on the size of their project and things like that, because a lot of filmmakers will just make their movie and there's like, I got to get a PR person, I got to get promote, I got to get the word out on this. And they just have no idea. It's like this shotgun approach to getting the word out on it. So when is PR appropriate as far as actually hiring a public relations company? Or when is it just like trying to do more either targeted social media ads? Or, you know, depending on the project, you talk a little about that?

Adam Bowman 6:16
Yes, the the reality is scale. I mean, how big your project is, is that sort of determined, when you want a PR person to come on. There's debate depending on what your movies about, if there's some great hook in your movie, or something that's happening in the production part of the movie, it might make sense to have a publicist, come in and do some stuff. I mean, honestly, you should probably have somebody managing the unit publicity of every level of film, even if you're doing $1,000 small budget thing, because when you come out for distribution, you're going to need stills, you're going to need those in like all the marketing pieces. If you didn't have somebody managing that and get get collecting those through production, then you have very little besides taking screen grabs of the movie itself. To put out into the world,

Alex Ferrari 7:13
I think that is a big mistake a lot of filmmakers make is they don't understand that you need behind scene footage you need behind the scene. stills Yeah, stills that are actually not just screen grabs. Even if you have a nice 4k image, it'd be nice to have an actual professional photographer or someone, even with a, you know, a gh four or a Canon or DSLR to shoot some absolute behind the scenes stuff.

Paul Koshlap 7:35
Yeah, and the quality of the images on social media. Over the course of a multitude of images that you're posting out over a long period of time, a high rez a series of high res images versus a series of lower rez screenshots will make some difference merely in terms of the reach you get, and the the, you know, sort of value of those individual pieces.

Alex Ferrari 7:55
I think also, it's something that a lot of filmmakers don't realize is that you're building up kind of like an arsenal of elements. Yeah, to be able to use to market your project. Yeah. And that's something that they just don't think about. They don't think about behind the scenes footage, they don't think about interviews with the cast, they don't think about, you know, Stills, all this kind of stuff that when they go to someone like you guys, the first question you're gonna ask like, what do you have? And like, Well, we've got a movie. Yeah, you know, and if they're lucky, you get a trailer. If you're lucky Raven, then we could talk about trailers in a minute, because that's a whole other conversation. But those those are elements that you guys need to work, right.

Paul Koshlap 8:35
Yeah, exactly. It's not gonna hurt you. And like you said, having a good Arsenal ready to go of marketing assets will only serve you down the road. Now, real quick. And just as a side note,

Alex Ferrari 8:46
do you think that every film should have its own website?

Paul Koshlap 8:53
I think that again, it depends on the size of the film. Yeah. And the amount of resources, but I think that there are many other platforms, social media sites, what have you that for a lot of films can serve that purpose without going through the effort of putting together your own entire separate site. Okay. If you have the resources, large enough film, I think there's value.

Adam Bowman 9:16
But well, in most cases, they're not really selling anything on a web.

Alex Ferrari 9:19
Well, that's the thing. If you're just selling your movie, I get you. But like, if you like I did for this as Meg I created, obviously, a full website, which had behind the scenes footage, and all this kind of right, and it has links to all the places where people can buy it or rent it or see it. Sure. And it was a place to find out about the cast and about that. So it was a little bit more shirttail than just a Facebook total fan page. Yeah. But it's also very easy for me to go Oh, just go to this as mag calm. Yeah. So even if you don't do a film, would it be smart to like, let's say your Facebook page is going to be your homepage of this movie, to buy a URL and afford it over to the Facebook page. So you at least that's an easier, sell easier thing to market like you know, whatever. Blah, blah, blah, .com.

Adam Bowman 10:01
Yeah. Plus, I mean, again, it, I don't know that there's a hard and fast way. Okay and scale right again. So in the in the if you're trying to make a micro budget indie film, either money or time is what it's going to take to get that off the ground and whether that you're going to see that return on investment from whether it was time or money to build a website for that movie. The one thing I would say that might make more sense, is building a website for your your production. Yes. Where all of your movies can sort of live Oh, that's a given. Yes, you know that that makes more sense. Because then you can send people to you know, these are these are my movies XYZ production company.com. Now, but but to specifically set up a whole website infrastructure for an individual movie, I don't know how valuable that is,

Alex Ferrari 10:50
Unless you're selling if you if you are selling other products, other merchandise and things like that and building an audience. Absolutely. It makes.

Adam Bowman 10:56
Totally, you need a place then for the people on Yeah, but if you don't have that, if it really all it is, is the trailer of synopsis, and you know, pictures of the cast, you know, that kind of lives on IMDB, right? Like why do you need to, and people aren't going to be much rather go to IMDb, because that's something that websites are familiar with

Alex Ferrari 11:14
You and it's also you gotta if you're going to create a website, you've got to create value, right? You have to create something for them to be seeing something. Yeah, that's going to if you're just going for a synopsis your actors and yeah, yeah, it's not so much. But like with Meg, I'll use Megan as an example. I had a lot of behind the scenes footage. I had videos, I had images. And then I also had a place a hub, where I can send everybody like, okay, it's on iTunes on here. Here's all the links, here's all this stuff. It just made sense. For our our own and it's never wrong. It's about it's about budge. I could I could whip it up myself. And it didn't cost me anything. Right. Yeah, you know, but but you could also go to Squarespace or something like that. And I'm not got a website in 30 minutes. Yeah, right. You know, that looks pretty bad. Yeah.

Paul Koshlap 11:58
And I think another just to echo part of what Adam is saying here. And another really important point i with the indie film world, using any given project you're working on to parallel, you know, to also promote your own filmmaker brand and yourself at the same time, is, you're not only doing two birds with one stone, but a very effective way to do that. And that sort of for the website, as opposed to having a website for each individual film you make, or even in some cases of social media, separate social media presence for each individual film you make for many filmmakers, what makes more sense. And again, it's just a question of size scale, is to kind of put all that together into one online presence. And it's but it's also a question of forethought, and playing the long game.

Alex Ferrari 12:44
Yeah, there's a lot of filmmakers, right, if they get their movie made, they're just like, a kind of movie made. That's it. They're not thinking about the next two or three movies or even thinking about a production company thinking about a long term career. They're just like, I got this movie, I gotta promote this thing. And I think filmmakers should think about long term playing the long game, totally building up a production company or entity or website like a brand.

Adam Bowman 13:07
If you are just looking at one movie, you're setting yourself up to fail, because their movie business is a winners pay for losers business, you know, can you elaborate on that? So that's why in a production company, even the big studios, or small ones, they try to put out a slate of films, knowing full well that some of them are not going to work, whether it was the marketing, whether it was the content, whatever it is

Alex Ferrari 13:30
some Justice League Justice League, obviously. Sorry.

Adam Bowman 13:37
We don't know that Justice League isn't working. Look, people can critically say it's not working. But financially, it's probably going to be fine.

Alex Ferrari 13:47
But to pay for the week, we go back we go we go back and forth on the whole Marvel DC and I love and I love I love messing with that.

Adam Bowman 13:54
But anyway. Yeah. So you know, winners have to pay for losers. And that's the way distribution companies are able to function and stay alive and all that so. And from a filmmaker perspective, you cannot put all your eggs in one basket and expect it to financially work out, you might have a whole bunch of other goals for making the movie, whether it's sort of springboarding a career or creating notoriety, or maybe there's a certain message that you really want to get out there. Those are all valuable reasons to make a movie as well. But there was ones aren't necessarily sustainable ones.

Alex Ferrari 14:35
Right. And I think that diversification is a huge word that filmmakers should understand. Like you can't just focus only on one project and one thing which is hard because getting a movie off the ground is tough. You know, but the Think about it in the long game that the keep budgets low to do two or three smaller movies and throw those out into the marketplace. One might pop one might not and keep the budget slow enough that you can kind of recoup. But you're right from New distributors in general, like, not everyone's a hit No, not at all.

Adam Bowman 15:07
And I mean, if it was, everybody would have figured out right? Like it wouldn't. It wouldn't be a reason for a podcast about how to market movies or how to make movies or how to sell because everyone's making money formula would have been worked out. And everybody wouldn't say, Oh, this is how you do it.

