Short Films: How to get your film out there and seen by one million people around the world.
Are you a short filmmaker who wants to get the most out of his or her film? Do you want to get the film seen by the biggest possible audience? Many people have that sentiment when making their film, but once they have completed their film, the enthusiasm drops and the film is placed on the shelf. The only audience is a handful of friends and family and a few views on Youtube.
Do not make that mistake. This post will show you the sites where you must place your short film. If you do, you will attract the audience, your film deserves.
First, here are the rules for getting your film seen
- Set the eyeball goal.
This means the amount of people who see the film. Set it really high. One million people seeing your film should be a minimum goal. I get asked “ What happens if only 500,000 people see it.? Have I failed?”
Have a look at a 100 thousand people at a football match. You have had 5 times that crowd watching your short film. That is major success. Set your goal high and go for it.
- Remember that you primary focus is exposure and not chasing an elusive financial payout. Filmmakers who get obsessed with financial return miss the point. This is all about exposure for you and your film. Awards from film festivals and proof of audience will attract much bigger and more profitable audiences in the future. You also will attract bigger films with larger budgets.
- No Exclusive Deals for Short Films, period
This limits your exposure and means no one will see it. Promises of loads of money on streaming or nearly always BS. If they are demanding exclusive rights and not paying substantially up front, pass and walk on.
- Get your film out to multiple sites and as many platforms as possible. The sites outlined on this page should be the minimum.
- Find partners.
Connect with curators online to reach their audiences. Find influencers, organizations, sites, and meetups focused on your subject matter and reach out to them to share your film. If you have a short film email everyone who is interested in shorts with the link to Vimeo. Also , let your direct audience know. This is your social media reach.
- Start to learn Marketing Online
Paid Online Adverts are expensive for short films. If you do want to attract , paid advertising works. However for Short Films there is very little return so your return on investment (ROI) will be a loss. But if this is your passion, have a go.
Social Media friends and followers, organic leads and Youtube subscribers are free. The fact is that they will take time to build. This should be your long term strategy.
Building up your fan base is a constant ongoing task. As you build your audience, they will be there for future movies.
This is a whole other area and training. Successful indie filmmakers are now practicing and conquering this area in the past decade and it will only become more important in years to come. Creating your own personal site is a must where you will place your films and future films.
- Set up your Film Site. Please see resources for getting your site online on this page. A web site for your films is a neccestiy now. Facebook is great but not ideal You will need a website for your films. This is much better than a facebook page and you can learn all about websites here.
I have my films on two websites International Film Base and of course this site, Indie Film Passion
- Create a Poster. As you can see on my sites I always have a poster. Fiverr is a great place to get posters done as it is very inexpensive and quick.
- Create a trailer. A one minute trailer for your short film is a necessity. You can edit this yourself. I personally edit my own trailers but my sound post expert John Hresc always does the sound. If you need to learn editing, please see our online course here
Once you have the basics in place and you have a poster and trailer, you can now move on the next phase. Finding your audience
Short Film Festivals and Short Film Platforms:
Here are the very best sites to place your film. The platforms below are the essential places to upload your film and get it seen by important people at festivals and online by the biggest possible audience. Do not worry about doing it all at once.
If you get into a big film festival and they want premiere status, just make all these sites go dark. Please remember when it comes to film festivals, there is a selection process so you will need to invest in film festival entry fees.
- Film Freeway is the best site for entering Film Festivals —Go Here to my previous post and learn about entering Film Festivals. Essential.
- Shorts International:
Please go to this site and see details. They have a huge fan base and many of their films end up considered for Oscars. If you get accepted here it will be a huge honour. Shorts International is hands down the best short film platform in the world. They have been around since 2000. You can submit your short film here.
- Short of the Week
This site started in 2007 is a wonderful exposure for your film. Once again a must submit. It is no longer film of the week as they now release a short film a day. They have a huge fan base and this will help you get to a big audience for about $27 Go Here
- Vuulr: This company operates out of Singapore and help feature films get sold around the world. I have noticed that they now will take short films. This is a really positive development as they will do their best to find you a return and a big audience. Go Here for further details
The Three Mass Channels that everyone knows. You can upload right away and keep the links private. Once three months has passed and you have the film festivals ticking along, do big promotion to your fan base and social networks.
- Facebook Get it up on your Facebook and share. Wait about 3 months to do this one. Once you do make sure you boost it and share it widely to maximise your film
- Vimeo Your vimeo channel is a 100% necessity with a very high quality version of your film online. You can password protect it and use it as a screener to show other film platforms and film festivals on Film Freeway your film. Film Freeway will ask for your link and password. This is great for security initially and after about three months you can open it up to anyone to see.
- Youtube You must have your short film here. It is free to create your channel and you can place all your films here and all behind the scenes films and what ever else you like to place here. You can promote and use paying advertisements for your film here gaining views. Otherwise just share and see the views go up. Films can go viral here and I had one film of mine seen 3.5 million times with advertising income coming in.
The following sites should be part of your exposure strategy.
They present exceptional, hand-picked films to a community of film lovers and makers connected by meaningful and entertaining cinematic experiences. They deliver a 50% revenue share to our films’ rights holders. This submission is a must. Go Here
- Gathr Get your film seen virtually accross the US or on the Silver screen. One has to invest $175 for a virtual screening around the world. I have personally not used this platform but I have heard great things. It would definitely be worth doing and gaining an audience in a virtual cinema screening, happening simultaneously around the world. The Zoom concept for your live screening. Go Here for further details
- Reel House is an online video community that provides filmmakers complete control to self-distribute content directly to their viewers. Filmmakers access the latest monetization, social, and showcasing features, which in turn engage viewers in what Reelhouse is setting as the new standard for online viewing experiences. This is a way to monetise your film. However you will have to market and get the audience to the platform. Great if you have willing buyers in your list. This one is optional and please only use this site if it excites you.
Go Here for further details
- Best Global Shorts. This festival is in Chenai and it is definitely worth entering. Check out their website and ask for a discount to enter your short film. The more exposure and eyeballs watching your film, the better.
The top 11 list above will really get you going and they are the best. Just doing the above would be sufficient for your film
If you do all of the above, you will be doing very well and can place yourself in that viral possibility of getting your film seen by over a million people around the world.
Focus on the above first and foremost. If you are enjoying the process and you feel you would like more, go for more. More platforms, more viewers.
All you have to do is google Short Film Platforms or Short Film Distribution to find more platforms.
Keep building your fan base with your social media, your website and most importantly your short films. If your films are great and you make it easy for your fans to see your films, you will be successful. Your fan base will want to watch the film and spread the word. That is when you go viral and your audience is counted in the millions.