Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 2, 2013.

Update #4

What does it take to release a film? [part 1: movie posters]

8 comments

Did you know a standard size movie poster (27" x 40") cost $30 to $40 each to print?  They don't really get cheaper until you start making hundreds or thousands.  We don't need thousands (yet!) but we do need, you know, dozens.  Big posters budget: about $900.

This is the current design of a "standard" movie poster - what do you think?

(We'll explain why we had to black out that one thing later in this post.)

We can also make slightly smaller ones (24" x 36") which are a way better deal -- about $15 to $20 each.  We'll probably do that and get away with those for a lot of venues, but some festivals and theaters actually require the more expensive "standard" size.  Medium posters budget:  probably $500 (if even we make these).

James also designed a small multipurpose 13" x 19" poster:  

We printed 250 of these (we'll make more later) on matte heavy paper and they look really cool on a wall, framed or unframed.  We'll be able to use these for more casual venues and this is also the poster we are offering as a backer incentive ($15 for previous backers or $20 for everyone else).  They were not terribly expensive to print (although we splurged a bit on nice heavy paper), but mailing them is kind of expensive because we refuse to fold them!  :)  Small posters budget: around $750. 

Postcards are so cheap they are basically free.  Which is good, because I've been advised that at a big festival you can easily distribute anywhere between 250 and 1000 postcards:

We printed a test run of 1,000 (also on nice, matte, heavy cardstock) and already used them up.  We re-ordered 10,000 more, but the printer made a mistake and printed them on the wrong paper!  They are not nearly as nice as the ones on the good paper, but I guess we'll use them anyway because throwing out 10,000 postcards seems like a waste (???).  Can you see the difference in paper quality here?

So now, since the printers will be reprinting another 10,000 on the correct paper... soon we will have way more postcards than we will know what to do with.  Postcards budget: about $550.

Then there is this annoying but unavoidable issue with festival laurels.  

One loves to see the accolades pile up on the poster, right?  In-house, we already know we are going to be in quite a few more film festivals this year (10 and counting as of today!) and we'd love to include all those fancy laurels on our poster -- but we can't announce our selection until the festival does.  Meaning we can't order posters in bulk to save money, unless we are okay with leaving off all the laurels for future festivals.  Probable penalty for various inefficiencies we can't avoid: $250.

Speaking of inefficiencies: when we do yet another redesign to make the poster a different size, or to add a laurel, or change a credit or whatever, it's a whole bunch of time and money for labor.  Right now, we don't pay ourselves for any of our labor (thinking of this as more of an "investment"), but we do have to pay everyone else for theirs!  Graphic design budget: about $2000.

Finally, there is the shipping costs for all of these things, to and from festivals and backers and what have you.  Postage materials and shipping budget: maybe $500 (depends on how many posters we make/distribute/sell!).

So there you have it.  For those of you following along, this line item is looking like about $5450.  I'm sure (I hope!) we'll figure out ways to economize, so let's call it $5000.  

- Penny Lane

PS: by the way, by opening up our process like this, we expect to hear all kinds of things about what we are doing and how we are doing it, including criticism.  That's fine, if you aren't too mean about it.  :)   But I mention this because if you have experience with some of these things and have tips for how we can save money (or better yet, you can help us find some folks who'd like to give us discounted or free stuff), let us know!  

Comments

    1. X.small

      Creator Ken McAuliffe on February 11, 2013

      Should have added this comment; make sure the stickers you use for the laurels are really first class in color and quality, maybe enven embossed so they pop on the two color poster.

    2. X.small

      Creator Ken McAuliffe on February 11, 2013

      I agree that reprinting every time you have a new festival laurel is too expensive so why not go the easy way and have a thousand stickers made up each time you are accepted to a new film festival; a few volunteers get to have some fun and you can print 10,000 up front and every poster becomes unique!!

    3. Missing_small

      Creator Nina Lescher on February 11, 2013

      The poster design is great! Congrats on your festival entries and good luck on those laurels. I couldn't find a cheap solution for my own short film when it went to festivals. I can't wait to see what you guys decide.

    4. Penny_brian.small

      Creator Brian L. Frye & Penny Lane on February 11, 2013

      Klaus, Vistaprint doesn't make the "standard" size poster but their prices are competitive for the other ones. And yes adding the laurels in some creative way later is a cool idea... we also thought about making rubber stamps or something like that...

    5. Mellowmangoman_2013.small

      Creator Klaus Buschan on February 11, 2013

      Checked with Vistaprint? Thats where I fill my print and banner needs.
      Also, why not leaving your accolades completely off the poster? You could then computer print on large, self-stick address label your current collection and stick it on the poster.

    6. Penny_brian.small

      Creator Brian L. Frye & Penny Lane on February 11, 2013

      Neil, thanks! You can't tell in these pics, but the posters have white borders around them. Love a nice chunky white border. :)

    7. Missing_small

      Creator Neil Osborne on February 11, 2013

      Try two colors and no bleed to reduce the poster costs

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