Alex Ferrari 15:19
Well look at Disney. I mean, look, Disney's makes, you know, the arguably probably the most successful studio going on right now what they're doing are not bar none. But the thing is, like, you know, they put out I remember a year or two ago, the Alice Wonderland scene boom, Through the Looking Glass, it bombed, like, and that's $150 million movie, you know, or Lone Ranger, john Carter, john Carter, these are massive bombs. But out of those massive bombs, they've got like another five or six that made billions of dollars that that help, you know, support the losses. So that's just the way it is. But it is, and now we're getting into another conversation. But they're getting into bigger, these bigger budgets are risking more and more and more and making fewer and fewer movies. And that model of different diversification is not working because they're rolling the dice on a Justice League or on a DC universe that is not paying off the way they want it to. You know, and you know, imagine if Harry Potter they threw in, or Lord of the Rings, they spent $450 million in Lord of the Rings back in the day, right? They were rolling the dice. Oh, yeah. Big time. And it paid off, but it could have very easily not itself. Sure. So should when should filmmakers start working with, you know, marketing, thinking about marketing and things like that? You should be thinking about marketing when you think of the idea for the script a member as soon as poss. Amen.

Adam Bowman 16:38
Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 16:38
Preach!

Adam Bowman 16:39
Yeah. Ideally, and, you know, really what you should do is go see what's trending in social media and write a script based on that. You know, there's a, there's a built in audience and niche audience.

Alex Ferrari 16:52
But let's No, no, that's a very good point. And I'm gonna, I'm gonna bring I'm gonna stop you there. Because it's something that filmmakers don't get, they just, they sit in their bubble, and they'll come up with an idea. And they'll go, I'm gonna make this movie, not thinking about who it's gone, or how they're going to get it out there. And if you write something that's based on an existing, and we're talking about the micro budget, but even in the macro budget world, we're talking the studio world, that's what they're doing. When they put out Justice League, they hope that the fan base for those characters are there. And they they're making a movie for that fan base, as well as as broad of an audience as humanly possible. Yeah. But for micro budgets, if you can come up with an idea that that you can, and I'll use the same thing, the vegan chef movie, the vegan chef movie, I mean, if I came to you guys with a movie, so it's a romantic comedy about a vegan chef who falls in love with a meat eater. And that's the story. And then, and I go, oh, by the way, I also have 15 courses on how to make vegan, you know, pastries, so whatever. And I'm bringing this to you guys. You'd be like, yes, you'd be like salivating. Yeah, cuz you could market that easily. Right, Paul?

Paul Koshlap 18:02
Yes. Yeah. I mean, that's perfect. Because it's like you said, I mean, that it's a movie that appeals to known existing fan bases of people or demographics of people who have a certain kind of interest that are relatively easy to target, especially on social media, right? So you can connect those two dots very easily. And there you go. You have an audience right there built in.

Alex Ferrari 18:22
Yeah. Now there was the there was a success story that you guys were talking about the dog fighting movie. Can you talk a little bit about what happened with that project? And because it just goes along with what we're talking about? Sure. Absolutely.

Adam Bowman 18:32
Yeah. So we're working with his movie chance. And what's great about it is these people had what they felt was a calling to tell a story about sort of the, the darkness the negative thing that is dogfighting and we all know, it's horrible. It's horrible. But it still happens, nope, everything. And you know, they also recognize that, like, they didn't want to do, you know, a real real dog movie with dog fighting. So they decided to make a CG movie about dog fighting from the dogs perspective. And, you know, it's really powerful, really emotional. But I think what would the success part was we started the social media management. And a lot of there's content without, you know, doing the big boosting budgets and stuff like that, that everybody else is saying you have to do now went viral. I mean, everybody talks about the word viral, like they want their stuff to go viral. That's viral is not really something you can create, per se. But this literally did go viral. I mean, it went, Paul, you by the numbers. Yeah. Off the top your head. They're 90 right now.

Paul Koshlap 19:44
Yeah. So I mean, it's the trailer. The trailer has been viewed over a million times on Facebook. And the full reaches something like 3.5 million for an indie movie for a tiny indie movie and this is with zero paid, boosting apply. To that, and you your listeners may from the previous episode know all about Facebook shortlisting and stuff, this is completely organic. So in which in the modern day of Facebook is unheard of even more insane. So and that didn't happen right away, essentially, you know, so this is a great example of film that has and the filmmakers, by the way, ironically, I mean, they made the film for the same reason out of passion for this subject of genuine passion. They really care very much about this. So they made this movie actually, for the same reason, probably, most filmmakers make their movie. And I think, if any, yeah, not with any forethought about marketing or anything, but it turned into sort of a happy accident that this film and its content found, relatively quickly, a very passionate fan base on social media. So we first started releasing content. So I mean, for us when they brought us the project, the strategy was, was pretty obvious. You know, we want to create content, obviously, that represents the film. But that also talks about the subject and hopefully educates people about this horrendous practice, right? What they might be able to do to help put a stop to this or to rescue dogs in need of rescue or to support organizations that help you know, rescue adopt animals and all of that

Adam Bowman 21:18
This strategy really was built around the idea that social medias, social people talk, and it's conversation and movie had his topic that they could be part of the conversation wasn't just watch our movie, watch your movie watching the movie, right? Yes. You know, this is a topic that people are talking about, you know, dog rescue dog euthanasia. euthanizing that euthanasia, euthanizing. And,

Paul Koshlap 21:44
Yeah, and also, on the flip side, all the organizations that are there to be supported, that are working so hard to rescue these animals. And to combat this, this practice in the stem. Did that turn into all those views turn into sales or rentals?

Alex Ferrari 21:58
Well, not even out yet. So you're just still building the audience? Yeah. So the audience is just rapidly waiting. Yes, or no pun intended, rather than waiting for, for the film to come out? Yeah, well, just one bad thing. The big point up there, a lot of filmmakers think that they only should start building an audience when they have a product to sell. Hmm, what do you what's your point of that?

Adam Bowman 22:20
Well, and we've talked about this before, but the building an audience and creating awareness is like anything else you're going to do in life. And in particular, with filmmaking, there's the adage that, you know, you there's three things your movie can be, it can be good, it can be fast, it can be cheap, it can only be two of those things, building an audience is the exact same thing. You can build a really good engaged audience, and you can do it fast, but it's not going to be cheap. You if you want to do it, build a good engaged audience and do it cheap, you've got to do it over time. And the other thing, you know, you look at, you know, really big movies, Justice League, for example. You know, they, they create a lot of awareness, this because they put a ton of money into making sure it's everywhere. I mean, we're here in LA, you could not know breathe without seeing a poster somewhere. Now, for a small indie film, to reach market saturation of everybody being aware of their movie. They either need to start that very early, or they're just going to keep doing it forever. In fact, they probably should do it forever. Yeah, cuz they're never going to reach that point. I'd like everybody knowing about it. The reality. Yeah, yeah. Without either spending a whole bunch of money or just taking that time.

Alex Ferrari 23:32
Right? And again, and how do you? So when you're building that audience, though, how do you keep them engaged all this time? while they're waiting for the final product? Are you putting out behind the scenes? Are you doing interviews? Are you talking to your audience? You know,

Adam Bowman 23:48
Depends on the movie? Okay, you know, for for chance, like I was saying it, it's a perfect topic to be inserted into a conversation that's already happening in social media, which is why I went back to that, like if you really want to make a movie that sells find conversations in social media niche audiences that your movie can be inserted into and be part of that, that world.

Paul Koshlap 24:10
Yeah. One thing that also will do to you to your question about how do you keep all that going? Where's the content? How do you keep this momentum going, sometimes over a prolonged period of time, depending on what the needs are in terms of release and time to finish the project. When you do if you attach yourself to a larger conversation, then you open yourself up to all this content you can share, right? That isn't directly about your film, but maybe it's articles about this subject or other content from other people who are also talking about from

Alex Ferrari 24:42
An account that is about the movie.

Paul Koshlap 24:44
No. Oh, well, yes. You're hosting it from from Yeah, yeah. So this is all content for your account,

Alex Ferrari 24:50
Right. So all of a sudden, people start subscribing or following your account because they are interested in what your content you're providing, whether it's your own content or rewrite or repurpose In other people's content, you're you're making a connection with an audience. Yes.

Paul Koshlap 25:03
And at the very least, you're you're sustaining the interest of whatever audience you have captured.

Alex Ferrari 25:08
And, and I'll use a perfect example with what I do with indie film hustle. When I first started with any of them, I was I didn't have a lot of copyright. So I just repurposed other people's YouTube videos, or memes or inspiration or whatever. I did that for months before I started. And then of course, inserting my my content, but then slowly to a point where now I have more than enough content to go around. Yeah, then now I just use that. But that's how I was able to use and I still repurpose other people's stuff, as well, because it's part of providing value to my audience. Yeah, whether that be talking about a very passionate subject that they want. Yeah, or finding more information about?

Adam Bowman 25:45
Yeah, and that's a perfect way to start your page to begin with, like, if you got to film and you want to start your social media at this inception of the idea before we even read the script. You know, you know, the genre is you'll know what the, hopefully, you know, what the genre is, you know, what the hook is, you know what the theme of the movie is? And you know, you can find those conversations online and be be part of those than the beginning.

