When I was a kid, I wanted to be a garbage man… badly. I would watch the garbage truck lumber down our country lane with wide eyes, dreaming of the day I could drive such a glorious machine.
As I matured, my “dream job” changed into something much different. Most people have a similar experience. Some people even find themselves in their mid-life, still not yet having found their “purpose”. What about your film or other project? Does it know what it wants to be when it “grows up”, or is it stuck in a state of identity crisis.
In business, one principle I was taught was to “know the customer“. Know their likes and dislikes, their habits and weaknesses, their greatest joys. By understanding who will buy your product (your target market), you will be able to craft a product that people will want to buy.
Every film is a business, and businesses operate by creating a product that fills a gap and satisfies a need. Maybe it’s adventure, maybe it’s romance, maybe it’s inspiration, or maybe it’s giving the audience a needed laugh. Whatever it is, identify the key emotional need that your film is seeking to fill and then create your story to best satisfy that need. Yes, staying true to your story is important, but staying true to your audience is even more important. Why? Because a movie without an audience is as worthless as a car that’s never driven.
Because a movie without an audience is as worthless as a car that’s never driven.
Your movie only has value when an audience collectively decides to prescribe value to it. As the old adage goes, “The customer is never wrong”. Making a movie to tell a story you want to tell is good. But making a movie to tell a story that the world wants to hear is better.
Making a movie to tell a story you want to tell is good. But making a movie to tell a story that the world wants to hear is better.
As you seek to raise a film that will “spread its wings and fly”, make sure to know both your story AND your audience. Find this equilibrium and you will have a film that not only makes it past puberty, but that goes on to graduate with honors.
Movie Target Markets: http://www.filmmakingstuff.com/define-your-movies-target-audience/