How to identify your film's market at script level?
Film as a business means the final product which is either a short film, feature film or series becomes a commodity of demand which will require the principle of marketing. The big question therefore remains, ‘How then do I identify my target market at the initial stages?’
The most important element in any story is its “theme.” Theme drives the plot within any given story. As a storyteller, what themes drive your story is a fundamental question in helping you identify your target market.
Themes in the film refer to a central unifying concept. It evokes a universal human experience and can be stated in one word or short phrase, for example, love, death, or coming to age. A theme may never be stated explicitly but is exemplified by the film's plot, dialogue, cinematography, and music. (Lion King song). So it is the theme that will ideally identify what your plot is all about and who could be interested in it.
On several occasions when you interest people about your film, the first question they might ask you is, “What is your film all about?” In short, they are trying to ask you what the theme of the film is and if it could be in their interest.
Therefore being able to identify the themes within the film will greatly help in identifying the marketing plan or direction. Most film festivals Will actually be very specific on the themes they require for any film to participate in the festival. So if you intend to use the festival as a distribution platform, knowing the theme for the festival will help you know if your film qualifies or not.
THEMES answer the question “What story am I telling and who could it relate with because it is most likely that only those people who relate to the themes within your film will spend on it and that is your primary market.
Themes as described earlier will drive your plot/ story and this will be manifested in different forms like the character, dialogue, sound, color themes, and cinematography. This is exactly what marketing is all about. Marketing your film will require your characters, unique quotes within their dialogue, amazing sound, symbolic color themes and all this explains why and how themes are very important in identifying your target market. Factually if you’re unable to identify any themes within the film script, possible you have no target market and nobody could be interested in watching your film.
Finally, the marketing team will ask you what themes the film incorporates in a bid to identify the potential market and how best to reach them while using the theme codes. It will therefore be a mountain task for the marketing team to successfully reach and exhaust the market if the film can’t exhibit any themes. It will be like winking at a girl in the dark, you know what you’re doing but she has no idea whatsoever.
By: Dialo Ssekidde - Film instructor / Writer / Director / Consultant