by Director of Development, Graham Zimmerman

Here at Bedrock we are always on the lookout for new stories that inspire us and we feel will, in turn, inspire others. Once a story is found, there is then the crux of finding sponsors with whom we can work to help tell and share the story as well as, of course, pay for the filmmaking process.

Here are a few things we always consider when preparing for the pitching process:

1.) Who is the target market for the story?

Determining the story's target market is a huge part of deciding who the project should be pitched to. If we are looking to reach young men we don’t want be pitching to a womens only brand. If we are looking to inspire parents we will be looking for brands that have a strong marketing thrust towards kids and family.

2.) Where can the sponsor be seen in the film?

There is of course the obvious opportunity for the sponsors logo to be placed at the beginning and end of a film but where else can we feature them or their product? With documentaries that utilize a significant amount of archival footage this can be challenging, but when production takes place after sponsorship is secured it is always worth finding ways to place the brand or product in the film.

3.) How are we going to distribute the final product?

Our distribution plans are designed specifically for those companies that we pitch.

There are a myriad of options to consider, here are a few examples:

-Broadcast (huge potential reach but limited opportunities for direct traffic to sponsors)

-Film festivals (strong prestige but generally smaller overall reach)

-Online releases (requires a well designed marketing push but has strong potential for longevity and are a great opportunity for traffic to be directed straight back to sponsors for clear ROI)

A great method for determining how a brand will want to distribute a film asset is to look into other projects that they have utilized and try to pitch them an opportunity that is in line with their marketing needs and past successes.