There are a wide variety of film tours available around the world, and more popping up every year. Recently, “Game of Thrones” tours have introduced many people to international travel that otherwise may not have obtained a passport!
The interactive aspect of a film tour can come in many forms. The most basic is a visit to the location where a film or story took place. But there are an endless number of creative approaches to this. With the ways in which we consume media evolving, film viewers, and by extension, visitors are evolving along with it. This is creating a seemingly insatiable craving for an “experience” (or at least a simulation of an experience). Some of these include:
• Experiences based on a film or television series:
o Replicating the action, experiencing the food, engaging in a re-enactment of a story.
• Exhibitions on the making of the film
o Props, costumes, fabrications, set pieces, techniques used
o Exhibits including clips and stills from the film
o Temporary or permanent museum exhibits
• Educational modules for schools i.e. connecting literature with film
• Apps: Creating an app that is an interactive version of a film tour map.
• Games: most likely created by the film studio and remains their intellectual property
Other marketing possibilities
NOTE: The following will not always be granted, especially if the use of your area is only a few days. You are best to explore possibilities early on, but do not be surprised if you are denied. This is an area where all Film Commissions could use more buy-in from filmmakers/studios.
• High-profile premiere/experience: Partner with the filmmakers/studio on an event in the location where the film was shot, inviting as much press as possible, can create a “buzz” for your jurisdiction. Use website and social media to extend the reach of this publicity.
• Contests: win a trip, win a weekend, win a night: Again, partnering with the film’s creators and/or distributors and your tourism partners prior to the launch of the film or television series, create a contest or “giveaway.” This can be posted on your site, your tourism department’s site, distributed on social media, and if approved, on the film’s promotional website. Most films will have a site that is the name of the film plus “the movie.com”. Check out recent films as examples. A Contest giving away a night or weekend to the location where the film or series was made can gain considerable attention.
• Dedicated website or microsite: Again, this can be on your site and/or your tourism department’s site, or even on the film’s dedicated site.
• Social media campaigns: Through Facebook, Twitter and many others, you can gain exposure for the premiere, giveaways, contests, etc.
• Well-placed advertising: in travel magazines or an ad attached to the movie itself are just two examples of how to use advertising for Film Tourism purposes. The former would not necessarily have to be done with the filmmakers while the latter would most definitely need to be in partnership with the filmmakers.
• DVD bonus footage: the “making of” documentary and/or Electronic Press Kit (EPK) footage with a focus on your jurisdiction is a great way to gain exposure. Again, something that has to be agreed upon early and filmmakers/studios may or may not give permission.