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What is an EPK? Electronic Press Kits for Filmmakers

Jakob Straub
Jakob Straub, Content Writer
Updated

Standing out in the crowded landscape of entertainment is both an art and a science. Filmmakers, musicians, and artists are constantly on the hunt for innovative tools to make their work shine brighter in the eyes of their audience. Enter the Electric Press Kit (EPK), the digital portfolio that's reshaping how creative projects are introduced and marketed. While some might view it as just another piece of promotional material, those in the know recognize its value in crafting a compelling narrative around their work.

An electronic press kit, or EPK for short, is a compilation of material to promote a film or TV project, a new album by a band, or an artist's work. Not only do indie creatives send out their own EPKs to generate interest and provide relevant information and media, but corporations, brands, politicians, and celebrities tell stories and shape narratives with electronic press kits as well.

In the following article, we'll introduce you to EPKs for filmmakers and musicians, show you how to assemble and host your electronic press kit, and close with some great EPK examples for inspiration.

What is an electronic press kit?

An EPK is essentially a digital resume for artists, creatives, and businesses. It provides a snapshot of their brand, talent, or project in a format that's easy to digest and share - it's a promotional package of digital material.

You can create an EPK in various forms, such as a PDF or digital document for online distribution, a download link, an online video, or an interactive website. The PDF Builder feature in Boords allows users to export their storyboards into a PDF format for easy sharing with clients, without allowing any creative modifications.

Promoters, brands and businesses, but also many artists and creatives use electronic press kits to reach out to industry professionals, talent buyers, or journalists to promote their work and projects. A comprehensive EPK is a well-conceived compilation to make a great first impression and include enough detail and specifications to receive a callback or press coverage, and generate interest.

At the very least, an EPK is make up of a promotional poster or picture, a short bio, a press release, videos or further material, contact information, and social media where applicable.

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EPK for filmmakers

For filmmakers, an EPK serves as a vital tool in navigating the multifaceted world of film distribution, promotion, and production. Whether it's for presenting work to festivals, embarking on a crowdfunding journey, or courting distributors and media outlets for coverage, an EPK provides a comprehensive overview of a project.

The beauty of an EPK for filmmakers lies in its cost-effectiveness. With already available high-quality videos and promotional photos, the creation of this promotional material becomes relatively inexpensive. But an EPK isn't just a glossy trailer meant to captivate the viewer momentarily. Its depth and design are crafted to go beyond just piquing the interest of an audience. With a well-assembled EPK, filmmakers aim to not only make a compelling "elevator pitch" first impression but also to inspire industry professionals to champion their project - be it through production, promotion, or distribution.

Depending on the stage of your film and your audience, you'll likely tailor and fine-tune your electronic press kit, but the basic ingredients of your EPK should include:

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    A teaser video or full trailer
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    Your film poster or similar promotional material
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    A synopsis
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    Information on the format of your film
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    Cast and crew information with short bios
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    Recognition, support, or professionals attached to the project
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    Contact details

Filmmakers often use electronic press kits in a website format throughout the lifespan of their projects - from pre-production and the actual production to the subsequent distribution stage.

During the production phase, the EPK acts as a digital information hub, functioning as both a press and production office. It's here that filmmakers craft a magnetic elevator pitch and showcase their proof of concept. Having your own website as a centralized platform can foster crowdfunding campaigns, promote pre-sales, and serve as a beacon to attract potential talent and crew members. With the integration of social media, it also provides an avenue to engage potential viewers early on, helping to cultivate and nurture a dedicated community around the film.

As the film transitions to the distribution phase, the EPK evolves, continuing its role as a digital press office. This space becomes populated with reviews, interviews, media coverage, and even newsletters. It's the primary point of contact for film festivals and distributors. It can become a marketplace to sell tickets, promote online screenings, or merchandise, all while maintaining a line of communication with the established audience and community.

A standard EPK for a cinematic project might include essentials like a detailed informational document—often in PDF format—a captivating movie trailer, and other pertinent video content. While there are options to distribute these materials through means like USBs or Blu-rays, the trend is unmistakably shifting towards interactive websites for movie EPKs. These platforms can be easily shared via a singular URL, making the EPK a versatile instrument for marketing, fundraising, pitching, and drumming up media attention for your film project.

EPK in the music industry

Within the music industry, EPKs have become invaluable tools for artists looking to make their mark. Musicians and bands routinely dispatch their professional electronic press kit to festivals, live music venues, and talent scouts. The versatility of a music EPK is noteworthy - it doesn't just serve as a spotlight on the artist's journey and achievements to secure bookings or engage audiences. It's also a potent promotional tool, enhancing visibility for live shows, tour dates, album launches, upcoming releases and even merchandising efforts. By consolidating a vast array of content on a dedicated press kit website, musicians ensure a streamlined experience for music supervisors, journalists, and booking agents—all they need to do is share a singular link.

