The New Digital Filmmaker’s Guide: Make Your Own Film Promo


Christopher Brennan continues The New Digital Filmmaker’s Guide series with 6 reasons why you should be making your own film promo.

Times have most certainly changed. Back in the day, equipment was expensive. Film stock was delicate. And the post-production process was cumbersome. The idea of making a short promotional video for your film project was just too far-fetched.

But not anymore. Nowadays, if you want your project to reach production, it is not just an advantage to have a film promo… It has become a necessity.

So, You Think You Can Make This Film… Prove It!

There’s that old expression: ‘Talk is cheap.’ And that may actually be true in this circumstance.While some filmmakers can still get financing through the delicate art of pitching, it really is a tough sell.

If you really feel like your story is a story that needs to be told… And you are the best person to tell this story… Then you have to convince the right people that this is true.

One thing that is better than simply telling producers, film boards and distributors that this story is indeed worthy of their time, is to actually show it.

Get out there and put together a promo that really captures exactly what your story is all about.

Why should you do this, you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked me!

1.        Just like screenwriting: ‘Show, Don’t Tell.’

Don’t ask them to imagine the look of a film or the mood of a story. Go out, make it and show them. That way, there is no confusion over what you are trying to do.

2.        Show them your dedication and commitment.

By creating this promo, you are showing people that you are dedicated and willing to go all the way. There is something universally attractive about an individual who conveys confidence and determination. By making this promo, you are exhibiting these qualities.

3.        Equipment is readily available.

These days, a lot of people have quality, professional equipment that will make your promo look amazing. With this equipment at your fingertips, why wouldn’t you go out and put your promo together?

4.        Your script will be better because of it.

I know this by experience. By getting out there and cutting a promo together, you are testing the strength of your own idea. It’s amazing how this will influence your story for the better. For the first time, you get a chance to catch a glimpse of what it could be.

5.        You will meet collaborators that may just help get it made.

By simply going through the act of putting a film promo together, you are going to meet cast and crew that might just help you get the whole project into production. These creative, hardworking individuals took the time to collaborate with you in order to make this film promo a reality. Unless the experience was truly horrible, there is a good chance that they will be there by your side when it comes to making the whole shebang!

6.        Other filmmakers are making promos as you read this.

I don’t like to talk about competition too much in this series. But sometimes other people’s initiative can really spur you on to get going. If they can make a promo, then what’s the reason that you can’t?

So there it is. Let’s face it… There’s always a reason not to make a film promo. Let’s just ignore them this month. Instead, why don’t we see if we can get your latest project to the next stage?

Simply drop a couple of people some polite emails and see if they are willing to help you make your promo today. You will be amazed at how much time people will actually have for your project, once they realise that this is important to you.


Good luck and let me know how it goes!