Martin Scorsese’s Tips for Promoting Your Film
Here, Martin Scorsese shares four tips for promoting your film:
- Take an Active Role. Martin encourages you to take an active role in your film’s promotion. When Martin made his first films, he did his best to promote them himself, doing interviews and a few television appearances. Once his films were picked up for distribution, their promotional campaigns were designed by others.
- Build Around a Key Image. Strong images and an open mindset are essential to film promotion. Several posters were designed for Taxi Driver, but the one that most effectively sold the film featured a simple still from the movie—a shot of Robert De Niro walking up Eighth Avenue. This simple, evocative image embodied the film’s dark and gritty tone and offered an intriguing snapshot without spoiling the movie.
- Pair Your Image With a Tagline. The combination of a striking poster image with a clever or evocative tagline can go a long way toward selling your film to the average viewer. Martin paired his Taxi Driver poster image with the tagline, “On every street in every city of this country there’s a nobody who dreams of being somebody. He’s a lonely forgotten man desperate to prove that he’s alive.” This combination of text and visual was integral to selling Taxi Driver to moviegoers.
- Try Guerilla Marketing. Sometimes, the most effective film promotion is also the most unconventional. Martin gives the example of 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde. After Bonnie and Clyde was given a bad review in the New York Times, Warren Beatty—who played Clyde and also produced the film—took a print of the film and traveled from town to town, promoting it on every television show that he could book. By embracing the film’s negative attention, Beatty was able to find an innovative way to market his film.
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