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How to Create a Dynamic Press Kit

Creating a dynamic press kit for your film is an incredibly effective way to grab the attention of festivals, potential investors, and executives. Here’s how to go about it.

Top image via Elon in Los Angeles

Creating your content is just half of the filmmaking process. The other half is promoting and selling that content in order to reach a wider audience. For a feature film or documentary, festivals are a great way to gain a wider audience. For television content, you develop a pitch for producers and networks through services like The Blacklist.

In order to take either of the above steps, you need a solid press kit. Let’s take a look at what a press kit is and the steps needed to create one.

What Is a Press Kit?

A press kit is a publicity package that’s distributed to media outlets, festivals, and potential investors. The press kit should include all of the vital information about your production. It should work to sell others on why your content is relevant and why it should be shared, gain news coverage, or be purchased for distribution.

How to Make a Dynamic Press Kit

How to Create a Dynamic Press Kit - Game of Thrones Press KitImage via Propbay

Creating a press kit isn’t easy, but if done correctly, it should benefit you greatly as you prepare to send your content out into the world. The vast majority of press kits will be developed digitally. However, there will be plenty of instances where you will need to have a physical copy of your press kit for festivals or screenings.

Here are six tips to be aware of when creating your press kit. Following these simple steps will help you create an incredibly dynamic press kit that will impress its recipients.

1. The Kit Folder or Link to Kit

When developing an electronic press kit, be sure to include an attention-grabbing cover sheet. Think of it as an ad for your film. Include crucial information such as the title of the film, your contact information, and any mention of awards the film has won.

How to Create a Dynamic Press Kit - Electronic Press KitImage via Spectacle

You can also utilize a press kit through a link on the main page of your film’s official website. This can be done two different ways.

  1. Link to a PDF version of your press kit.
  2. Create a separate page on the site that houses all of the elements we’ll get into shortly.

How to Create a Dynamic Press Kit - Toy Story 3 Press KitImage via Ebay

Finally, there is the physical press kit folder. For this you can simply purchase two-pocket folders and apply labels to the cover that feature your film’s name. Or, if you have some money to spend, you can have a printer such as Staples, Company Folders, or Vistaprint create custom folders with images and/or the film’s title embossed onto the cover.

2. Write a Synopsis

How to Create a Dynamic Press Kit - Indiana Jones Press KitImage via Propbay

Chances are you already have the synopsis for your film somewhere in your pre-production documentation. If this is the case, then you can simply copy and paste your synopsis into your new documentation. However, if you haven’t crafted a synopsis yet, you’ll need to do so. For help on writing a synopsis, check out this helpful guide from Greenlight My Movie.

3. Cast and Crew Bios

How to Create a Dynamic Press Kit - Star Trek Press KitImage via Trek Core

Include bios for the principal cast and crew. For your actors, have photographs alongside a page dedicated to their professional career. Include their previous film, theater, and television credits. For the principal crew, create a solid one-page biography that details previous work on other productions. Lastly, don’t forget yourself! Make sure your own bio is included.

4. Production Notes

How to Create a Dynamic Press Kit - Production Notes Press KitImage via Neil Oseman

The production notes section will reveal the process of making the film. Think of this as a written-out behind-the-scenes featurette. You can add images to this page — just make sure they’re high-resolution and professional. Beyond this, be sure to give anecdotes about what happened during the filmmaking process. This will make the press kit lighthearted and more enjoyable to read.

If you want to see a strong sample of production notes for a press kit, then check out this well-developed set of notes for 2011’s The Artist via The Weinstein Company.

5. Publicity Stills

How to Create a Dynamic Press Kit - Interstellar Press KitImage via eCrater

Including publicity stills is always a good idea. These stills are different than the professional photos of your principal actors. Publicity stills should be photos taken during the filmmaking process, such as behind-the-scenes photos. They can be screen captures from the film itself, which can be done through just about any NLE like Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, and Avid Media Composer.

6. Include Reviews and Endorsements

How to Create a Dynamic Press Kit - Movie Reviews Press KitImage via Giant Bomb

While your film goes through the festival process, add reviews from media outlets that have seen and commented on your work. You can also add endorsements from others in the filmmaking community who are championing you or have openly commented on the film. Utilize reviews and endorsements to to your advantage.

Got any press kit tips for the community? Share them in the comments below.