Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Many Methods of Movie Marketing: Part 5 Press Junkets and Preview Screenings

This is the fifth part of my many posts on the different methods of movie marketing, this one covering press junkets and preview screenings. This is mainly for my film students who are looking at the relationship between film producers and audiences. First we looked at how producers get information from audiences and now we move on to how producers give information to audiences. You can find part one on posters and trailers here. Part 2 on TV, radio and print media advertising and using the internet and viral marketing is here. Part 3 on movie merchandise is here. Part 4 on premieres is here.

Press junkets are where the people behind the film gather the press together for an event usually held in a hotel. They have the stars and filmmakers available for individual or group interviews and may have a press conference Q&A session. This allows TV and radio shows, magazines, newspapers and websites to come and interview the stars and the then give the film free publicity by writing about it. Stars will also be contracted to appear on chat shows to promote the films but a press junket allows a lot of media outlets to get access to the stars quickly and efficiently. Most big releases will have a press junket in different cities across the globe. For example the Star Trek Into Darkness press junket was held at London’s City Hall but was more of a conference with a Q&A to give as many media outlets a chance to print something about the film as possible. Read more about the Star Trek Into Darkness press conference here.

Preview screenings are also an excellent way to spread the word on a movie. Different to test screenings, preview screenings show the finished film and do not ask for detailed feedback. They are special screenings that can be accessed in numerous ways. Critics will be invited to them in order to review the film, sometimes people will win competitions to gain tickets to them and sites like ShowFilmFirst offer tickets to their members. Sky, The Telegraph newspaper and the Daily Mail also offer tickets to their subscribers occasionally. If the film is good, preview screenings create positive word of mouth and more people will go and see the film on opening weekend. Sometimes some feedback will be required from the audience in order to gauge their reactions and figure out how to market the movie more effectively to the target audience. Currently the Guardian are offering tickets to a preview screening of Behind the Candelabra. Preview screenings can be an excellent and relatively cheap way to develop some good buzz around a smaller film with a small marketing budget.

Next up is the final part on film festivals.

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