Okay, so it’s been more than a week, but I got stuff going on… kinda. Anyway, let’s get on with it.
So how essential is an Electronic Press Kit (EPK)? Well like most things in the film industry, the answer is, it depends. For sales and distributions it is pretty much indispensable, as a tool for self-promotion it’s pretty damn useful, for a festival run or public screenings it’s certainly going to be helpful, for dossing around with your mates honing those filmmaking skills you can probably just forget about it, unless you are trying to get that workflow down of course.
What’s in a name?
So if you’ve never really considered making one before, it’s probably worth thinking about who the EPK is for and what it’s supposed to do. There’s a clue in the name, so let’s say that primarily it is aimed at journalists, although press is probably a wider term now than it used to be, and there are definitely going to be other interested parties, like festivals, distributors, studios, cinemas, producers etc. for various reasons. But we’re going to look at the primary one, to generate interest in your film, and to help sell it.
As ever, there are shortcuts if you have the budget, simply hire a unit publicist and let them deal with the majority of it; the plus side is that they will probably be pretty efficient and have some connections too. But we’re going to tackle it ourselves because we want to spend that budget on a set of Cooke primes, #amirite?
So the most important thing is to be thinking about it in pre-production as it’s really hard to put together a decent EPK as an afterthought because of what needs to be in it… ideally. Get a photographer with you on set, and a behind the scenes film crew too if possible, they can be getting really useful promotional content that can later be pushed out through press and social media channels to generate some hype around your film. Additionally, you can create your film posters now, unless you already have a shoot planned for them later on.
A good press kit is going to sell the film, so that is your focus, it’s important to include some information about the cast and crew too, but don’t go overboard. If you have a good hook or USP then use that, maybe you already picked up some serious awards and selections from top fests, or perhaps you have already generated a load of buzz that will help sell tickets.
Here’s some things that should definitely be in your EPK:
- Stills for press
- Synopsis – short version
- contacts , social media, website etc.
Also consider putting these in:
- Frequently asked questions / interview – make a list of 8 – 10 questions interviewers might ask you about your film, some can be generic and some specific to the production or film itself, then answer them. It gives lazy journalists an easy puff piece, and helps get your film out there.
- Behind the scenes stills
- Behind the scenes interviews – especially any name stars or crew
- Synopsis – long version
So the must haves are all going to play a part in selling your film to the audience, the bonus stuff so to speak, is going to help create content, and therefore hype around your film. This helps you reach a wider potential audience. It’s all stuff you can share on your social media channels, as well as trying to get it out to film publications etc.
In terms of format, the most popular and easiest to distribute is a pdf, but you could build a website specifically for the EPK which would work great too. Just make sure it is easily navigable (a simple one page site is absolutely fine) and that all the images etc. are available for download by your press contacts.
We love a good EPK at Rebel as it gives us easy material to promote with, and to use for any press and programs. It’s never going to be make or break with us, but it certainly shows a level of professionalism that some of the larger festivals may expect as standard, so it definitely doesn’t hurt your chances to get it right. As ever, thanks for reading and drop a comment below if you think there is more important stuff to include.