A lot of promotional material gets wasted. Flyers and postcards
get handed out and lost or tossed. There are some measures you can
take to reduce the endless paper waste that surrounds your efforts
to get noticed in the competitive world of film promotion. The common
materials used for promotion are photocopied flyers, posters, postcards,
press releases, folders, glossy photos, stickers and buttons and
T-shirts. You can make some low impact choices in all of these categories.
Always design for the long term: Don't print specific dates or screening
locations on bulk printed material like postcards and posters. This
information will render the material obsolete as soon as the event
has passed. Unless you are sure to use up every last piece, you
will be left with cards and posters that can not be effectively
used again. Instead, make your promotional material versatile by
providing space for stickers or a. rubber stamp that will announce
the specifics of your screening or event date.
DESIGNING AND PASTEUP: Use a waxer. Spray mount
is toxic to inhale, uses aerosol propellants, and gets on unwanted
surfaces. Rubber cement, while preferable, is toxic to inhale. The
waxer is very effective for repositioning, and is certainly the
least toxic to inhale. All of these options make recycling a problem,
however, and you should keep waxes and glues out of your recycling
DESIGNING ON THE COMPUTER eliminates glues and
paste up, of course, but you still want to see a printout before
going to press. For test printings, use scrap paper or 100%
PRINT ON RECYCLED PAPER: Even four-color high-gloss
posters and postcards can be printed on recycled paper stock with
If your poster printer doesn't supply recycled paper, learn what
the weight requirements are and order the paper yourself. There
are printers who specialize in low impact printing. Get to know
them. Remember, when talking/to printers, even your inquiries can
let them know there is a demand for these
MATERIALS: Many promotional items can be made from recycled
material. Consider promotional items that are also functional, such
as mugs, pens and T-shirts.
PROMOTIONAL VIDEO MATERIAL
Reuse videotape, and request that festivals return your tapes. Don't
ship videotapes in cellulose fiber bags. The fibers are attracted
by the static electric charge in the videotape. These particles
get into the video machines and damage the heads.
FESTIVALS, MARKETS, AND BEYOND
When distributing promotional material, have a plan. Don't leave
piles of flyers around lobbies where no one will take notice but
the janitor. At markets, target your audience and address them through
the mailboxes. Make your material count, and be aware of the reputation
you give your film. For although the squeakiest wheel often gets
the oil, it can also sound desperate.
SUBMITTING TO FESTIVALS: Save paper and postage
by sending a pared down version of your press kit when first submitting
(synopsis and credits with a photocopied publicity still). A full
kit will rarely be read in any depth at this stage of the process.
When your film is accepted, then send the entire promotional package
with glossies, confident it will be welcome.