Alex Ferrari 26:06
There's a buddy of mine who just for fun, opened up a Facebook page, he has Wiener dogs, and he opened up a wiener dog page. And he's just started putting up funny because there's a lot of funny there's, there's a lot of funny wiener dog stuff out there. And he just start posting and he's got like 100,000 followers now. And now what he does is he posts like products for leisure dogs and yeah, he makes a living. Yep, pulling all that kind of stuff out. But I was very interesting because there's a movie called wiener dog. You remember that one from Noah Bachman? I remember that. But it was a movie called wiener dog. And I was like, how perfect of a marketing situation is a movie called wiener dog you got a built in audience that might be small but actually I would

Adam Bowman 26:47
That that breed in particular dog since would not be a small audience anytime I go somewhere. So my, my in laws, own toxins and they love toxins. And so anytime we go somewhere, I guarantee whether it's a department store Oh no. You can always find some sort of kitsch with toxins on it. Not every there's another

Alex Ferrari 27:11
Another breed that's coming up as the corgis you know I have I used to have a Corgi and it was before it was invoked. Yeah. Now everywhere. Yeah, sorry, we're going off a tangent.

Paul Koshlap 27:21
That however, I mean, that we might have opened up a whole new category of ways of thinking about moving. Pick the breed of dog and make a movie about it. Yeah. Find the breed of dog that has not yet been represented on film.

Alex Ferrari 27:33
And then generally speaking dog movies do well, yes, there's a fat they're generally family. Sure. You're gonna you put a dog on a cover? Yeah, that's why there's 45 air buds. Yeah, yeah. Yep. Air buds saves Christmas.

Adam Bowman 27:47
I mean, they make like to Paul's point that I might disagree with a little bit if you pick a breed that nobody's heard of like you pick up a borzoi. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. You know that. Nobody knows what that is. That's why Air Bud is a golden retriever. Yeah, one of the most popular dogs are right, for sure.

Paul Koshlap 28:03
But has a doxon been more of a moving wiener dog? Okay. The movie called wiener dog man. Remember the conversation we just had.

Alex Ferrari 28:13
Children? Do not do drugs. It's not good.

Paul Koshlap 28:16
But there might be there might be more room for more than one wiener dog movie. 45 air there's not there's not a winner dog is the soul doxon film. There might be room for another film.

Alex Ferrari 28:30
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I don't think there's a saturation of dots and movies out there you go. I there's probably exaggeration of Air Bud movies yet either. That might also be true. No, they literally got like I was I was clicking through Netflix and I saw like Air Bud saves Christmas. I was like, You gotta be kidding me. But But is there an Air Bud says Kwanzaa. There you go. I mean, I think there's room. I think there's room for everything. Now, Paul, can we talk a little bit about some marketing concepts and ideas that are outdated? Sure. There's so many people that think five years ago, what worked five years ago is working right now or it's going to work in a year when your movie comes out? Right!

Paul Koshlap 29:10
Yeah, I mean, the biggest thing that I encounter with people with clients and people who are trying to market any product service or films in particular on social media, is that they have the sense that social media has a little bit of magic. You put something out there and it's gonna kind of and they have these notions about firewall Enos and and how this stuff works, right. Yeah. And, and trend, putting something out there in on social media, literally just posting something on social media will allow that give it that it's this opportunity for it to sort of magically find its way to some sort of audience and potentially money. reach a ton of people. Sure. And while that's not possible, it's become harder and harder and harder and harder and harder over the years, merely because of saturation. saturation of the social media landscape, there's just way more content out there than there was 510 years ago. And what you need to do now is it's, you essentially, you can no longer just put something out there. And it will have a good chance of reaching the people who are likely to be interested in the content you're putting out there, you have to work for their attention.

Alex Ferrari 30:26
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now, back to the show.

Paul Koshlap 30:36
Job number one before anything, that people this is the step that people skip, in my opinion, or at least in terms of their understanding of what they're trying to accomplish, is they think that they'll be able to they know the audience they want to reach, they may have identified it, they know what how they want to represent the brand they're moving, I would go so far as to say I don't know that even they figured that in many cases, they haven't. But let's say best case scenario, yes, they have they and they, they think that they'll be able to put it out there and that by some sort of social media osmosis, that that content will start to reach those people without any additional work. And and that I think has changed dramatically, you need to work for those people's attention. And

Alex Ferrari 31:20
When you say work, at the end of the day, it's providing value to them in one way, shape, or form entertainment, information or passion. But that's what you mean by work like you're you're you're connecting with them in one way, shape, or form. And

Paul Koshlap 31:31
That's definitely a part of it. But even that, I think, is no longer enough. right in and of itself, you definitely want to provide value, you must provide value, if you're not it, nobody's gonna pay attention, you're just wasting your time. So for sure, like and that would fall into the sort of, you know, category of content strategy, what are we putting out? Why is it a value to our target demographic, maybe it's content from the film that we just think is going to be entertained to that, it's as simple as that. And that can work great. Or maybe it's attaching yourself to a larger conversation and providing information about that subject, that conversation, etc, like we just talked about with the dog movement. But essentially, beyond that, you have to play the social media game, and get ahead of it, you know, rise above sort of the giant, you know, saturation of all these different voices, all these different pieces of content, trying and competing for everyone's attention. And there are various ways to do that. And essentially, it's, you know, different tactics for how you actually approach posting, where you're putting your content when you're posting hashtags, using the paid boosting options, all of these little details of how to properly use social media, or how to properly target a very specific audience beyond just the type of content you're putting out. All of those things matter and make a difference and can put you ahead of the other people competing for the same eyeballs. And that's much become much more important.

Alex Ferrari 33:10
I feel now, would you agree that video is the number one piece of content that you can use?

Paul Koshlap 33:15
Not necessarily okay. Not necessarily depends on the platform. Okay, videos very strong on Facebook, right, right now,

Alex Ferrari 33:23
Not so much.

Paul Koshlap 33:24
Twitter, it is I would say more notably, Instagram is where in my experience image can still outperform video dramatically. I would agree. Which isn't to say you shouldn't be putting video on Instagram, and that video can't do very well on Instagram. But Instagram is still the home of the static image, I

Alex Ferrari 33:43
Guess. In my opinion, it's the basis of the entire point. Yes, right. Yeah. But Facebook, I mean, as I scroll, I rarely stop for an image unless it's something really interesting. short video is all I see now. Sure, it's like video video video.

Paul Koshlap 33:57
A couple important things to note about that. This is how, obviously, it's very natural to develop an opinion about how Facebook is working based on your own personal experience of face, right, because it's but a couple things about that. First of all, a small sample size, obviously, second of all, Facebook is tailoring your personal Facebook feed based on your personal behavior. So what's showing up in your Facebook feed may be dramatically different than what is showing up on someone else's Facebook feed, even if, for example, you and some other person followed all of the same people,

Alex Ferrari 34:33
My habits are different,

Paul Koshlap 34:34
Your habits are different, right? And so the algorithm is going to serve you a different kind of content. So that's not to say that video isn't the leader on Facebook right now. It's very strong on Facebook. But if you and as a filmmaker, it may be the case that you are gravitate towards video you're interacting more with video, Facebook is going to serve you personally more video, but it doesn't necessarily mean that that's the experience anyone else is having. So that's just an important thing to bear in mind. When it comes to social media, it's with the algorithms and the way content is served to people. It's so personalized now that I think it's very important to avoid the trap of Yeah, generalizations based on your very, very specific feed.

Alex Ferrari 35:17
If you guys had money right now, where are you going to spend it on? Which social media platform is the number one for a movie right now, in your opinion,

Adam Bowman 35:25
if you're gonna spend money, and what's the budget of the film, because that because again, it's all scaled, right? But

Alex Ferrari 35:31
If it's all scale, regardless, though, even if you had a million dollars or $1,000, there is a platform that you would probably focus on more than you would on others. And you're talking about like a paid ad spam paid ads. Yeah, yes, Facebook ads. Facebook, I would not question is the most powerful without question. Yeah, absolutely. Twitter. Don't waste your time. YouTube ads

Adam Bowman 35:52
With ad spend part of it. I would agree with that on Twitter. But I also I wouldn't write Twitter off as a as a as a platform that you shouldn't be using. Oh, no, no,

Alex Ferrari 36:00
No. But for spending money. Yeah, for spending money. I've never spent a dime on Twitter. And I get a lot of from Twitter. It's one of my biggest, you know, social media platforms and connect with a lot of filmmakers, a lot of my audience there. But it's like, I've never I never hear of anyone going. I did this boost on Twitter. And I know it doesn't work.