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    Short artist bio: Think of this as your musical elevator pitch. Within a concise framework, introduce yourself, the essence of your band, and your unique soundscape. Acknowledging that different industry professionals might require varied lengths, it's smart to equip your EPK with short, mid, and comprehensive versions of your biography.
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    Promotional photos: An EPK should visually sing as much as your music does. Incorporate diverse, high quality photos for easy download, covering both landscape and portrait orientations. This collection could encompass band photos, album artwork, and dynamic snapshots from live performance footage or tours.
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    Music showcase: Curate a collection of tracks that not only embody your musical identity but also have a fan following. Given that promoters or music industry professionals might skim through your offerings, make every second count. Offer a blend of live and studio recordings, which can be embedded from streaming platforms like SoundCloud, made downloadable, showcased through a Spotify playlist, or presented as a music video or live performance videos. 
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    Additional promotional materials: Depending on your journey within the music industry, your EPK can be enriched with media coverage, press coverage, press releases, rave reviews from past performances or albums, and any accolades like awards or notable achievements, including sales milestones throughout your music career.
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    Contact details: And, of course, make yourself accessible. Integrate relevant social media links and ensure that your contact details are clear and easy to find, paving the way for industry mavens to connect with you.

How to assemble an EPK for the film industry

Plan your electronic press kit early and don't leave it to the distribution phase. You can build the EPK step by step as you work towards and then through the production of your film project, or even begin with your press kit to attract funding. Below, we'll lay out the basic steps.

Set up an online home for your film EPK

Creating your own website for your EPK is a pivotal step in ensuring a professional digital presence for your project. Once you've decided on a title, you'll need to hunt for an available and catchy domain name that resonates with your project's essence. While portfolio websites or specific EPK hosting services can serve as a quick solution, having a dedicated website allows for a higher degree of customization. With your own EPK site, you can meticulously curate the design, layout, and the information presented, ensuring that it aligns perfectly with the branding and messaging of your project. This not only elevates the professionalism of your EPK but also offers a seamless experience for visitors, potentially leading to greater engagement and interest.

Compose a killer synopsis

Crafting the perfect synopsis for your EPK is essential to capture the essence of your film and cater to diverse audiences. Include three kinds of synopsis for your film in your EPK: long, medium, and short.

Begin with a long synopsis, dedicating a full double-spaced page, predominantly focused on the film's storyline. Towards the end, sprinkle in an intriguing anecdote from the production phase that encapsulates your artistic vision or underlines the core of your film.

For more concise needs, prepare a medium synopsis that fills three-quarters of a page, and a short one that's half a page. The variety caters to the different requirements of journalists, critics, or festival coordinators, allowing them to pick the version that suits their platform best.

The key lies in identifying what makes your film stand out. Isolate your unique angle—be it a groundbreaking narrative approach, a particular theme, or a distinctive production technique—and distill it into a concise description. Think of this as your film's elevator pitch: a brief yet impactful statement that can be easily disseminated across platforms, especially social media. And remember, if your film boasts accolades, that's a potent angle to lead with, elevating the project's appeal and credibility instantly.

Short bio

It's important to include a short artist bio for every cast and crew member. For actors, highlight their past roles, significant performances, and notable accolades to provide context about their career trajectory and versatility.

For the crew, emphasize their contributions to distinguished productions, showcasing their expertise and proficiency in their respective roles. Such details help to offer insight into the collective talent that shaped the project.

And, of course, don't overlook your own journey and achievements! Your bio should reflect your passion, vision, and the unique perspective you bring to the film, ensuring that all key contributors get the recognition they deserve in the EPK.

Movie FAQs for your EPK

Incorporating a movie FAQ in your EPK can streamline the information-dissemination process for festival programmers, journalists, and industry insiders. Instead of overwhelming them with lengthy descriptions or explanations, FAQs present bite-sized, easily digestible insights about your film.

Aim to curate around ten questions that strike a balance between being too broad and too niche. These questions should intuitively arise from someone genuinely curious about your project. By offering answers that span three to five lines, you ensure that the information is concise yet comprehensive, facilitating a clearer understanding of your film's context, objectives, and unique selling points.

Promotional pictures

Including high-quality images in your EPK is crucial to creating a compelling visual narrative. Glossy shots can range from album artwork and movie posters to curated promotional images of the cast and select stills from the film itself.

