What is an EPK? Electronic Press Kits for Filmmakers

Jakob Straub
Jakob Straub, Content Writer

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—corporations, brands, politicians, and celebrities tell stories and shape narratives with electronic press kits. 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 your inspiration.

What is an electronic press kit?

An electronic press kit is a promo 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. Promoters, brands and businesses, but also creatives and artists 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, it comprises a promo poster or picture(s), a short bio, a press release, videos or further material, contact information, and social media where applicable.

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EPK für filmmakers

Filmmakers create electronic press kits for festivals, to crowdfund their projects, and to seek distribution or press coverage. EPKs are relatively inexpensive promotional material when you can rely on existing high-quality videos and promotional photos.

Unlike with a simple trailer, the purpose of your electronic press kit goes beyond generating interest and making a good, elevator pitch first impression. Industry professionals should want to produce, promote, and distribute your film.

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 use electronic press kits in website format both during pre-production and production of their films, as well as during the distribution phase.

For the production phase, the EPK serves as a central information hub or virtual press and production office to create buzz with an elevator pitch and proof of concept. You can implement crowdfunding support or generate presales and attract talent and crew members. Through social media, you can engage your future audience and build a community.

During distribution, the EPK continues as a virtual press office where you include reviews, interviews, press coverage, and possibly newsletters. You reach out to film festivals and distributors, sell tickets, online screenings, or merch, and stay in touch with the audience and community.

An electronic press kit for a movie, film, or TV project typically comprises an informational document such as a PDF, a movie trailer, and other relevant video material. You can distribute these via physical mediums such as USB or Blu-ray, or online as a download link, though movie EPKs exist increasingly as interactive websites, which you can share as a single URL. An electronic press kit is a tool for marketing, promoting, fundraising, and pitching your film, as well as generating press coverage.

EPK in the music industry

Musicians and bands send their electronic press kits to festivals, venues, and talent buyers. A music EPK can highlight the career and work to book shows and engage audiences, but also promote live performances or new album releases, and even sell merch. A press kit website can concentrate a great range of information and media in one place so artists only need to share the link with music supervisors, members of the press, or booking agents for gigs.

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    Short bio: Like an elevator pitch, introduce yourself, your band, and your work in a few sentences in your artist bio. Keep in mind that agents and festivals might want different lengths. Your EPK can provide short, medium, and long bios.
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    Promotional photos: Include a variety of high-quality images in your electronic press kit for download, and be sure to provide both horizontal and vertical shots. These can include band photos, album art or album artwork, and pictures from gigs or tours.
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    Music: Select the tracks or pieces that represent you well or have proven the most popular. Promoters and musical supervisors will probably skip and not listen to everything. Include live and studio recordings via SoundCloud embed, music file download, Spotify playlist, or music video or live music video embed.
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    More promotional material: Depending on where you are in your music career, your electronic press kit can include press coverage, reviews of albums and gigs, and highlights and achievements such as awards, nominations and sales records.
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    Contact info: Lastly, link your relevant social media profiles and include your contact information so industry professionals can reach out to 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

Once you have a title for your project, try to secure a memorable website domain to go along with it. At the very least, you'll need an online home on a portfolio website or a hosting service for electronic press kits. The advantage of your own website is that you can control more aspects of the design and the content.

Compose a killer synopsis

Include three kinds of synopsis for your film in your EPK: long, medium, and short. The long version sums up your film in a single page of double-spaced paragraphs. Use about three-quarters for the synopsis, and then three to five lines for a memorable anecdote from the project that highlights your vision or the film's essence.

The medium synopsis is cut down to three-quarters of a page, while the short synopsis only takes up half a page. These various lengths help journalists, reviewers, or festival associates to select the copy of the right length.

Find a single angle: why is your idea, film, or production unique? Condense it into as short a description as you can, which can easily be shared (think: social media). Note: if your film has already won several awards, that can be a leading angle as well!

Short bio

Include short bios for the cast and crew members. Note the previous roles and achievements of actors, and outstanding productions for crew members. Don't forget yourself!

Movie FAQs for your EPK

Your electronic press kit can give precise information to festival programmers, journalists, and industry professionals or executives. FAQs are a great way to deliver a range of answers as snippets instead of presenting a wall of text or several paragraphs. Come up with ten questions that are neither generic nor overly specific and come naturally from anyone interested in your movie. Provide answers of about three to five lines.

Promotional pictures

Your electronic press kit will include glossy shots, such as a movie poster, promo material of cast members, and stills from the movie. Hire a professional photographer early on to take stills of the production and yourself doing the work. If you have experience already, you can include a few shots of yourself with celebrities, actors, or movie industry representatives, if you have them. All promotional images should be high quality with enough pixels to display crisply online. You can also include selected images in a high resolution for print.

More promo material for your EPK

You can include reviews, third-party endorsements, and anything else that praises your film. Did you have crowdfunding success? Tell a short story about how you raised the money for production. Did a celebrity visit your set? Narrate an unusual day of shooting. Was there an ordinary screening? Provide some quotes from viewers.

Get creative with the further promo material for your film you can include in an electronic press kit. Some productions create a Spotify playlist with mood music, others feature a mockumentary of the production or a mock review in video format.

EPK templates and distribution

When you host an electronic website on an online portfolio site or your own website, you can use a design or theme which lends itself to the electronic press kit format. There are EPK templates for the popular website builder Squarespace, the popular content management system WordPress, or the portfolio and website platform Wix. Adobe offers press-kit templates, and Canva also has free media-kit templates. For musicians, Bandzoogle, Reverbnation, and Sonicbids offer EPK solutions. In the case of an electronic press kit as a download link, you can host these files on Blogger, Google Drive, Dropbox, or similar cloud storage services.

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Electronic Press Kits that stand out: Great EPK examples

Get inspired for designing your own EPK with the following movie press kit examples.

EPK examples on the web

Scour the web for EPK sites from films you enjoy, or which are close to your own work. We strongly advise against straight-up copying their design, but movies with similar themes or from the same genre can give you ideas on how you want to present your content.

EPK examples on Behance

Behance is a social media platform where artists and designers showcase their work and let the creativity of others inspire them. You can filter by creative field, such as film and music, and discover or browse great examples of electronic press kits for movies and short films.

EPK examples on Pinterest

The visual platform Pinterest is also a resource for finding inspiration on what an EPK for films and film productions can look like.

More sources for electronic press kit examples

Festivals such as the Tribeca Film Festival can provide the EPKs of participating movies on their websites. Dribble is another platform highlighting designs on which you can browse electronic press kits. Magnolia Pictures has an archive of press kits from their releases, and distributors, The Film Collaborative, also keep a directory of electronic press kits as PDFs.

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Conclusion on electronic press kits for filmmakers

Once you've assembled and completed the electronic press kit for your film or project, the significant benefit is that you have a single document, website, or URL to share with media representatives, potential buyers, or anyone with an interest in your work. However, that doesn't mean you should blast out your EPK to a mass of recipients in a scattershot approach.

Similarly to sending out job applications and CVs, tailor your EPK with minor adjustments to your target audience or individual recipients. Film festivals, for example, will have specific requirements for the length of the short bio, press release, or video reel. You'll find these on the respective festival website.

Streaming platforms such as Netflix want an EPK to show critical and audience appeal, festival reception, but also viewer demand for the material. Presenting to networks or streaming platforms is not unlike presenting a business plan where your package has to at least consider the business end and a potential return on investment.

Keep the different use cases for your film's electronic press kit in mind from the beginning and select or design a template versatile enough so that you can adapt your EPK with speed and ease if necessary.

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