Talk to any sales agent or distributor about your film and one of the first questions they’ll ask you is who’s in it? Cast is critical for distribution these days across all budgets and genres. But what’s a name? How do you balance the cost of a named actor versus the value in distribution?

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These days, making a film is half the battle. Marketing and distribution is the one that wins the war. Marketing and distribution can’t make a bad film good, but it’s critical for getting your film out there and getting seen. Here are five essentials for every film.

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Have We Fallen Out Of Love With The Rom-Com? The big picture from the box office looks grim, but is the genre just evolving for modern times. Smart storytelling and commercial casts with chemistry might be able to revive the genre for modern times.

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Film is a collaborative process. Chances are you’re not the next Orson Welles. Filmmakers who can do everything are a rare breed. This post outlines why you should find your community, build a team and make a film together.

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On Indiegogo this week, there’s a campaign for a film called Laser Team that’s breaking all crowdfunding records. With four days to go, they’re at over 300% funded at $1,981,897. If they break $2,250,000, they’ll be the most successful film campaign on Indiegogo to date.

Rooster Teeth, the team behind the campaign, might just be the biggest production company you’ve never heard of. Their success offers some fantastic film makers on how to build an audience, be financially self sustaining and distribute and control your content.

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Action films when done right are commercial, travel well and sell across multiple territories. The challenge is balancing the costs of making an action film with the returns from distribution. What do you need to keep in mind to blow them away at the box office?

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In praise of data. Before you option that script or put pen to paper, a smart filmmaker will do some market research. How are films in the same genre and budget range performing? Is there market demand for your film? Content might be king, but data can make sure you’re making the right content that will have an audience. Here are some sites which can help you with your research.

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One of the challenges of film is finding the money. Here’s a round up of UK film funds who offer grants to help get your film off the ground. Whether you’re making a short, feature or documentary, there are schemes out there that offer support and make your film a reality.

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From development to distribution, your film lives and dies by its first five minutes. If you can’t hook a script reader, a distributor and your audience, your film will flounder. The first five minutes of your film is a promise to the your audience. It builds trust you can tell story. It’s your chance to show us why we should listen. Why we should give our time? Why should we care?

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Title, trailer, artwork. The holy trinity of film marketing. Get them right and you can make a spectacular first impression and leave us hungry for more. Get it wrong and your film might end up languishing unseen in film limbo. How do you make a great movie trailer?

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