Paul Koshlap 36:20
I have spent money on Twitter flatline. So you're the one. Yeah, exactly. And that's why Twitter reported. Last quarter. Earnings? Yes. Because of all my but my experience is consistent with that, which is the Facebook, the opportunities on Facebook are much stronger. For pick a target. Yeah, it's a target. But yeah, and here's but here's the thing about Facebook, I stress Facebook, because it only if you know how to use it?

Alex Ferrari 36:49
Oh, absolutely. If you don't know how

Paul Koshlap 36:51
To use it, don't be a giant waste of money. Okay. So you, you know, you have to you have to understand the process of matching the content you're creating and putting out to the proper available targets that Facebook gives you and have amazing targets. But you can't assume First of all, you can't necessarily target anything. And you also have to be mindful of what you're targeting. When you're targeting by interests on Facebook. Obviously, you can also do age and all this other stuff. Sure. But for example, you know, say you want to target say you're selling soccer balls using a while I want to target people who play soccer, when you can't target people who play soccer on Facebook. That's not an available target soccer's and interest. Soccer is an interest, you can target people who follow you know, christianna Ronaldo, sure, or who but how many of

Alex Ferrari 37:43
You guys are going to buy a soccer ball

Paul Koshlap 37:44
Right! Yeah. Well, that's and that's those the questions need to start to ask. So so the targeting is vast and amazing. But you also want to understand the nuances of what you're actually targeting.

Alex Ferrari 37:54
Right! specific products are interesting, like something like that shirt like a Star Wars cop, very easy. Anybody get into Star Wars, you can go out the doors, right? Again, vegan chef people who are interested in vegans in that kind of food, you know, whatever. Easy to easy to target. Yeah. But like a soccer ball, which is a very broad spectrum product, right? It's hard to pinpoint that. Yeah. football or baseball? Sure. a water bottle is perfect. So a water bottle keeps your water cold for three days. You can hit hikers. You can hit jerk out, but you're not going to go. who's interested in buying a water bottle right now? Yeah, because water bottle is not an interest on. Yeah, yeah. But hiking is Yoga is the places that people would do extra shirts.

Paul Koshlap 38:38
And to take it out to film. I mean, the same can be true for certain kinds of films. Sure, take the opposite example of a film that has a really specific great hook. Say it's just, you know, again, it's just kind of general but just a broad an Action, Comedy or ambition. Sure, much harder to target a specific audience super, it's not that you can't find and that's where you got to rely more heavily on on good content, or you know, and also

Alex Ferrari 38:58
Like, if you have an action movie that has certain star in it, you can you can target other movies Exactly. Have that star

Adam Bowman 39:04
be a form of a hook and even a star might even be an interest. Of course, that's right.

Alex Ferrari 39:09
But even if you have a broad spectrum, action movie that has no stars in it, but it's kind of like lethal weapon, you can target people who like with weapons or Okay, or Russia or or those kinds of things. But again, you're shooting pretty much throwing stuff up on the on the wall, that's still a big target. It's extremely, you're just kind of like it's not super pinpoint. Exactly. So and that's what filmmakers need to understand. Like if you're going to go after marketing on Facebook, something like that. Yes. You know, you have to have a hook. Something that connects with that perfect example is like if you know if you like lethal weapon, you'll like my movie

Paul Koshlap 39:45
That's so broad, but targeted but broad. Sure. And that can that can work. We have a client we're working with right now. Where, again, it's pretty broad comedy. It does have some specific hooks, but Essentially, we are targeting audiences very similar to what you're describing related broad comedies, similar types of films and the audience's like those, right. And, and we're creating some fun, funny content that represents the content of the film. But we also think is shareable and funny and getting hopefully getting laughs at people. And that's performing really well. Really strong. So it's not not to discourage people from using Facebook to market a film that is, is less, you know, less, less specific hook. But if that's the case, you better have some some funny content. So

Alex Ferrari 40:38
You got to have you have a content strategy. Yeah, with that you're not just throwing up a trailer or you know, a poster and exactly for the best, you've got a content strategy aiming, these kind of be

Adam Bowman 40:48
Exactly, and it's a long term game, you can't expect, you know, like, you have three really good posts, and you just put them up there. And the expected that's what's going to drive sales, let's say the movies out and, you know, you have those triggered posts, the chances of somebody, you know, seeing that post the first time and clicking on it, and going to iTunes or Amazon or, or wherever to buy the movie is so so small. I mean, typically, in in marketing, you need, like 11 touch points before somebody like plan, a touch point, some sort of interaction. So like for a film perspective, what are the reasons Justice League and all the big studios do the like, great big mass marketing, where you're seeing billboards, you're seeing bus ads, you're seeing Facebook posts, you're seeing trailers on television, you're seeing, you know, the action toy in your McDonald's Happy Meal,

Alex Ferrari 41:41
You're seeing all those things, because you the people, people need to, like experience that content 11 times at least before they're like, you know what? I've heard of this. I know what this is. And now I'm going to buy it. You know, it's funny that and I watched my daughter's now because we were in LA. So LA is I mean, when I have friends coming in from out of town, they're like, you've got movie posters everywhere. Like there's all his his movie. Mark, right. So now, recently, Paddington two is coming out. And they stuck. It's funny because we drive around and they'll see the bus ads, or they'll see a billboard. And now they started to bring up Paddington like, hey, Daddy, when is padding thing coming out? So I found it so interesting. Like, even on a six year olds mind, they're seeing it because it's something directed at them. They want it. And and it's so powerful is such a powerful thing that a six year old totally can be, you know, like cocoa, God forbid, cocoa is like the biggest thing since sliced bread with my girls. Yeah. Which is arguably my favorite film of the year. And it's amazing. But when cocoa was out, like at Thanksgiving, you couldn't walk anywhere in Burbank, let alone anywhere else that you could not see a cocoa poster. Yeah. And they were on us like when is cocoa we want to see cocoa we do. And we show a trail or something like that. So it's really interesting that you write those, those touch points and not that just one poster, they see it again and again and again till they finally say something. Had

Adam Bowman 43:17
They seen one poster they would not have been asking when is Coco come out? Right? You know, right takes it takes. It's like you're subconsciously your brain needs to process it over and over. And then it's like, oh, this is a thing. It's, it's like you've you built this item in your head of like, I know what this is? Oh, now I want to buy it.

Alex Ferrari 43:35
Well, perfect example. Star Wars last Jedi. I mean, my girls because they they watched like Disney Channel. And of course, there's a couple ads. So there were the ones bringing up like, oh, when are you gonna go see last Jedi Dad? I'm like, oh, like I haven't shown you anything? Well, it is a new high five and a high five, obviously, high five. Like, when can we see it? Like you're not seeing it anytime soon. It's a little too much for you just yet. But anyway, so I'm out there. So can also I wanted to ask you guys in the scope of marketing, as a general statement, what are the the categories or sections of things that we should think about? So there's PR, there is social media marketing, which is a whole beast on its own. And those are really two different I mean, within social media, I

Adam Bowman 44:19
Think there's two things, right, because there's the organic audience building sure part of it. And then there's the sort of paid advertising boosting part of it. And those are the even though the content is similar, the strategies are slightly different. Because a lot of social media is almost like PR because what you want to do is insert yourself in those conversations and get other people to talk about. So it's you know, when people share where people like that's really a PR move, right? That's other than letting other people know that they like or sharing your stuff. So it's it's a really interesting blend of those two sort of advertising and PR Now we already can And then,

Alex Ferrari 45:00
Right. So there's the social media, there's PR meaning, and I would say PR is public relations, publicists public. Yeah, publicist, publicist, things like that reviews and reviews, inner editorial editorials and things like that, like,

Adam Bowman 45:14
You know, we're gonna show up in regular media that people think of as media, right, I

Alex Ferrari 45:18
Get I get hit up all the time by PR people and publicists about trying to get people on the show. And now we're going to Sundance and we're getting hit up by the Sundance filmmakers who want to be on the show and do all that kind of stuff as well. So there is a value there. And if that that's a really specific thing. So like, if you have a film, and Sundance should probably hire a publicist, or someone who handled that kind of to get you into because Yeah, you've got heat on you, right? If you got into sand, iron is hot, you need iron is hot, you should spend money you get in South by Southwest, you get into Tribeca, you get in one of these major festivals, you should probably hire a publicist, or someone who can get you when I say someone, someone like you guys, who can make those calls, reach out to their contacts and get them on into print into interview shows into podcasts, stuff like that.

