"There are so many good films on the market, but they don't have any marketing"
- Cineuropa met Anya Rutsche at a seminar on new trends in film marketing and distribution on October 16 in Brussels.
Cineuropa: What are you doing at LBI and what are your goals?
Anua Rutsche: I work in an agency called LBI Germany AG, where I work on social, media online marketing and digital strategies for different clients. My main client is Paramount Pictures in Germany. I have been working with them for almost four years. I learnt a lot about film marketing by helping them. I also went to different film festivals, where I gave some presentations and workshops. That made me think of establishing my own company - or at least to work as a freelancer for different film projects. My goal is to really help independent films to establish a fan base, to build a crowd for these movies because there are so many good films on the market, but they don't have any marketing, and so no one knows about them. This is my goal: to help them be more successful.
What advice would you give to independent producers in using social media?
If they have a story and their heart is fully set on a film, as should be the case of every producer producing a film, then I can just recommend to tell the world, tell the audience what the film is about, and why your heart is set on the film. That's my recommendation. You do not need to have celebrities in a film. Of course, it's easier when you have the money and celebrities, but nothing is impossible if you have a story and you want to do something, you want to reach your audience. You just need the tools, and you need to know the tools. This is how I hope I can help: by teaching them how to use the tools.
But it doesn't work like that?
No, because not everyone likes social media, and not everyone has the time to use social media - even if it's just five minutes. But I think it's five minutes for me because I know how to use it, but it can be more than an hour for someone who is not used to it. It can be time consuming, because it's not just posting something, but also reacting on comments of people's needs and interest. So you need to have a dialogue with your audience, and this is why it's time-consuming. Just to use social media for advertising something, only pushing something out, is easy for everyone. But to have a dialogue and really use it, and connect with your audience: that's really time-consuming. Of course, I would be amazing for everybody to do it. I think many films would be more successful because people would just stumble upon them because everyone had heard about them.
But it's getting better. People see that social media is useful and that they need it, especially when their marketing budget is not that high. But for some people it sounds too complex. Although it's getting better, and people are at least trying to work with it, or try to find someone who can use the tools.
Of course crowd funding is also something very important, with many great opportunities. If you really have a story behind your film, and you let the people know what it's all about, then I think it's so easy to find your audience, to find a target group and to find supporters.
Do you recommend any best practices?
Paramount is doing really well. But I don't know if I can count Paramount: As they have a lot of money, they can do whatever they want, they can build some apps on Facebook and play with them, they can afford a lot of advertising.
But for independent films, I think there are a lot of examples. I gave one in the presentation of a German film from 2011: The Child [+see also:
film profile]. They did a lot on Facebook and had a good user involvement. They asked the fan everything: What do you think about the poster? Which poster would you use? What about the soundtrack? Which bands would you like to have in the soundtrack? Such commitment from the fans, which made the film really emotional for them! They felt like some sort of ambassadors. They felt like it was their film, and that's why people tended to go to the cinemas to watch it. I think this is a really nice example. Get social media users involved and try to work with your friends, with your audience, and not just push messages out there.
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