It's advisable to hire a professional photographer early in the project to capture these essential visuals, as well as candid shots of you in action during production. If you've had prior industry experience, incorporating a few photographs featuring you alongside celebrities or film industry professionals can add an extra layer of credibility and intrigue. Make sure all images are high-resolution, ensuring they display crisply online.

Include selected images in even higher resolution specifically tailored for print needs. This ensures that your EPK serves a wide array of media platforms, maintaining the professional aesthetic of your project across the board.

More promotional material for your EPK

Diversifying your electronic press kit with additional promotional material can enhance its appeal and offer a more holistic view of your film's journey. Incorporating positive reviews, press coverage, third-party endorsements, or any other commendations fortify your film's credibility and showcase its resonance with audiences or critics. If crowdfunding played a role in financing your production, share a brief account of how you gained support and met your goals. Anecdotes, like a celebrity's visit to your set or an unexpected event during filming, can add a personal touch and intriguing narrative element. In case you've had screenings, cherry-pick some impactful audience quotes that encapsulate the film's effect.

But don't stop there; get imaginative with what you can offer. Whether it's a Spotify playlist that encapsulates the film's mood or a playful mockumentary about the making of the movie, these unique inclusions not only make your EPK memorable but also give potential viewers, journalists, or festival programmers a taste of the creativity and passion behind your project. Whether it's a mock review in video format or other inventive additions, these elements will make your electronic press kit as unforgettable as your film.

EPK templates and distribution

When preparing an Electronic Press Kit online, leveraging templates can significantly streamline the design process, ensuring that your content is displayed in a polished and professional manner. Platforms like Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix offer customizable EPK templates that align with the unique needs and aesthetics of film projects. For those seeking advanced design options, Adobe provides specialized press-kit templates, while Canva offers free media-kit designs for a more user-friendly approach.

Those in the music industry can find dedicated EPK solutions on platforms like Bandzoogle, Reverbnation, and Sonicbids, catering specifically to their industry's nuances. If you're opting to share your EPK via a downloadable link, consider hosting platforms like Blogger or cloud storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox. These platforms ensure secure storage, easy access, and seamless sharing, making the distribution of your EPK both efficient and effective.

Interested in a career in production? Check out our Filmmaking Templates

Electronic Press Kits that stand out: Great EPK examples

Get inspired to design your own EPK with the following movie press kit examples.

EPK examples on the web

Browse the internet for EPKs related to films you admire or those that resonate with your project. While it's essential that you don't replicate their design verbatim, examining movies with similar themes or within the same genre can offer inspiration for showcasing your content in a unique way.

EPK examples on Behance

Behance operates as a hub where artists and designers exhibit their creations and draw inspiration from fellow creatives. By refining your search to specific fields like film and music, you can unearth excellent instances of electronic press kits tailored for movies and short films.

EPK examples on Pinterest

Pinterest a visually-driven platform, serves as a valuable resource when seeking inspiration for EPK designs related to films and film productions.

More sources for electronic press kit examples

Festivals, including the likes of Tribeca Film Festival, often feature the EPKs of showcased movies on their official websites. Another platform, Dribble, showcases various designs, including electronic press kits. Magnolia Pictures maintains a collection of press kits from their film release while distributors, such as The Film Collaborative house a directory of electronic press kits available in PDF format.

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Conclusion on electronic press kits for filmmakers

After crafting the electronic press kit for your film or project, its prime advantage is having a consolidated document, website, or direct link that can be easily shared with media professionals, potential investors, or anyone intrigued by your work. But, it's crucial to resist the urge to indiscriminately distribute your EPK to a vast audience.

Think of it in terms of job applications: just as you'd tweak your professional resume for different roles, your electronic press kit should be slightly modified based on your audience and the relevant information you'd like to share with them. Film festivals often have specific criteria for components like bios, press releases, or video reels, typically available on their official sites.

For streaming giants like Netflix, an EPK should highlight not only the critical and audience reception but also indicate the viewer demand for your content. When pitching to these platforms, it's akin to presenting a business proposal, emphasizing both the artistic and potential financial returns.

From the outset, consider the various scenarios where your EPK might be utilized. Choose or create a template with the flexibility to allow quick and easy modifications, ensuring your EPK remains relevant to its intended audience.

An Electronic Press Kit is more than just a tool for filmmakers; it's a reflection of their vision, dedication, and professionalism. In an industry where first impressions can dictate opportunities, an EPK serves as a filmmaker's calling card, conveying the essence of their work to stakeholders. An EPK is not just a necessity, but a strategic asset in carving out their niche within the cinematic landscape.

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