Adam Bowman 46:09
Totally. But the I think the other part of it is, it used to be you could just have publicists, right. And I'm not this is not to not publish this at all, I think it's a very key element of the marketing equation. But again, if you're not if you don't have control of your own social media, and you're not able to start sharing that content that you're collecting from publicists, so if you have an interview with somebody, if you get an editorial and The Hollywood Reporter, you know, it's That's awesome. But it doesn't mean a whole lot. Because it unless you're also pushing it out to people to let them know that that exists for them to read. And that it's a big deal. Right? Right. You're

Alex Ferrari 46:48
Trying to extend the audience that's reading or enjoying the content,

Adam Bowman 46:52
Because, again, The Hollywood Reporter, and you know, we were just another client whose film is coming out, and they got this review in The Hollywood Reporter and was, you know, for a very small micro budget indie film, getting an article in The Hollywood Reporter is huge, a huge deal. And then when the movie came out, there were like, zero sales right out right off the bat, right behind this Hollywood Reporter thing. So it's not like people are just reading The Hollywood Reporter. Like it's a newspaper?

Alex Ferrari 47:22
Who's reading it, though, who's reading the report? Are

Adam Bowman 47:24
You talking about industry industry, people reading Hollywood report and industry doesn't buy movies. But Hollywood Reporter is is a publication that other people were just movie audiences have heard of, but they don't. It's not there. But right. But for you, but it's about creating the, the world of your movie in terms of, you know, you don't just have a Facebook page, but you also have these reviews out in the world. And excuse me, so when somebody is thinking about what movie to buy, and they're like, oh, I've heard of this again, it's touchpoints. Right? There's you have these places where information about your movie lives, and your you could then need to share it even farther, so that there's more people know that this is a thing, like this movie is a thing. It's not just one of 1000s of movies that got put online yesterday, this movie has some heat behind it, or this movie. Oh, I've heard about that.

Alex Ferrari 48:20
You know, it's credible, another its credibility, but it's also a way that they've at least heard about it. So it's not like they're just seeing it for the first time on their iTunes, while they're scrolling through, and, and having to choose between all those movies that are there. Like I've actually heard about this one. Well, it's also the chat, the challenge of channeling all of these other pieces of content and exposures and touchpoints through an audience that you're hopefully creating, which is what like we did with this is back when we got to review, we pump it through all of our social media outlets. And so it's a way to people go, Hey, this is what's going on over there. We got to review an audit report or a variety, something like that. But if you just sit on the holiday board, like oh, that's the it that might have been in 86 that's not the way it is now. No, right. Oh,

Paul Koshlap 49:05
Yeah. And again, to speak to speaking of things that are somewhat outdated, or at least in this, you know, time period, print magazines. I mean, I think that there is and and not to point anything specific because again, it can it can vary depending on individual project and who you're trying to reach. But I think there are a lot of more traditional concepts that filmmakers have about what is promotional prestige? Yeah, that the premier or a billboard or being in a certain certain theaters, whatever it may be, which traditionally like you said back in 86 back whenever it was, that was 100% the way to do it. Sure. It was the only way to go and that's the only really avenue for getting in front of people. ideas they have about where the prestige we're creating prestige and credibility and awareness of their film happens versus where that's happening in this day and age. And to what extent some of those previous practices may have eroded in their in their value. And whether that's something like, again, it depends on the film. So it's not necessarily the case for each film, but Hollywood Reporter article and Hollywood Reporter what does that mean, in this day and age? Who's reading the film sales? Yeah, to film sales? You know, what it has that it has? It has certain cachet.

Alex Ferrari 50:30
Oh, absolutely. It has. But again, it

Adam Bowman 50:32
Depends on the goals of the filmmaker. Yeah. And you know, about what it was in making that film, again, springboard the career. Those are good places to have your name show up?

Alex Ferrari 50:41
Absolutely. Look at 2005. I was lucky enough to get Roger Ebert to review my short film, right. That turned into sales. Yeah, that turned into sales photos. It was such an obscene obscure thing, a short film, they have a review. Yeah. From Roger Ebert, that it caused, you know, phenomenon within the indie film world, because like, Who the hell are these guys? Yeah, right. You know, what the hell is this? And then just, and then I had a product to sell, and it just all worked out. So there was a tremendous amount of prestige, which I still carry around like, Yeah, I got rolling. It's something I'll always have, like, Hey, I had Roger Ebert review, and I'm absolutely short film. So it's amazing. Now, the one thing I want to talk about, as well is ROI, with marketing, and with PR and all of that stuff. Because a lot of times filmmakers will, you know, let's say we got 10,000 bucks, and we'd dump in 10,000 bucks into marketing? Well, the point of marketing is to make sales. Hopefully, if that's what the then if it's just to get audience or whatever, that's another company, let's say for the sake of argument, it's about turning it into sales. filmmakers really need to understand about ROI, what do you feel is, you know, and it's so hard. That's what that's been the struggle with marketing in general, since the beginning of time, right? Like, how much money am I putting in? How can I register sales? And nowadays, you can actually see real time data of people clicking who's buying who's not buying if it's a digital up product? Yeah.

Adam Bowman 52:12
And the tough thing with the with that, streamline, though, is that, you know, you can drive people to click on your iTunes link, sure. Which you can't tell because iTunes doesn't give you that information is did they buy? Did they buy from that? row you can do is track that track how many people clicked on the link? And then compare that with how many people actually bought the movie, right? And you don't know where those sales are coming from. But, I mean, again, you don't have that quantifiable data. But on some level, you have to recognize that if nobody knew about your movie, nobody's gonna buy it.

Alex Ferrari 52:52
Right? No, absolutely. And there's also there's another thing too, like, let's say perfect example, a my film get into Sundance. Yeah. And I go, you know what, guys, I'm gonna give you guys 10 grand, I want you to blow my name. And this movie's name, everywhere. I don't, it's not about making money. It's about exposure, and everyone's hearing about who I am as a filmmaker, and my brand, and also about this movie that got into Sundance. And that's the end goal. That I think is extremely valuable, because that will turns into money in the long Oh, yeah. Because what's a perfect example? Something like that? I've been blessed. I don't sell any money. You know, my movies. Yeah. Little indie. Sure, you know, really obscure movie. But all that press gets me an agent that hires me to rewrite a script, or all of a sudden, it turns out, you have to look at it on that standpoint, totally.

Adam Bowman 53:41
And return doesn't always necessarily mean straight up dollar value correctly. I mean, it's there's there's a lot of things that return on investment can mean. Yeah. And what are the other things so people like you were just saying, you know, there's trying to grow your career awareness, awareness about yourself and your brand. Again, it could be if you're if the subject matter of the movie you made is something that you care about people talking about, like the chance movie, right? If you want to help stop dog fighting and create awareness about it, that the return could be more people talking about that subject matter, and a voice for change. So the return could be any number of things that has intrinsic value, not specifically dollar value.

Paul Koshlap 54:28
Oh, and yeah, and also just the long term development of your filmmaker brand, your production company brand, which can translate down the line into into more money and more sales for future projects. So yeah,

Alex Ferrari 54:40
Now one thing I wanted to talk to you guys about, which is press releases, it is a In my opinion, it's there's still value there to a certain extent, but before like you were saying in 86, that was it. Press Release billboards, that was how you got out. Press releases are actually ffensive if done right, even if you use PR web, which a lot of people use PR web and you can boost it up to is fucking whatever. But I personally in today's world don't find a lot of value in PR, excuse me in press releases, if they are, if they're done for like low budget movies and stuff like that I find it's a waste of money. But on a bigger budget, well, bigger movies, maybe, but I want to get your opinion.

Adam Bowman 55:25
I agree, I think doing like creating a press release, and just going out to PR web is probably not a very valuable prospect. Sitting at this marketing podcast this morning. And they were talking about, you know, they do email marketing, and of course, email. You know, there's some value in email, but it's not the end all be all. In fact, just like direct mail, your open rates are much lower, but they started reaching out through Twitter and Twitter messaging people. And they were getting almost 100% response rate when they did that. So just going through a a, like cold call, PR web press release Avenue, I agree is probably not a very violent, there's a hook, even then I still think the value of a publicist in working on it, something like that is they're going to send that press release to the right places and their relationship with the people. Because they know that that person is going to respond to this content and know that the hook is the right thing. Yeah, rather than just the cold call, blast of your press release going to all these media outlets up our web. I mean, that's you're playing a numbers game at that point. But

Alex Ferrari 56:43
It's, you're not really getting it to the right. There's no analytics to know that you're getting into the right places. That's the thing is like, you're just basically just throwing money out there. And hoping for the best, which is like when you buy a print ad, you know, nowadays, as opposed to, you know, why would anyone spend $5,000 on a full page ad in, you know, variety, versus for a film versus spending that $5,000 on targeted ads? Yeah, of people who work in the industry in the same exact way. But you can actually quantify and see the stats. Yeah.

