Electronic Press Kit Tutorial for Film
A good EPK can get you to festivals, boost your crowdfunding and land you a distribution deal. The level of EPKs out there varies greatly, with no correlation to film budgets. We talked to film festival organizers, filmmakers, film schools and film investors to find out what goes into a good EPK. Scroll down for EPK Template options and Electronic Press Kit examples.
What is an EPK – Electronic Press Kit Basics
EPK is your press kit in an electronic form. It usually exists as a downloadable document (PDF), accompanied by your trailer and other video material on Blue-ray / DVD / flash drive and – increasingly – as a website.
It’s not just for press though. When set up in pre-production, your movie website can be a powerful tool for marketing, fundraising and pitching your film idea to possible collaborators.
“A bad EPK tells you almost nothing about the film and everything about the people involved in making it.” – Paul Bruce, Director of Edinburgh Short Film Festival
The purpose of your EPK is not just to get the recipient interested in watching your film but to show how easily and effectively they can market your film. The difference is like going on Dragons Den hoping to sell one prototype to one of the dragons, versus trying to convince them to produce, promote and sell thousands of copies. You need to paint a picture of the success your production will have.
The Importance of an Angle
To you, your film can have hundreds of layers, nuances and even several intersecting themes. However, when it comes to marketing, this needs to be dumbed down. You need ONE, strong angle. (Unless you’ve already won several major festivals, in which case THAT is your angle.) Think about what makes your production special or unique. Is it based on a well-known urban legend? Was it written by a 10-year-old? Find your angle and built your EPK around it. In the age of social media, even the most complex works of art have to be condensed to 140 characters / one striking pic.
EPK – Basic Requirements
EPK requirements vary depending on who (festival / broadcaster / distributor) is requesting it and whether you are in preproduction, production or post-production. It usually includes these basics:
Depending on where you are at, there are several other sections you may want to include. Take a look at the previews of our sample EPK (down the page).
By planning your EPK in the very beginning, you know exactly what kind of material (such as production stills, interviews and making-of material) you need to gather during the busy production phase. This way, you can also use your website to create buzz, collect contacts and support a possible crowdfunding campaign.
Download FREE sample EPK
EPK sample pages 8/18. Join free and download two free sample EPKs from our members area. or subscribe and:DOWNLOAD EPK TEMPLATES
EPK Template Options
FREE EPK Samples
Download FREE sample PDFs of our EPK template from our members area. Sign up to download and access members only content.
EPK Google Slides Template
Not an Adobe user? Our EPK template is now available for the FREE online software Google Slides. Super easy to use! Subscribe to download EPK Google Slides Template.
EPK InDesign Templates
Create a striking EPK PDF using our simple InDesign template – save yourself hours of work! Subscribe to download EPK InDesign Template.
Press Release for Film
Also check out our “Writing a Press Release For Film” article: Here we take a closer look at the tricky business of sending out press releases.
The Purpose of an EPK Website
Pre-production / production phase
Poll: Most important EPK website features?
Requirements and examples
Here are a few examples of what the festivals and distributors think about EPKs and press kits. Flick us a message if you have a great link that you think we should add here.
EPK website / movie website examples
“51 Degrees” website
“This is where I leave you” website
“That Sugar Film” movie website
“Jake” movie website
“Of Many” movie website
EPK Examples (pdf)
Kiosk (Short Animated Film)
Time is Illmatic (Feature Length Documentary)
Traitors (Feature Length Drama)
Zero (Short Animated Film)
PELO MALO – Bad Hair
“The Festival prefers to receive as much material as possible electronically. An EPK with selected clips for press use in TV is required for all films selected for competitions.”
Read more: Dokufest submission rules 2015
LA Film Festival
Read more: LA Film Festival Submission info 2015
“Steve Swasey, vice president of Netflix corporate communications, says that for independents to get picked up by his company for distribution, they need a mixture of some or all of the following: queue demand, critical appeal, sizeable audience appeal, buzz, and film festival premieres.
Swasey agrees that presenting a film to Netflix is akin to presenting a business plan to investors—you need to do your homework and deliver a great package in order to get considered for a Netflix run.”
“Whether you’re considering submitting to Netflix through a distributor or submitting yourself, marketing and buzz are as important as a script and camera equipment. Anthony Mora says if you’re hoping to eventually get distribution for a film, producers must develop a public relations strategy before the first day of shooting. “Too many [people][/people] produce a film with no plan in place to market it. If they can afford a publicist, it is money well spent,” says Mora.
Mora recommends creating a basic press kit, both online and in paper form, and launching an online and traditional public relations campaign. Make sure to factor these costs into your overall budget. In other words, you can have the Picasso of films in the can ready to go, but according to Mora, if you can’t spread the word and create buzz, no one will know about it.”
Quotes are from Independent Magazine article: Securing Distribution with Netflix
Producing an Electronic Press Kit (pdf)
“The key purpose of the EPK is to service broadcast media with vision/audio to cut into film stories. A well-produced EPK will match potential media angles, support the exploitable qualities of the film and help the film appeal to its core audience.”
Screen Australia’s pdf will go through the following areas of EPK production:
Source: Screen Australia – Producting an Electronic Press Kit (pdf)
FilmFreeway / Withoutabox
FilmFreeway and Withoutabox are online platforms that aim to make it easier for filmmakers to submit their film to festivals. Of these two, FilmFreeway wins on ease of use and web design, as well as having lower fees.
To submit your film through one of these platforms, you first need to fill out the production details, including short synopsis, credits and technical specs etc. After this, you can submit to as many festivals as you like.
After your film has been selected, many festivals still require you to provide an EPK with production stills, posters and other marketing material. Make sure you check the festival requirements beforehand so that you are ready to deliver.
“It is really useful to have resources as this available for filmmakers”
– Elliot Grove, Director of Raindance Film Festival