If we think of “story” we still imagine the bonfire tale which keeps us mesmerized when sitting around a fire.
However story can mean so many things and it can be a very powerful tool, not only as the basis of a movie script.
As previously stated “Storytelling” is used in the digital era in a much broader sense as before. In content marketing, a story is developed for a product for example. It is how something is presented to the audience or the potential consumer.
Can distribution and production of a film also benefit from a content marketing storytelling strategy? Definitely yes and of course it is done a lot, particularly with larger products.
But there is still a lot of potentials which could be explored and furthermore, future production and distribution need adaption strategies.
Most of all, it is important to keep in mind that the storytelling about the product (the film, the series) is not the same as the narrative of the film
It might be different and employ a lot of interesting circumstances, everything which makes people curious. It might be things about how a project came together and what kind of initial reactions it provoked.
Nevertheless, it is important to keep track of the core idea of the film project or the series. This is crucial if we want to tell a consistent story to the recipients (first the financiers, the decision makers, the press).
It is not only about if a trailer tells a completely different story as the movie it will, of course, trigger initial disappointment.
In the first stage, it is important to understand what the filmmakers want, what the driving force behind an idea is or why the subject does matter.
Then it is really crucial to no get loss track of the idea, the assets, what is it supposed to mean.
Later – before distribution begins – it needs to be checked if the intended kind of release and information about the project is consistent with previous developments and strategies.
This can be achieved with measures as keeping the creative personnel of a movie (writer, director, stars) always on board and keep them informed. They are money in the bank in terms of valuable input.
Most important also is a good production management. Working with guiding documents as fact sheets, description/analysis, coverage of content and sales synopsis could be a big help. These documents need to be checked and updated regularly. Companies can employ management techniques derived from business excellence models.
The relation between storytelling in content marketing storytelling and film distribution happens when the project goes public. It is good to keep track of the appearance and performance of a project in the digital world and also direct that “story” which is created on its own on the web through websites, social media etc.
The independent film market has already successfully proved with examples how to employ the “digital story” of a project but it needs to be further exploited for the so-called-normal films as commercial arthouse.
A production management strategy developing also the content-marketing storytelling is still underrated. It could help to make cinema great again.