Paul Koshlap 57:16
And I do think that in terms of press releases, you should it should be taken into consideration. To what extent does your film have a story that can be bold about it? And what kind of legs does that story have? Right? And if the answer is some big legs? Well, Ben, you might want to consider that. Well, like finding big legs is also tough within filmmaking. Sure.

Alex Ferrari 57:37
Well, like that was how we were talking before the show started of that Jake the Snake. Yeah, so that Jake, the snake documentary. I forgot I was I think it was called the Jake, the snake documentary. I forget what it is. For people who don't who Jake, the snake was Jake, the snake was a very famous wrestler in the 80s and early 90s, who has a massive fan base, he was a very unique individual. But this documentary filmmaker made a movie about how he is now and he was really bad. He was, you know, he was on drugs. He was living in a trailer like he was destitute. That's a PR story. That is That makes sense to me to send out on on on a press release, because that story will get picked up like former WWF star, you know, on the rocks, you know what happens in the trades another conversation? That to me Makes sense. And even then I would still be hesitant about it. But what do you guys think of something like that?

Adam Bowman 58:32
Again, I think you're still going to get much more mileage, if you hire a good publicist who has those relationships, as opposed to just going through PR? Well, yeah, yeah. I mean, and again, a press release the way you're talking about where you're just going through PR web, I just do not think that that's a very valid, valuable. I mean, if you're doing everything else, why not? Why not? But that shouldn't be step one.

Paul Koshlap 58:57
No, it should. Yeah, I agree with you. 100%. I think one more one more thing to maybe consider for filmmakers, when they're trying to think about advertising and social media versus press release, Where should I put my efforts? Social media starts with a visual, whether it's video, image, whatever. If you have strong visuals, and strong, strong visual content, you're going to have a leg up on social media. In the exact hypothetical example of a film that maybe is not as strong on on visuals, but has a story to tell about the production, then you might want to lean more on that kind of publicity, I would think, and again, that's a very general kind of dynamic, but one way to think about where to be to be putting your effort.

Adam Bowman 59:52
Well, and, you know, when you're trying to figure that out, you're talking to people, right? Don't Don't, don't again, make those decisions in a bubble. Talk to other filmmakers talk to even talk to some publicists and say, Hey, you know, what, what do you think we should do and doesn't mean, you necessarily have to have a contract with them, they're good, they're most likely they're going to come up with some ideas of what to do. But But talking to people who understand that space, and then fade coming up with an idea.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:23
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now, back to the show. Do you do you feel that a lot of old school publicists nowadays have no understanding of social media and can't really, really use it? Well, because I've run into that I run into publicist who are straight up 1985. And they're still doing all the old ways. And it does work to a certain extent, because they have those relationships at a certain annual get press. But is it good or not, is another story. But the point is that a lot of them are just not caught up with Oh, I don't use facebook, facebook doesn't work, because they don't understand it,

Adam Bowman 1:01:05
Possibly, but I mean, the other thing is, you're not hiring them to be your social media, your

Alex Ferrari 1:01:09
You should not hire a publicist. Unless they offered as a package deal. Even they have another service, right.

Adam Bowman 1:01:17
Again, you know, you spread yourself too thin, if you're trying to be do a good job at being a publicist and getting that those articles in those interviews in the right places. And, you know, making sure those relationships you have with reviewers, critics, and journalists, are still strong, and trying to manage somebody's social media at the same time. It's too much for one person. It almost takes a team of people that does really well to do that. And even if it's you're trying to do it yourself, you know, if you're doing the do yourself film distribution Avenue, you know, it's it's hard to be doing those things, and still working on your next project, and everything like that. It's possible, but it's very, very difficult. I did it. It's very difficult. Yeah, totally. difficult, but but I would, again, I I agree with you that you some really old school publicists probably don't know social media as well as they could. But I do think that they do. There's a lot of the industry and the journalism that still relies on that way of doing business, and there's still a value in what they bring to the table. Got it?

Alex Ferrari 1:02:34
Now, um, can you guys talk a little bit about the reality versus the myth of marketing, for filmmakers in general? Because I think there's a lot of myths out there, like if you do certain things that will happen, and what the reality of the situations are?

Adam Bowman 1:02:48
Yeah, I mean, again, the the myths of how it works, you know, like when, when a filmmaker gets done with a movie, and they're the first thing they think about is like, Oh, I need a publicist to get people aware of what's going on. I think that's sort of a fallacy. I don't I, again, a publicist is a piece of the bigger puzzle, but it's not the one thing they need. And part of it's also, you know, thinking that a publicist also means advertising. It's sort of a muddy area within the film industry. And they're not, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:03:18
They are not cheap. I'm talking about five grand, you know, a month, if you're lucky,

Adam Bowman 1:03:24
Right, for LA, that's the thing, also, you know, in the indie film space, everybody keeps talking about how much more economical it is to do things today, right? Whether it's the filmmaking itself, or whatever, and it's true, it's cheaper to make a film now than it ever has been. But it still costs money. Right? If you're going to shoot on a digital camera, then you're going to edit on a computer. All you notice. It's not free. No, no, at no point has it ever been free? That's true for marketing as well. Right? Like, the marketing you can do through social media, and digitally, is cheaper than it's ever been. But it's not free. And, again, you know, when you when you're making a movie, and you want, you know, a good look, and you're hiring a cinematographer who has a track record, he's not free, you know, he or she is not free, not to be specific, he, but that person is not, it's, you're, you're paying for expertise, you know, they know exactly what they're getting. They're going to give you a quality product. And the same thing happens in marketing. You know, you want to have people on your team who know that space and it's your right, maybe $5,000 a month for a good publicist. But that might be totally worth it and actually a steal. Depending on you know what your movie is and what it what it could do. Well, perfect example. We're going to talk about Sundance and another thing in a little while, but

Alex Ferrari 1:05:01
Hiring a publicist will get you on every party list. Yeah, we'll get you into all the gifting lounges. It gets you into all the places where there's the guard with a list. And you could spend three grand on that. But all of a sudden, your Sundance experience becomes much different. Oh, yeah. And you have access to people and things that you did not have before. So there's a great ROI. If you're going to spend money in a publicist, yeah, just to get you into certain places, but at a Sunday,

Adam Bowman 1:05:30
And you know, at Sundance in particular, that's one of the returns on investment. Oh, you know, you like like we were saying, the iron taught you must strike and publicists is a huge part of that equation at a festival like Sundance. Equally, social marketing is a huge part of that equation at a festival, like Sundance or any festival, really. Because you have a lot of this stuff that happens at a at a festival, like Sundance is still talking to the industry. It's not your general audience isn't aware of all that stuff, especially when your movie is actually available for viewing somewhere. And being able to take all that great content and that energy in that buzz and getting it out to a general movie audience. He's like, oh, wow, I've heard of this. So like, when your movie does come out, it's there's some awareness. Again, it's a touch points along the way.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:25
I'm sorry. So I want to ask you guys the same questions. I asked all of my guests. Kind of rapid fire questions I asked. What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in life or in the business?

Adam Bowman 1:06:40
I don't know if I've learned it yet. You're still learning? I'm still learning?

Paul Koshlap 1:06:45
That's a good question. I, you know, one, one of the things I would say, and I guess it's both business and life is and there's a really good Seth Godin quote course I like about it, that I'm probably gonna butcher it right now. But I'll give you the gist. The cost of doing nothing is greater than the cost of doing the wrong thing. Rogers to say don't wait. make mistakes. Yeah, yeah, just, you know, more is more is lost by indecision and wrong decision, you know, go ahead and try things and move forward with whether it be today's project, whatever it is, trying out a new platform, trying out a new social media platform, whatever. That took me a while to learn. And I but I, and I'm not confident that I've now correct in a new approach, but but that I as I think has been a valuable thing for me, before I can keep going with these questions. There was one thing we forgot to talk about, oh,

Alex Ferrari 1:07:50
My space, ah, my space so that everyone listening is going Oh, what the hell are they going to talk about my space? Right? Let's talk a little bit about what opportunities there might be in a place like a MySpace and or platforms like it? I mean, we're not going to geo cities, and we're not going to start searching on Lycos. But,

Paul Koshlap 1:08:12
I mean, the number one opportunity is I mean, if you're really into obscurity, then you can find it in spades. On my space, I got to have you know, your own little social media Island. Number one was well, here. Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 1:08:24
No, but good point we were talking about earlier about like, there, I'm not saying anyone go to my space and start marketing the movies. But

Paul Koshlap 1:08:31
You might want to, I mean, to talk Yeah, so here's what we're talking about really is I mean, so I obviously was sort of half joking when I said that. But the I mean, when you're looking for where you should be marketing your film on social media, I mean, what you really want to have in mind is the equation or the ratio of how many people in my target demographic are here to be reached by me potentially, versus how many other people are also trying to reach those people? And what's the competition? Right? What's the competition for that? It's great if there's a ton of your target demographic on Facebook, and they're there. But if you know, everyone else is also trying to reach that same target demographic? Well, it's going to be very hard to reach them. Right. So in the end resort to using my space, it's kind of a hypothetical. It's a good hypothetical, because people know it. And people also know that it had a very steep decline somewhere around, let's say, millions of people, there's used as a thing. There's still millions of people there. And the question is, have enough of the other you're competing marketers forgotten about a platform like MySpace, that the ratio of people to be reached, versus competition for reaching those people is now a favorable ratio, right? And you can go and reach a bunch of people.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:50
So the point is, is not we're not saying the market in some ways, yes. But what we're saying is that don't rule it out. But don't rule it out. I mean, you should and you should also look at multiple other platforms, not just Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Adam Bowman 1:10:03
Yeah, yeah, you know, just because everybody's in one space doesn't mean that's what you should be doing. I actually think that plays back to the conversation about what the sort of old guard of movie marketing sort of thought like, just because everybody's doing it one way doesn't mean that that's how you need to be doing it in to market your film. The big studios can do things in a certain way that a small indie film just can't and shouldn't even try to play.

Alex Ferrari 1:10:28
And I always use blue, which is the amazing example of how to market independent film they made they created a complete mystery and aura about they're moving by creating a fake documentary to fake all this stuff. And it worked out in spades. Right?

Adam Bowman 1:10:44
Yeah, cool. Opportunity. So the my space conversation is, you know, right now everybody's talking facebook, facebook, facebook. But you know, the podcast I was new this morning was talking about, there might be a renaissance of Twitter coming up pretty soon.

Alex Ferrari 1:10:58
Snapchat, if you haven't yet, depending on who your audience is. You're looking for millennials or people younger? Totally. That's where you're gonna go. That's what they're using.

Adam Bowman 1:11:07
But again, if that's if that's what everybody's thinking, this is how you target millennials go to Snapchat. Really, then you should be also thinking like, Alright, where else are millennials hanging out? Or, you know, whatever. That's not what everybody else is doing. So I'm not trying to compete

Alex Ferrari 1:11:23
Tinder, Tinder, totally. Tinder. Why does your movie not have it's in your documentary about Tinder? Yeah. Yeah, right. You know, I've never actually even seen the app. I've never, I've been married for over 10 years. I've never I've never actually seen an app on the screen. I've heard of it. I heard there's a swiping thing. But that's all.

Adam Bowman 1:11:47
I mean, thinks he does protest too. I don't I don't know anything about I know. We're not what what? Tinder? What? Tinder?

Alex Ferrari 1:11:58
I've never even heard of that. grinders. So, alright, so back to our other question. I just thought that was a good point that we forgot to write it is something that a lot of people like, oh, Facebook is the only really place to go. It's the most powerful. Yeah, and there's opportunities everywhere.

Paul Koshlap 1:12:15
Totally. And also, like one thing I'd like to add on since we're talking about this subject, and also talking about Facebook, a lot of one thing that is happening with Facebook is facebook has become more or less a pay to play marketing. Unfortunately, what has happened in the past couple years with the new algorithms is, has left a lot of whether you're filmmaker trend or whatever you're trying to sell whatever you're trying to market, it has left a lot of those people with the impression that Facebook is essentially dead. Because they've been using it the way you used it four or five years ago, right? It doesn't work anymore, and they're not reaching anyone. And even worse than that people will have very commonly these understandable emotional reactions to Facebook, they're not I spent this time building this audience and they're not serving my content. And they saw a lot of people are actually turning away from Facebook, because of the the what they're failing to recognize is that what Facebook is giving you in exchange for that is one of the greatest advertising tools ever created. And if you learn how to use that, it'll be extraordinarily valid.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:16
Look, it's extremely rare that you post something and you have you have 100,000 followers and 300 people see it like that's

Paul Koshlap 1:13:23
Yes, that's ridiculous. Yeah, yeah, exactly. But But much like my space, I feel like there is an opportunity right now in that Facebook has created this advertising tool, some people are using it, but I think there's still a lot of people that need to learn to use it properly and not assume this industry. Yeah. And not all people are using it properly. So there's an opportunity there as well. To to go reach your target demographic and use Facebook ads. Well, that has a similar sort of desirable ratio that we described right now at least, that we described when we were using the MySpace example.

Adam Bowman 1:13:57
Right, exactly. What's crazy to me, like, I'll even look at, you know, sort of bigger Indian movies, movies that are getting, you know, 300 600 Theater plus release, that are still in the movies. And, you know, I go to their social media, and they might have 20 followers on Facebook, right? Oh,

Alex Ferrari 1:14:13
I see that all the time.

Adam Bowman 1:14:15
Not using it. And yet, and then they wonder why, you know, the movie doesn't do well, at the box office, you know, because they didn't have the budget, that Justice League had to be everywhere. And all boards and buses or even

Alex Ferrari 1:14:29
Disaster artists, right? 24 like, you know, if a 24 picks up a movie, they usually pump a hell of a lot. And

Adam Bowman 1:14:35
They do but they let us know Justice League, they also do creative, very marketing. And they do a lot with social media in their films, a 2014. And I think that's one of the big reasons why they've been have the track record they do and have been as successful as they've been is because they are sort of looking at the marketing of their movies in a much different way than a lot of the other distributors are saying,

Alex Ferrari 1:14:56
Oh, they're a new generation distributor without question.

Adam Bowman 1:15:01
And so it's but it goes to show that like, you just need to not always stick with like, this is the way it's done. You need to look at how else can we be doing? Where's the world change? And how do I be part of that and and be part of the change of the future?

Alex Ferrari 1:15:18
You got to look at what's coming. Yeah, you can't look at. And we talked about this before, like, I do believe that Facebook will eventually run its course I think it will, I think I don't know when it's hard to say that. If you want to talk back in 2005, that may space wouldn't be around the way it was.

Adam Bowman 1:15:37
Possibly. Well, Facebook is more than MySpace. It's much more about like, even they diversify. Right. Like, are they own anything? What like? Yeah, they own a lot of Instagram. And yeah, but but even beyond just the social media stuff. Facebook is involved in a lot of other initiatives.

Alex Ferrari 1:15:52
Yeah, there's like the Google like Google started with how they have phones. Now. They've got computers coming out total. And Facebook is going to start going down that respect. I don't know that Facebook will ever go away like MySpace because MySpace didn't diversify. Like, yeah, Facebook and grow. It will the same with Apple.

Paul Koshlap 1:16:08
You know what, I'm just computer now. They're everything. Yeah. And some of the other things that Facebook is doing as well. Like, for example, I mean, competing now for like sports broadcasting, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, if, you know, they have to get their video player to, you know, a certain level where they can broadcast in HD broadcast. And, but that's coming.

Alex Ferrari 1:16:27
This is, this is a side note, because you just brought this up. And I just wanted this has nothing to do with marketing. I just want to ask your opinion. Do you think Netflix is going to be around in 10 years? Yes. I do. If baizen? Well, yeah, we'll have Applebee's. And then yes, so yeah, but if they stay if they stay independent agents, you know, with Disney, basically coming up with a competitor and Disney has big pockets. Sure. And they've got a lot of content. Sure. For people and now they do they

Adam Bowman 1:16:56
Bought Disney doesn't have everything right. So they do. That's even right now. Like, I like Netflix. I love it. I'm frustrated with Netflix. I empathize. I it's not the one stop shop.

Alex Ferrari 1:17:09
Absolutely. Right. there never will be. Well, blockbuster was the closest sure you could watch it was this blockbuster you speak of.

Adam Bowman 1:17:19
You could walk in and you could you could browse, you could find stuff and it had TV shows that had movies. Anything from any distribution company

Alex Ferrari 1:17:29
From that stopped work. That was not

Adam Bowman 1:17:31
True. True. But Netflix, you know, they get these deals. And it's like, there's a bigger version of what HBO was right? Like, you know, they have their,

Alex Ferrari 1:17:42
Their the window of a year of movies. Because things don't live there forever. So which is annoying? Totally.

Adam Bowman 1:17:48
But that's why until somebody comes up with that one stop shop for digital viewing. You're gonna have to have your Netflix big, and you're gonna have to have Disney. Because not you

Paul Koshlap 1:17:59
Won't have everything. I think we're the model is shifting. I think Netflix gets this. Oh, that's

Alex Ferrari 1:18:05
What the original content.

Paul Koshlap 1:18:06
Exactly. Yeah, it's stuff. Oh, you Oh, you don't need the middleman anymore. No. If you have a streaming platform, and you have a developed brand, where people are aware of you and better than that, in their case, an existing a giant, existing customer base that are already just signed up. Look,

Alex Ferrari 1:18:22
I have a perfect example. I have a friend of mine who runs a yoga, a yoga site on YouTube. They're like the number one yoga. he typed in the word yoga. I think I told you guys yeah, they have a membership site. Yeah, it's a streaming site, and they put out new content for their customers. Yeah, every and I can't even tell you. Yeah, how well they're doing um, yeah, it's insane based on their customer base. So they're gonna I think there's also going to be a lot of these little Netflix's which they're already out now. Totally.

Paul Koshlap 1:18:53
I think it's actually going to go in that direction where you're going to have more outlets from from an audience perspective.

Adam Bowman 1:18:59
I don't like that. I don't hate I hate it too. Because I don't want to have 10 different bills a month.

Alex Ferrari 1:19:06
Oh, God, I know with like five bucks here. Seven Bucks there. nine bucks there. One.

Adam Bowman 1:19:10
It's hard to track. Exactly. I mean, memberships are horrible. Yeah. But it's like, I don't know what my monthly media spend is, right? Because you got signed up. And sometimes you sign up for things and then you never go back to it, then you forget to even have it and

Alex Ferrari 1:19:22
Six months later, you're like sick of like logs on this damn thing, total number.

Adam Bowman 1:19:27
But I think you're absolutely right. That's where it's going to be until somebody figures out the other side of it and says, you know, really, what really will replace cable will be that one subscription that gets you everything.

Paul Koshlap 1:19:40
I think what will probably replace all this stuff is something like an Amazon eventually, where it's just like they find and maybe the thing is like they will we're just going to give everyone a free Amazon TV now. And the only way you can access Netflix or anything else is to have Amazon

Adam Bowman 1:19:59
And you're buying your subscriptions through Amazon. Yeah. So your your bills, Amazon. Exactly. So it'll kind of fold back into something like that. Yeah, I think

Alex Ferrari 1:20:07
Yeah, but not a bad idea. Yeah. This is good.

Paul Koshlap 1:20:09
Especially like, Yeah, well, it will have your TV delivered by a drone within the hour and installed by robots. And but it's not Oh, yeah. I mean, it's not gonna happen. I'm laughing because I'm terrified. It definitely is going to happen. But the one thing that I did the one positive, though I do see in like the having more outlets like this is I do think it lends itself to better content. Oh, no, that's very true. You know, we're getting better to even have you getting better with each other. Yeah, for the subscription. And it also gets to diversify a little bit obviously, betters are subjective thing. What I think is a good movie is on the same as someone else. But you have more options and tailored and designed for different tastes. And so I think that's a big plus for content right

Adam Bowman 1:20:53
Now. It's a great time to be an audience.

Paul Koshlap 1:20:55
Yeah. And also great time to be a great time to be a content creator. Or it's great on both ends. Yes, sir. No, like it's Yeah, I saw I think largely, it's great. Yes. Oh, no, no, no,

Adam Bowman 1:21:03
I yeah. Just Yeah, just the annoyance like, Oh, yeah, we know what's on that other platform. I don't have that platform.

Alex Ferrari 1:21:09
Yeah, this is, this is what we like to call first world problems. Okay, so descriptions for my media. Don't watch it on my 85 inch screen. We are talking about this on a filmmaking podcast. This is true. Exactly. No question. Alright, so um, what advice would you give a filmmaker? Starting on their marketing? journey? What's the one piece of advice?

Paul Koshlap 1:21:35
Start right now? Right, right. Focus on alongside promoting any of your individual products, promote your filmmaker brand. Yeah, whether that's your name, or your production company, put at least as much effort into that as you are putting into any individual project. And there'll be a lot of overlap. So it's not like it's just going to be double the work. But have that in mind as as the long term goal from a social media, and certainly from a social media perspective,

Alex Ferrari 1:22:08
God, um, and then each of you three of your favorite films of all time. fightclub. Jeremiah Johnson, and Blade Runner. You know what that really encompasses you? 100% doesn't mean when you guys see, one day, you'll understand. You know, it's really, really, three movies are perfect representations of atoms for as a human being. Anyway,

Paul Koshlap 1:22:42
It's, uh, I would go, man, it's tough to pick a three but I mean, I would, I would say, American Beauty is up there, old boy. Oh, yeah, the original the original now. I have seen them. I've never seen a spike. I love Spike Lee, but I have no intention of seeing a remake of that amazing film. Yeah, everyone should just watch the original. There's no need to remake that movie.

Alex Ferrari 1:23:05
And I'm going to drop real quick. I'm going to drop some Sundance names there. I was at the Sundance premiere of all Wow, with midnight screening with a director who just flew in Yeah, from from Asia as demos. And it was and I sat there talking to him through his translator Yeah. Outside at like 230 in the morning and we froze our asses off Yeah, to get tickets to go see that movie. It was it was mind blowing.

Paul Koshlap 1:23:29
Yeah. Mind blowing. See that? Yeah. And just so hard to pick like a top three or top two or whatever. But here's the movie I've been telling people to see that is definitely high on my list. A small independent film by Shaun Baker called starlet yeah also made tangerine and more recently made which Flora project Florida project but starlet great, great movie.

Alex Ferrari 1:23:52
Sean Sean's on the show. He's He's awesome. Yeah, sounds fun on the show. We're gonna try we're trying to get him back from Florida project. Want to talk to ya? Well, I was making that

Paul Koshlap 1:24:00
More probably more people are hearing about him now obviously. Right? And tangerines big. Go back and watch starlet. Yeah, I thought I loved that movie.

Alex Ferrari 1:24:08
He's really, really easy. He's one of those guys. You got to keep an eye out. Yeah, absolutely. Guys, thank you so much for dropping some knowledge bombs on the audience. But first of all, tell us a little bit before we go about what you guys do and who media services. So media circus, essentially, what we what

Adam Bowman 1:24:25
We want to be a couple years ago, there was a book out by john rice talking about producer of marketing and distribution. Sure, right. Essentially, we were a services oriented company to help with those things. We were a sister company was circus Road Films, which is a film rep, producer rep and film sales agents. And the idea is that, you know, your film needs marketing, and it needs distribution. And we're trying to provide those things for filmmakers. Because we see that, you know, most films in the indie space, they get put on two platforms and then nobody ever knows that they exist even though a lot of them are really good films and be things that people audiences would really like to know about. So that's what we want to do is to help that process

Alex Ferrari 1:25:17
And where do you guys where can people get a hold of your PR?

Adam Bowman 1:25:20
Yes. mediacircus.com

Paul Koshlap 1:25:21
mediacircuspr.com

Adam Bowman 1:25:23
Media circus website. mediacircus.film is also ours. It sells same. Okay? Yeah. But really find us on Facebook, Twitter, media, circus film. Media short film marketing. Funny I don't even have like your own phone number. Nobody knows your own phone.

Paul Koshlap 1:25:39
Yeah, Instagram, put them in, put it in a circus film on Instagram. I'm just there for sure. And media circus on Facebook.

Alex Ferrari 1:25:47
Got it. Cool, guys. Thank you again, so much for taking time to drop some knowledge bombs on the on the drive, man. I appreciate it.

Adam Bowman 1:25:55
Always a pleasure.

Paul Koshlap 1:25:55
Pleasure. Yeah.

Adam Bowman 1:25:56
And we'll we'll see you guys all at Sundance.

Alex Ferrari 1:25:58
Absolutely. You're gonna be seeing a lot of as a Sundance. Yeah, I can't wait to tell you guys all the cool stuff or show you guys. all the cool stuff we have planned for you. This year. Sundance is going to kind of I think it's going to kind of blow away what we did last year. Oh, yeah. Which last year was pretty intense. But we didn't know what we were just like, hey, let's go shoot some stuff. And we got some amazing guests. And it was great. But this year, it's gonna be pretty intense. So if you guys are out at Sundance, look us up. We'll be around. And we'll see you soon. Thanks, guys.

Adam Bowman 1:26:28
Thanks.

Paul Koshlap 1:26:29
Thanks.

Alex Ferrari 1:26:30
As promised, this was a knowledge bomb packed episode. I hope you guys took some notes. And after the episode, I sat down with Adam and I said, Hey, you know, is there something you can give the the tribe especial because they're part of the tribe? And they said, he goes, absolutely, he decided to offer all of the indie film hustle tribe, a free consultation on their film. So if you've got a feature film out there and you want to get it out into the world, give these guys a call and they will give you that free consultation. If you want to get links to everything we talked about. In this episode, just head over to indiefilmhustle.com/213. So hope you guys enjoyed this episode. And as always, keep that also going keep the dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.

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